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.

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

CfP: Meredith College Symposium on World War I

Meredith College and the North Carolina Museum of History announce an interdisciplinary symposium April 6-8, 2017 on the local, national, and global experience of World War I. We seek papers offering multiple perspectives on the conflict, from the front lines to the home fronts, addressing issues of politics, economics, race, gender, class, culture, and the military. We also encourage submissions from both graduate and undergraduate students for specialized panels.

Proposals for papers should include email address, brief CV with institutional affiliation, paper title, and a one-paragraph abstract to guide the program committee in the assembly of panels. Whole panel proposals are also welcome; these should include the titles of each individual paper as well as a title for the panel itself and identifying information (email address and brief CV with institutional affiliation) for all participants.

Please share this information with all interested faculty and students; direct any questions and submit proposals via email attachments to amarritt@meredith.edu.

The deadline for submission is January 15, 2017.
Conference URL

THE book review: Geert Buelens on the poetry of the Great War

Times Higher Education‘s book of the week is Geert Buelens’ Everything to Nothing. Deborah Longworth provides a review of this study of the interrelation of politics and poetry.

Everything to Nothing: The Poetry of the Great War, Revolution and the Transformation of Europe
By Geert Buelens
Translated by David McKay
Verso, 400pp, £20.00
ISBN 9781784781491 and 1507 (e-book)
Published 2 November 2015

For the THE review, please see here.