CfP: Sites of Interchange: Modernism, Politics, and Culture in Britain and Germany, 1919-1951

CFP Submission Deadline: 15 November 2017

The Courtauld Institute of Art, conference to be held: 2-3 November 2018

Early twentieth-century Germany was a site of extremes, in which art and architectural production were entangled in the swiftly changing political and social landscape. Radical utopias and pragmatic solutions for art and life were proposed, creating a crossroads of unparalleled burgeoning cultural outpouring in the midst of extreme politics. Britain in the same period could be characterized as comparatively stable, a nation often wedded to established traditions in the face of economic, political and social developments. Yet throughout the period, there remained a lively interchange between the two countries. This conference proposes to look anew at the complicated and entangled cultural relationship between Britain and Germany in the first decades of the twentieth century.

With the end of the First World War, Britain was in the position of victor – yet it was Germany which was given the opportunity to forge a new society and a progressive republic, in which culture was to play a central role. The foundation of the Bauhaus in 1919 became perhaps the most influential articulation of this new optimism – distinctly German, it was nonetheless born from both British Arts and Crafts ideas and a desire to answer British nineteenth-century industrial dominance, as displayed at the Great Exhibition of 1851. During the 1920s and ‘30s, British figures from both ends of the political spectrum were drawn to Germany for inspiration. Many from the British art world were fascinated by Germany’s Weimar Republic, with its breaking down of social, cultural and artistic barriers. In the following decade, many in Britain were intrigued by the new National Socialist regime. With the arrival of émigrés fleeing Hitler in the years after 1933, Britain was exposed to a cross-section of German culture, in particular modernism. Britons and international artists – not limited to those holding German passports, but including those who had worked there – formed new groups and collaborations. By 1939 the countries were once again at war. Following World War II, modernism in Britain flourished in the arts with renewed vigour. The Festival of Britain in 1951, in which many of the German émigrés who had settled in Britain were involved, marked a high point of modernism in London.

This conference sets out to explore the connections between British and German culture during the period 1919-1951, in the fields of art, architecture, design and craft, photography, art history and theory, and art pedagogy. How did the British learn from and influence the Germans in these areas? How did the Germans learn from and influence the British? And what is the significance of these cultural connections today? We solicit 20-minute papers from scholars and museum professionals (at any stage of their careers) that set out to explore these questions.

Topics for proposed papers may include but are not limited to:
– The influence of British ideas in the culture of the Weimar Republic, and the extent to which Weimar ideas reached Britain
– Displacement of German artists, architects, designers, photographers to Britain after 1933, and the significance of time spent in Britain (including German émigrés who later emigrated elsewhere)
– The cultural impact of émigrés from National Socialism in Britain
– British official and individual responses to National Socialist cultural policy in the period 1933-1945, and attitudes towards British culture in National Socialist Germany
– The impact of Germany on post-war British culture
– The impact of Britain on post-war German culture, particularly in areas under British occupation
– German practitioners who studied, travelled or worked in Britain, or who drew influence from the country, and vice versa
– The impact of the German experience on a subsequent British work of art, building, or object, and vice versa
– Displays of German culture in Britain, and vice versa (governmental, museum, commercial, private)
– Collectors, patrons and supporters of German culture in Britain, and vice versa
– The awareness and impact of German cultural theory in Britain, and vice versa
– Perception of German culture in Britain, and vice versa
– The prevalence of ideas of “shared cultural heritage”

The conference will take place at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, on Friday 2 November and Saturday 3 November 2018.

Submissions are to be made by midnight GMT, Wednesday 15 November 2017, by email with the subject line “Sites of Interchange” to both of the organisers: Dr Robin Schuldenfrei (robin.schuldenfrei@courtauld.ac.uk) and Dr Lucy Wasensteiner (lucy.wasensteiner@courtauld.ac.uk).

Please combine in a single PDF file:
– A proposed title and abstract (max. 400 words) for a 20-minute paper
– A current CV

The conference is being organised on the occasion of the exhibition London 1938: A Statement for Modern German Art / London 1938: Ein Statement für die deutsche Kunst which will take place at the Wiener Library in London from 13 June to 31 August 2018 and at the Liebermann-Villa am Wannsee in Berlin from 7 October 2018 to 14 January 2019.

Funds will be available towards travel and hotel costs. The accepted papers may be considered for publication in a forthcoming edited volume.

Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Lecture: ‘Business As Usual and Unusual: Commercial Advertising During The Great War’

The 2017 HENG Special Lecture by Andrew McCarthy
Wednesday 1st November, 5.30-6.30
Pichette Auditorium
Pembroke College, Oxford

Pembroke’s Annual HENG “Special Lecture” will be given by Andrew McCarthy, bestselling author of The Huns have got my Gramophone.

