Perspectives on the “Great” War
Rückblick auf den Ersten Weltkrieg

Queen Mary, University of London
August 1.-4. 2014

Following an initial announcement and having found a considerable level of interest, we are now able to provide further information about this interdisciplinary conference.

We apologize for future multiple cross-postings. It is our intention to host a major event which will stimulate and support scholarship well into the future. We therefore aim to advertise widely and repeatedly. The ideal objective will be the formation of an international scholarly community with its own digital presence and programme of events to follow up what could be an initial gathering of colleagues with similar interests.

The key-note speakers will be:

- Professor Elza Adamowicz (London)   
- Professor Christopher Clark (Cambridge)
- Professor Jonathan Steinberg (Pennsylvania)
- Professor Sam Williamson (Sewanee History Project)

Broad Topics

Political and military history; colonial history; social and cultural history; religious history; medical science and technology; historiography; discourse analysis; legacy, memory and 21st-century cultural reflexes. Within these areas, the following perspectives have presented themselves for debate:

- the perspectives of Germany and Austria, Great Britain, the U.S.A, Ireland, the Middle East and India, Australia and New Zealand, the African colonies of both Germany and Britain; the Balkan, Polish and Russian perspectives and the Spanish, Italian and Portuguese perspectives
- the Jewish perspective
- confessional perspectives
- the perspectives of occupied territories
- gendered perspectives
- the perspectives of artists, including Otto Dix, A.Y. Jackson
- the perspectives of various authors, including Bertha von Suttner, Alfred Döblin, Ernst Jünger, Robert Musil
- the Nazi perspective

Within the above broad topics and perspectives, papers on the following specific themes have been offered:

British cinema, tourism, advertising, art, literature, memory, occupation, resistance, espionage and collaboration

We have received many offers to chair panels and will approach the generous colleagues in due course.


Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words, including references. It will be of great assistance to the organisers if proposals are as concise as possible (i.e. fitting onto one sheet of A4 paper). The deadline for submission of abstracts is 1st September 2012.

Conference Web-site

A conference web-site will be set up very shortly and we will send a link to all those colleagues on our mailing list. We also hope to organize an H-Net (or similar) presence very soon.

Funding and fees

Our university will be able to provide some funding, but cannot promise to fund the entire event or pay speakers' expenses. We may therefore have to charge a fee to cover our internal expenses, but we will keep this as small as possible. We will charge a reduced fee for students.

Once we have drawn up a provisional programme we will be able to apply for additional funding from the usual suspects. In the past we have received funding from the German Embassy, the Austrian Cultural Forum and Queen Mary's School of Languages, Linguistics and Film. Any further ideas as to whom we may approach (or, indeed, generous offers of support!) will be welcomed. At our last conference we were awarded a grant just one week before the conference took place and we were therefore able to pay for all meals, so there is always hope that we will find generous sponsors if we keep trying.


We cannot promise to publish all conference papers, but we intend at the very least to produce one collection of refereed articles. We have already received one promising offer, and we will compare this with those from other publishers over the following months.

Further desiderata

Someone to speak on digital resources; for more German and French colleagues to hear about the event; offers of collaboration from interested institutions,

Please continue to address all inquiries to

Prof. Felicity Rash
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Dr Falco Pfalzgraf
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