CfP: The Fictional First World War: Imagination and Memory Since 1914

The Fictional First World War: Imagination and Memory Since 1914
An International Conference at the Centre for the Novel
Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen, 6-9 April 2017

Plenary Speakers: Oliver Kohns, University of Luxembourg; Randall Stevenson, University of Edinburgh; and Steven Trout, University of South Alabama

The First World War was a very real event. However, since August 1914, authors have been writing their own versions of it. During the war, novels and short stories shaped public opinion about the conflict. After its close, fiction became a means of recalling and re-examining events. The war was ‘fictional’ in other ways too. Many supposedly truthful accounts of the war, whether in newspaper reports or in personal memoirs, were not as factual as they seemed. Wartime writing in combatant nations was heavily censored; post-war writing was often flawed by the passing of time and the experience of trauma. So, while the war of 1914-18 is often recalled through poetry, the fictions of the war offer challenging perspectives, and raise powerful questions about experience and art.

Proposals for panels and individual papers are invited by Friday 16 December 2016.
Please send to the Conference Chair: Professor Hazel Hutchison, University of Aberdeen:
More information at:

Conference flyer: ffww-call-for-papers

Exhibition: ‘Beyond the Western Front’, The Glass Tank, Oxford Brookes University

Beyond the Western Front: Exploring Hidden Histories of the First World War
The Glass Tank, Abercrombie Atrium, Oxford Brookes University
Fri 18 Nov – Fri 16 Dec 2016

Please see here for information on the exhibition and to download the exhibition catalogue.

Tudor Georgescu (Oxford Brookes), in collaboration with Stephen Barker and the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (Sofo), and the Centre for Hidden Histories at the University of Nottingham, present a special exhibition exploring the hidden histories of the First World War, as seen through the prism of the Ox and Bucks battalions’ experiences of the Italian, Balkan, Middle Eastern and Russian campaigns.

This exhibition goes beyond the well-trodden trenches of the Western Front, revealing a fascinating and intimate history of the First World War – one that also lucidly illustrates the global dimensions of WWI and our own role therein.

Three interconnecting sections investigate this rich legacy: The research projects conducted by the Sofo and Brookes volunteers that explore personal histories found in the museum archives; the artefacts on loan from the museum that are such impressive material legacies of the war; and the stereoscopic pictures converted to 3D anaglyphs that reinvent these remarkable images and make them accessible to a wider audience.

Ultimately, the exhibit aims to be an informal, engaging space in which to rediscover a remarkable perspective on the history of the First World War, and to encourage a conversation about what it means to us during the centenary commemorations and beyond.

Film screening of ’66 Men of Grandpont 1914-18′, Brasenose College, 22 November, 5:30pm – 6:30pm

Tuesday 22 November, 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Brasenose College, Lecture Room XI

Free screening of ’66 Men of Grandpont 1914-18′, a 40-minute documentary film produced as part of an innovative community history project commemorating the 66 men named on the First World War memorial in St Matthew’s Church in Grandpont, South Oxford. The film outlines men’s experiences at the front and explores the impact of the First World War on one small and ordinary suburban community. It also describes Oxford during the period and emphasises the links between local and international history.

“Terrific; a very powerful piece of local history and some remarkable stories.”
Tom Buchanan, Professor of Modern British and European History, University of Oxford, May 2016

For more information on the project see:

Watch a trailer of the film here:

An exhibition about the 66 Men of Grandpont continues in the Cathedral at Christ Church until 25 November.

New article: ‘Frederick Coates: First World War Facial Architect’

‘Frederick Coates: First World War Facial Architect’ by Dr. Marjorie Gehrhardt and Dr Suzanne Steele has just been published online in the Journal of War & Culture Studies. It will appear in print in January 2017.