Download poster: Business As Usual and Unusual poster

Lecture: “Shell Shock: Understanding Psychological Casualties from the Battlefield”, 25 October, 18.00

The McGovern Lecture 2017, Green Templeton College
6pm, Wednesday 25 October 2017

Professor Edgar Jones
Professor in the History of Medicine and Psychiatry, King’s College London

The scale of the First World War, and in particular the high numbers of killed and wounded, marked the conflict as one of the most significant events of the twentieth century. For the first time, psychiatric casualties were not only a medical priority but also presented as a military crisis. In a protracted war of attrition, shell shock had the capacity to erode morale and undermine the fighting strength of the major combatants. Some senior physicians, such as Gordon Holmes, interpreted shell shock in the absence of a head wound as little more than cowardice, whilst others, including Charles Myers and Frederick Mott, explored ideas of psychological vulnerability and sought to correlate its symptoms with traumatic exposure. Clinical presentations differed between armies. In the UK, shell shock was commonly represented as a movement disorder, characterised by tremor and unusual gaits. This stood in contrast to Germany and Italy where seizures and dissociated, soldier-like actions were more commonly reported. Possible explanations for these national differences will be discussed in the context of combat medical services.

E P Abraham Lecture Theatre
Green Templeton College
43 Woodstock Road
Oxford
Oxon
OX2 6HG
United Kingdom

More information here.

All are welcome, but booking is essential. Book your seat now!

Vacancy: Assistant Professor, Military History/War and Society, Virginia Tech

The History Department at Virginia Tech seeks applicants for a tenure-track position at the rank of assistant professor to begin in August 2018. Geographical focus and chronological period are open. We particularly encourage applicants who take a War and Society approach to military history, covering such topics as the social, cultural, political, technological, and economic dimensions of warfare; civilian-military and homefront-battlefield relations; the impact of war on soldiers, civilians, veterans, and the environment; and the causes, commemoration, and consequences of war.

Required qualifications include a Ph.D. in history or related field by the time of appointment; an ability to teach a survey course in modern military history and to develop new undergraduate and graduate courses; and a record demonstrating a promise of excellence in research and teaching. The successful candidate will be expected to make significant contributions to the department’s War and Society minor. S/he will also be expected to work effectively with a diverse community in support of Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community. Preference will be shown for candidates with experience related to the university’s transdisciplinary Integrated Security Destination Area; a commitment to the use of emerging technology and new media in teaching and research; the potential for obtaining external funding; and an interest in contributing to one or more of the department’s strengths in public history, race and gender, and the history of science, technology, medicine, and environment.

The successful candidate will engage in transdisciplinary research, curriculum, and/or outreach initiatives with other university faculty working in Virginia Tech’s Integrated Security Destination Area. The Integrated Security Destination Area is focused on understanding and fostering a world in which individuals, institutions, and nations are secured by technology and social systems that follow ethical principles and promote values of social justice. Faculty working together in this area are bringing a transdisciplinary approach to the complex range of human and systems security challenges. Visit provost.vt.edu/destination-areas.html for more information about Destination Areas.

The Carnegie Foundation classifies Virginia Tech as a university with “very high research activity,” and the History Department also has a strong record of excellence in teaching. The normal teaching load in the History Department is two courses per semester. Members of the department work closely with faculty in transdisciplinary programs, including Women’s and Gender Studies, Africana Studies, Science and Technology Studies, ASPECT/Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought. The department houses the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies (civilwar.vt.edu).

Located in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is the largest state-supported university in Virginia. Blacksburg, between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountain ranges, was voted a Top 10 “dream town” for outdoor activities by Outside Magazine, and declared the “Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids” by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law (http://www.vt.edu/about/equal-opportunity.html). For inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies, contact the Office of Equity and Access at 540-231-2010 or Virginia Tech, North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318), 300 Turner St. NW, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Virginia Tech encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities. The university also responds to the needs of dual career couples and has a variety of policies in place to provide flexibility for faculty careers.

Candidates must apply online at http://listings.jobs.vt.edu/postings/80695 and provide a letter of application, CV, an article-length writing sample (upload under “Other Doc”), a 1-2 page statement of teaching philosophy, a 1-2 page statement describing the applicant’s interest in and/or experience working with diverse groups and under represented populations (upload under “Doc 2”), and contact information for three references, who will be invited to submit their letters of recommendation online. Review of applications will begin on December 1, 2017.

For further information, contact Paul Quigley at pquigley@vt.edu

Registration open: Cultures and Commemorations of War: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series

Workshop One: Why Remember? War and Memory Today

Friday 10 November, 10am – 5.30pm
Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford
Funded by a British Academy Rising Stars Engagement Award

This interdisciplinary seminar series ‘Cultures and Commemorations of War’ brings together early career researchers and advanced scholars working on the memory of war in a range of disciplines with practitioners, policy makers, charities, and representatives from the media and culture and heritage industries. Through a series of three one-day workshops held in Oxford and London in 2017-18, this series aims to foster an interdisciplinary dialogue about the history and nature of war commemoration across time and its cultural, social, psychological and political iterations.

