Talk: Music and Memory: composer Jonathan Dove in conversation with Dr Kate Kennedy

5:30pm to 7:00pm, Friday 27 April 2018
Lecture Theatre 3, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG

In this conversation, composer Jonathan Dove will talk to Dr Kate Kennedy (University of Oxford) about the relationship of his music to war and remembrance. Jonathan Dove has written works commemorating armed conflict (In Damascus and To An Unknown Soldier) and works invoking collective memory more broadly, as in his TV opera When She Died, a reflection on the death of Princess Diana. The conversation will be illustrated with musical examples.

This event launches the Aural Commemoration strand of the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Series 2017-18 Post-War: Commemoration, Reconstruction, Reconciliation, which brings together academics, creative practitioners, field-workers and policy experts to explore and compare the ways in which commemorative practices across cultures both contribute to and challenge post-war reconstruction and reconciliation.

This event is free to attend but registration is essential. Please register here.
Event poster: Music and Memory1

CfP: The Book as Cure: Bibliotherapy and Literary Caregiving from the First World War to the Present

This one-day conference, part of the annual programme of the History of Books and Reading (HOBAR) research collaboration at The Open University, will take place in the Gordon Room, Senate House, University of London, on 14 September 2018. It brings together early career researchers and advanced scholars with practitioners, policy makers, charities, and representatives from the culture and heritage industries to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue about the curative power of reading during and after the war. What is the legacy of wartime bibliotherapy? How is that curative power understood now? How was it understood in 1914? How has it been managed since in the voluntary sector and in institutions? In what ways does the legacy of First World War bibliotherapy remain active in contemporary policy-making in the charity sector, and in work with veterans and settled refugees?

Keynote speakers:
Jane Potter (Oxford Brookes University)
Peter Leese (University of Copenhagen)

Led by three members of The Open University’s Department of English & Creative Writing, Siobhan Campbell, Sara Haslam, and Edmund King, this event will contribute to and shape understanding of the therapeutic importance of books across disciplines and help to generate further focused research in the Humanities and beyond.

Proposals of 300 words for 20-minute papers by Friday, 4 May 2018 are welcomed from PhD students, ECRs and established scholars working in the field. Topics include: the healing book; creative and expressive writing interventions; reading, writing and trauma; authorbased studies on literary caregiving of any type; hospital, prison, and asylum reading/libraries and mental health/wellness; curating generative archives; documenting resilience and identifying outcomes.

Contact Info:
Please send abstracts to the conference organisers:;; and

Further information here.

Symposium: After the Great War. Challenges for Europe

European Network Remembrance and Solidarity, Bucharest 2018
European Remembrance: 7th International Symposium of European Institutions dealing with 20th Century History

After the Great War. Challenges for Europe.

The seventh European Remembrance Symposium will take place in the centennial year marking the end of the First World War. As citizens of Central and East-Central Europe, we do not wish to be driven by anniversaries or jubilees. Yet, we also cannot ignore the seminar year 1918. The year 1918 and subsequent turbulent years marked a period of empire breakups, wars, revolutions and border delineation. They shaped Europe as we know it. Consequently, it is worth summarising historians’ newest findings on the period in question as well debating the image of that time in our memory knowing that it ranges from a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment to that of pain and defeat.

The century in question, however, makes us not just contemplate the past. It is a fitting platform for reflection on the present and for forecasts of the future. In this context, two issues seem of particular importance: national sovereignty and peace keeping. After the First World War, Europe experienced – over a short period of time – the creation of many new or renewed sovereign states. They all still exist today, yet sovereignty has changed considerably over the last century. Some experts now speak of its twilight or even possible end. This is a topic definitely worth discussing. Equally interesting and pertinent is the issue of tracking the evolution of ways in which peace has been made over the last one hundred years. In today’s Europe and world, we have been enriched by the experience of the 1919-1920 Paris peace conference as well the shift from war to peace in 1945-1947. At the same time, we live in times when international armed conflicts have been and still are steadily present. Yet, wars are rarely declared and peace is hardly ever established by means of a single act of international law, but forged through a tedious peace process marked by twists and turns. Why have the phenomena of war and peace lost their analytical sharpness? How is good peace made? Can peace be bad or defective and, if so, how do we deal with it? These are questions worth discussing at our Symposium.

The organisers of the Symposium wish to open the discussion on the above issues and invite experts in various areas of life and science. In looking back at such intensive, tragic and sublime as well as joyful and depressing experiences of the 1918-2018 century they can try to diagnose contemporary Europe and forecast its future.

Programme here
Registration here
Further information here

WW1 Talk: “Uncertain at Present for Women But May Increase”, 19 April, 18.00


“Uncertain at Present for Women But May Increase”
Thursday 19 April, 6pm

Dr Elizabeth Bruton (Science Museum, London) reveals the little-known history of female wireless telegraphists in World War One and their fight for opportunities to contribute to the war effort alongside their male colleagues.

