Oxford University’s ‘Lest We Forget’ crowd-funding WW1 campaign now live

On 5 June, the University of Oxford launched the ‘Lest We Forget’ project aimed at saving and preserving material owned by the public related to WW1. They are seeking to raise £40-80k in one month (5 June – 5 July 2017) in order to train and support local volunteers around the UK to run digital collection days to try to capture all the WW1 material (diaries, letters, objects, etc) currently held by the public and in danger of being lost. The material brought in by the public will the be digitized and uploaded to a freely available web site to be launched on 11th November 2018.

Please help spread the word about this project and donate by going to:
https://oxreach.hubbub.net/p/lestweforget/

For more information see: https://www.facebook.com/OxfordLWF/”
See also: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/57658-lest-we-forget

CFP: Medical History of WWI

Proposals Deadline: 10 November 2017

Over 22-25 March 2018, the Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences will be co-sponsoring a conference on the medical history of WWI.

It will be hosted at the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School in San Antonio, Texas.

Presentations on all facets of medicine and healthcare related to the war are welcome, to include: historical understandings of military medicine as practiced by all participants and in all geographic regions; consideration of the repercussions of the war on the practice of medicine; medicine in various campaigns; effects on the home fronts; postwar medical issues; mental health issues; the pandemic influenza; and related topics.

Presentations should be 30 minutes long, and two-paper panels are welcome.

As with the 2012 conference, we anticipate publication of selected papers.

Contact: Dr Sanders Marble, Army Medical Department Center of History and Heritage, william.s.marble.civ@mail.mil

Blog: Revisiting the 1917 Stockholm Peace Conference: Indian Nationalism, International Socialism, and Anti-Imperialism

A recent blog by Ole Birk Laursen on the University of Exeter’s Global and Imperial Forum discusses how the centenaries of the Russian revolutions (1917) and the end of the First World War (1918), are connected through the abandoned Stockholm Peace Conference and, given their anti-imperialist narratives, how they impacted the colonial world. Despite the attendance of Indians, Egyptians, Persians and Turks in Stockholm, the scant historical inquiries into this might-have-been moment tend to neglect how such anti-imperial ambitions were tied to world peace.

Ole Birk Laursen (Research Affiliate, the Open University) is a historian of Black and South Asian people in Britain and Europe with a particular focus anti-imperialism and anarchism. In addition to book chapters and journal articles on Indian nationalism, his book The Indian Revolutionary Movement in Europe, 1905-1918 is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press (2019).

CfP: The Brest Peace Conference and the international relations in Central Europe (1917–1918)

We are inviting proposals for the panel ‘The Brest Peace Conference and the international relations in Central Europe (1917–1918)’, which will take place at the 7th International Congress of Belarusian Studies on 15–17 September 2017 in Warsaw, Poland.

This panel aims to demonstrate the research potential of the topic of international relations in Central Europe at the final stage of the Great War.

If you wish to take part in the panel, please submit an application form by 10 May 2017, including your paper proposal from 2000 to 4000 characters, following the link: https://palityka.wufoo.eu/forms/application-form-for-speakers-2017/

It is well known that the signature of separate peace treaties between the Central Powers and Ukraine and Russia at the Brest Peace Conference in February-March 1918 (and with Romania in May) helped the regional powers to build a new international architecture for Central Europe. However, this process substantially changed after the defeat of the Central Powers in autumn 1918. As a consequence, the traditional historiography pays most of its attention to the Entente policy (and the Paris Peace Conference of 1919), leaving many aspects of the brief Brest system of international relations ignored.

To fill this gap, the panel will invite researchers to address the following questions: How did the policy of the Central Powers develop in the context of the Brest Peace Conference? What was the reaction of revolutionary Russia to the end of war on the Eastern Front? How did the peace affect the national movements of Central Europe? What did the Entente undertake in response to separate treaties of its former allies (Russia, Ukraine and Romania)?

The working languages of the panel are English, Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian.

The International Congress of Belarusian Studies is one of the largest event in the academic life of Belarusian researchers in Social and Human sciences, attracting a number of foreign colleagues and gathering up to 500 participants.

Workshop: Writing The First World War, Oxford Brookes University, Saturday, 17 June 2017, 10:00 to 17:00

‘Boy Soldiers of the Great War’ with Richard van Emden
Executive Meeting Room, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site

This interactive day will draw on the extensive experience of bestselling author and well-known historian of the Great War, Richard van Emden.