The role of artists in the First World War is often understood only in terms of their artistic response to the conflict in paint, music, or sculpture. In fact, artists’ contributions were also engaged at an applied level, for example in the areas of propaganda, camouflage, and map-making. Beyond this, a small number participated in repairing the damage caused by the conflict. Frederick Coates, a British-born sculptor who emigrated to Canada in 1913, enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and worked alongside surgeons and other artists to try and help give new features to facially injured combatants. Drawing upon unpublished photographs and scrapbooks, this article investigates Coates’s war experience and his contribution to the reconstruction of broken faces. Through a close examination of this ‘facial architect’, as Coates was called, this article gives an insight into the work performed in maxillofacial hospitals and underlines the importance of cross-national, multi-disciplinary collaboration.

The authors hope that the article will promote a far greater understanding of the artist’s engagement with the war effort beyond camouflage, map making, and other more conventional war artist roles, and will broaden the field from one that, until this research, has primarily focussed on Harold Gillies, Tonks, and Derwent Wood et al. The research has revealed networks of collaboration, influence, and convergence within the artistic and surgical operations during the Great War.

Graduate Scholarship on the United States and World War One

One scholarship (2017-2020) is available for applicants who are ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and who are applying to a D.Phil. in History, specialising in the United States and the First World War.

The scholarship will provide at least £18,000 per annum to cover course fees, college fees and a grant for living costs. Awards are made for the full duration of fee liability for the course. The scholarship is funded by the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) in association with the Faculty of History’s Globalising and Localising the Great War (GLGW) programme and Pembroke College, and is made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Rothermere Foundation.

The scholarship will be known as the Captain Hon. Harold Alfred Vyvyan St. George Harmsworth Graduate Scholarship on the United States and World War One.

The holder of the scholarship will be part of the RAI’s and GLGW’s community of scholars, working alongside leading academics and graduate students exploring various aspects of the United States in the early 20th century and the First World War.

We wish to encourage applications for proposed doctoral theses to be based in the History Faculty that focus on the United States and the genesis or implications of the First World War. The time period can encompass the long durée of 1900-1930.

Application – via University application form for graduate study by 12 noon UK time (midday) on Friday 20 January 2017

Advert: harmsworth-graduate-scholarship-advert-final

For more information on The RAI’s American History page, visit
For more information on Pembroke College, visit
For more information on the Faculty of History, visit
For more information on GLGW, visit
To apply, visit the University of Oxford Application Guide:

Event: The Men who went to War, Sunday 20 November, 14.30-18.00

The Men who went to War from the Parishes of St Margaret’s, St Giles’ and St Matthew’s, 1914-1919.

A free event will take place at the St Margaret’s Institute on Polstead Road in North Oxford this coming Sunday afternoon, 20th November, from 14.30-18.00, to commemorate the end of the Battle of the Somme.

Poster: the-men-who-went-to-war-poster

The event includes a showing of the 1916 film ‘The Battle of the Somme’ (with original score) plus exhibitions and short talks about three community history projects to do with WWI in Oxford. There will also be a showing the documentary film ’66 men of Grandpont 1914-18′.

For further information contact Liz Woolley, 01865 242760,

Please pass this information on to anyone else who you think might be interested.

Remembering a Democratic Legacy of the Great War in Interwar India

A blog by Stephen Legg, Professor of Historical Geography, University of Nottingham, has been published on the Imperial and Global Forum. The blog is based upon his article, ‘Dyarchy’, which was recently published in the journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

In 2019, India will embark upon a uniquely postcolonial set of centenaries. During the Great War the Defence of India Act (1915) had given the Government of India exceptional powers to silence dissent and crush any nascent “terrorist” or “revolutionary” movement. So effective had the powers proven, against both radical and moderate nationalists, that there were many within the colonial state who sought their extension into peace time. The “Rowlatt” (Anarchical and Revolutionary Crimes) Act of 1919 attempted this, and the resistance against the act was led by the ex-lawyer and future-Mahatma, Mr MK Gandhi. The centenary of the Rowlatt “Satyagraha” (the name for Gandhi’s non-violent, political “truth-force”, protest movement) will doubtless be commemorated by the Congress party and many others in India.

Full blog here.