Please book your free ticket through the Museum’s Eventbrite page at


Conference: Reflections on the Commemoration of the First World War

22-23 November 2018 at Tūranga (Central Library) on the corner of Gloucester Street and Colombo Street, Christchurch.

As we approach the end of the centenary of World War One, it is timely to consider the ways in which this conflict has been commemorated. Galleries, libraries, archives and museums around New Zealand and the world have explored old and new narratives of the war and presented these in exhibitions, public programmes and research. Many of these interpretations have been the result of collaborations that have joined repositories with academia, other institutions and the community. This conference invites museum professionals, historians, librarians, academics, students, film makers, artists, writers, researchers, government sector contributors and others to reflect on the commemoration of the war.

Registration is now open. To register click here.

$280 Early Bird Registration (available until 1 August 2018)
$320 Full Registration
$110 Student Registrations (must be currently enrolled in an accredited tertiary institution to qualify) +15% GST = $126.50

A publication featuring a selection of papers from the conference will be produced following the conference.

You can contact the conference committee at An alphabetical listing of all the presentation abstracts is available here.

Keynote speakers:
Dr. Tim Cook, C.M. (Historian, Canadian War Museum)
Entrenched Culture: Soldiers’ Culture in the Aftermath of the First World War

Professor Joy Damousi (Professor of History, University of Melbourne)
Blood, Bodies and Bones: Remembering Violence of the First World War in the 21st century

Dr. Santanu Das (literary and cultural historian, King’s College London)
The Colours of Memory: the racial politics of the centennial commemoration

Further information on conference website.

CfP: Manpower and the Armies of the British Empire in the Two World Wars

Royal Military College of Canada
Kingston, Ontario
8-9 November 2018

Raising armies is more than counting people, putting them into uniform, and assigning them to formations. It was, and remains, an exceedingly complex business. It demands efficient measures and processes for recruitment and selection in voluntary military systems and equally efficient measures for registration and assignment in armies built on conscription. It demands training establishments capable of transforming factory workers and farmers into riflemen, in addition to providing them with officers, staffs, and commanders to lead them. It demands balance between the needs of the armed services, industry, and agriculture. And, often overlooked, it demands medical services to mend soldiers when wounded, and programs and pensions to look after them when demobilised. How did the the British Empire and Commonwealth mobilize manpower for the armed services, agriculture, and industry during the two world wars? And how did they care for veterans, both able-bodied and disabled, when the fighting was over?

“Manpower and the Armies of the British Empire in the Two World Wars” will bring together a diverse group of distinguished historians, junior scholars and graduate students to undertake a multifaceted examination of army mobilization for Britain, India, and the dominions. Confirmed speakers include: Gary Sheffield (University of Wolverhampton), Richard Grayson (Goldsmiths, University of London), Kent Fedorowich (University of the West of England), Peter Dennis (University of New South Wales), Jessica Meyer (University of Leeds), Kaushik Roy (Jadavpur University), Jonathan Fennell (King’s College London), Daniel Byers (Laurentian University), Ian McGibbon (Ministry of Culture and Heritage, New Zealand), Ian van der Waag (Stellenbosch University), and Meghan Fitzpatrick (Royal Military College of Canada).

The conference organizing committee solicits proposals for papers along the lines of three basic themes:
(1) recruitment/conscription and selection
(2) training, employment and the experience of soldiers
(3) demobilization and veterans’ care.
We would also welcome papers that examine manpower in relation to culture, class, gender, race, or disability.

Proposals should include a 200-300-word abstract accompanied by a one-page CV. Proposals should be emailed to no later than 22 June 2018. Cornell University Press will publish the proceedings of the conference.

CfP: Making Peace. Transitions after War from the Antiquity up to the Present

Transitions from war to peace have been one of the most fertile grounds for contemporary historical analysis in the last twenty years. In this last year of the Great War centenary, the “end of the conflict” topic (as well as the possible or impossible “return” to peace) will be the discussion focus among specialists in the 1914-1918 period. However, the numerous forms of war-exit are difficult to understand through a short-term perspective. In order to answer these questions, the University of Padua – Comitato per il Centenario della Grande Guerra in collaboration with the Melammu Project – The Heritage of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East, have organised the Making Peace international congress, in Padua, on 5-9 November 2018. Keynote speakers will be: Gastone Breccia (University of Pavia), Etienne Boisserie (Inalco, Paris), Christoph Cornelissen (University of Frankfurt a. M. and ISIG-FBK), Adrian Gregory (University of Oxford), Paolo Matthiae (Emeritus, University of Rome La Sapienza), Kurt Raaflaub (Emeritus, Brown University), Leonard Smith (Oberlin College).

We invite scholars interested in the war-and-peace topic from the Middle Ages to the 21st century to send abstracts related to the following sub-themes: War end, Borders, Demobilization, Heritage, The return.

Abstract submission guidelines: Approx. 250 words; before 31st May; including name, affiliation and a brief resume (approx. 100 words) – We welcome scholars (including ECR and PGR) and independent researchers.

For further information, please see the conference website.