This first workshop seeks to assess the current field of war and memory studies and consider the impact of recent centenary commemorations, such as the ongoing First World War commemorations and the removal of confederate statues across the US. The morning workshop is led by ECRs and will include discussion of readings circulated two weeks before the event. It is open to everyone.

Registration is free and open to all! Please register here: bit.ly/2ihZd02

Any questions, please email: alice.kelly@rai.ox.ac.uk

10am: Coffee and Registration
10.30-12.30pm: Workshop led by ECRs – Kevin Waite, James Wallis, Emma Login, Alice Kelly
12.30-1.30pm: Lunch
1.30-1.45pm: Opening Remarks for Afternoon Session – Alice Kelly
1.45-3pm: Panel: The Materiality of Remembrance – Jennifer Iles & Layla Renshaw, chaired by Hanna Smyth
3-3.30pm: Coffee
3.30-4.30pm: Keynote – David Rieff, in conversation with Alice Kelly
4.30-5.30pm: Closing Roundtable – Elleke Boehmer, David Rieff, Adrian Gregory, Sara Haslam
5.30pm: Drinks, followed by dinner in college

Vacancy: Part-time Research Coordinator – ‘Lest We Forget’, Oxford

Faculty of English Language and Literature, Oxford
Grade 5: £24,565 p.a. (pro rata)
Vacancy ID: 131367

The Faculty of English Language and Literature seeks to appoint a research co-ordinator for the ‘Lest We Forget’ project. The project sets out to crowd-source content from the public related to the First World War collecting the material for free reuse online. This will be a national project co-ordinating local digital collection days across the country run by volunteers in which members of the local community will bring in material they own related to the war for digitisation.

The postholder will work primarily on co-ordinating the project activities, liaising with volunteers, and keeping the project plan. The successful candidate will possess excellent organisational skills, have experience in social media and online communications, and some experience of project delivery. It is particularly suitable for someone interested in working with project management and outreach and/or interested in WW1.

Since this is a part-time post (0.2FTE – 7.25 hours per week), it is recognised that there will be a need to prioritise different areas at different times, and the precise allocation of duties and hours will be decided in consultation with the Project Director.

Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. You will be required to upload a supporting statement as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday on 18 October 2017.

CfP: Close Encounters in War – Special Issue

Close Encounters in War Journal is a new independent and peer-reviewed journal aimed at studying war as a human experience, through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches ranging from the Humanities to the Social Sciences. The launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War Journal will be a Special Issue dedicated specifically to irregular warfare and titled “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”.

Wars in general are cultural phenomena, among the most ancient and deeply rooted aspects of human cultural evolution: investigating their meaning, by reflecting on the ways we experience wars and conflicts as human beings is therefore essential. Conflict is deeply intertwined with language, culture, instincts, passions, behavioural patterns and with the human ability to represent concepts aesthetically. The concept of “encounter” is therefore fundamental as it involves experience, and as a consequence it implies the idea that the fact of encountering war shapes and develops our minds and affects our behaviour, questioning habits and values, prejudices and views of the world.

One of the most ancient types of warfare is what today is referred to as ‘irregular warfare’, as opposed to ‘conventional warfare’, which is a relatively more recent development. The combat strategies and tactics used by tribal warriors, modern guerrillas, resistance fighters and terrorists have recently been attracting the attention of military historians, strategists and intelligence experts due to the widespread terror threat, but how do human beings experience this particular type of warfare? Does it seem more threatening and scary because it can involve civilians more deeply? or because it blurs the traditional idea of war as open confrontation with a recognisable enemy? What drives non-combatants to arm themselves and become fighters? Is irregular warfare more violent, brutal and dehumanising than conventional warfare and if so, why? What is their cultural, linguistic and anthropological impact? And finally, is irregular warfare adopted also by regular armies? What is the impact of such warfare on the war-experience of the combatants involved?

For the launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War we invite articles which investigate irregular and asymmetric conflicts from ancient times to modern and contemporary periods, reaching beyond the study of military tactics and strategy and focusing on the way human beings ‘encounter’ with and within this type of armed conflict. Contributions are invited to promote discussion and scholarly research from established scholars, early-career researchers, and from practitioners who have encountered irregular warfare in the course of their activities.

The topics which can be investigated include but are not limited to:

Irregular, asymmetric and unconventional warfare
Insurgency and counterinsurgency
Resistance and partisan war
Terrorism and counter-terrorism
Violence and trauma
Cultural encounters and identity
Representations of otherness, race, and gender
Religion and politics
Testimonies, witness-representations, oral history and memory studies

The editors of Close Encounters in War invite the submission of 3-500 words abstracts in English by 15th November 2017. Decisions will be made by 2nd January 2018 and the completed articles (6000-8000 words including footnotes, bibliography excluded, in English) will be expected by 15th April 2018. All contributions will go under a process of blind peer-review.

Contact Info:
The editors of CEIW Journal can be contacted via the website
or at:
simona.tobia@closeencountersinwar.com
gianluca.cinelli@closeencountersinwar.com