It will cover all aspects of non-fiction writing from honing your research skills to using archives, structuring your work and getting published. It’s suitable for anyone, published or aspiring, who’s writing or wanting to write about the First World War.

Also taking part will be Stephen Barker, author of Lancashire’s Forgotten Heroes.

Cost: £65 (including tea/coffee and lunch)
Or £60 for:
Brookes staff and alumni
Western Front Association members.

For further information and to book, see here.
Download poster: History Short course Jan 2017 Final RVE

CfP: ESSHC 2018 Session: Digitising visitor encounters with warfare

European Social Science History Conference 2018 (Queen’s University, Belfast, April 4-7, 2018)
Session title: Digitising visitor encounters with warfare
Session Organisers: Dr Ria Dunkley, University of Glasgow and Laurie Slegtenhorst MA, Erasmus University Rotterdam

War has been a popular tourist attraction for centuries (Seaton, 1996), while throughout the 20th-century, warfare and allied memorabilia arguably constituted the world’s largest tourist attraction (Smith, 1996). This situation shows little sign of abating within the present day, when visitation of sites such as the Battlefields of Culloden (UK) and those associated with World War I and II continues to increases (Dunkley, 2011). Yet, for many visitors, understanding the events that have occurred at historical places can be difficult. This is particularly the case for ancient battle sites, where historical relics associated with the event are no longer visible. Due to the increase centrality of visual representations in present day society, publics often desire affective connection to the past, involving tacit involvement with a history that can be touched, heard and smelt, as well as seen (Landsberg, 2015). Digital tools, such as apps, virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D animation arguably provide visitors with totalising, immersive experiences of history and enable an appreciation of the multiple layers of history at war-related sites. Yet, despite a recent proliferation in the number of sites harnessing digital technology to augment the visitor experience, little research has focused upon the way such sites are experienced by the visitors who use these digital tools.

This session seeks papers that explore how different types of visitors engage with history at war-related sites in diverse ways. Questions that will be central to the session include: how do visitors use digital tools to navigate sites of war?; how is the experience history enhanced through digital mediation?; do digital tools engage visitors with history at a deeper, more critical level?; can digital technology enhance understandings of complex historical events? and; is it possible to cater to the needs of homogenous groups of visitors (including, school children, special interest tourists, serendipitous visitors, veterans, survivors and victims’ relatives) through harnessing digital technology?

Proposed research topics include, but are not limited to:

Visitor experiences of using digital technology to navigate sites associate with war (including sites of actual events, as well as museums, memorials and sites of internment);
The significance of memory and pre-conceptions to how digital representations are engaged with;
The representation of divergent identities within digital applications developed for war-related sites (including representations of gender, class and race);
The potentials of digitisation of war-related sites for formal and informal learning (particularly in terms of democracy education);
Innovative methodologies for understanding how the visitor experience is mediated by digital technology at war-related sites.

Presentations should be approximately twenty minutes in length. Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Laurie Slegtenhorst (slegtenhorst@eshcc.eur.nl) and Ria Dunkley (ria.dunkley@glasgow.ac.uk) by April, 23, 2017. Submissions should also include: Author name, institutional affiliation, e-mail and mailing address. Please do also get in touch with any questions, or to discuss alternative forms of presentation.

For more information on the conference, please visit: https://esshc.socialhistory.org/

Book review: Lawrence of Arabia’s War: The Arabs, the British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WW1, by Neil Faulkner.

The story of the young war hero has historically captivated Western readers for decades. However, in the recent past, there have been calls to engage more deeply with the lesser-known histories and broader participants in the First World War. In this context, Sneha Reddy argues that Faulkner’s book goes in the other direction and shifts the spotlight back to Lawrence by making him the central focus of his study. Nonetheless, she adds, for a book that is a result of a ten-year endeavour, ending in 2014, to study modern conflict archaeology as part of the Great Arab Revolt Project, it is uniquely placed.

Author: Sneha Reddy is a PhD student at the School of International Relations in the University of St Andrews. Her research focuses on French North African and British Indian soldiers in the First World War in the Middle East.

Review on publisher’s site here
Author’s e-print link
Article DOI