International Society for First World War Studies Conference

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Following the success of previous events, the International Society for First World War Studies is delighted to announce its 9th conference, to be held at the University of Oxford in November 2016. The conference will explore the theme of ‘War Time’. 2016, as the midpoint of the First World War formal centenary period, marks a significant opportunity to reexamine and reflect upon the ways that time has been conceptualised both during the war itself and in the hundred years of scholarship that have followed.

Traditionally, periodisation has been considered a useful framework for understanding the war. This has neglected a plurality of timelines, both within the years of conflict and those which traverse and connect pre- and post-war narratives. The war marked a rupture in the way individuals experienced time, and interrupted usual rhythms and patterns. The conference will seek to reveal and contextualise new chronologies, pursued along flexible and multiple timelines. All approaches (social, cultural, military, etc) and disciplinary perspectives are welcome. We invite papers which address aspects of the following themes, particularly through comparative and transnational lenses:

  • communication and time (including methods and posthumous communication)
  • desynchronised and/or simultaneous relationships (between hemispheres, between fronts, across spaces)
  • the war’s effect upon conceptions of age groups, life cycles, and rites of passage
  • processes of evolution, development, learning curves, and cycles of learning
  • materiality of time
  • varying perceptions and experiences of time: pauses, waiting, anticipation, suspensions, time
  • slowing down, boredom, time stopping, ‘the end of times’, losing/lost time, running out of time
  • institutional measures to control time (such as differing calendars, curfews, time zone boundarychanges, and the introduction of Daylight Savings Time)
  • war generations, e.g. ‘lost generations’
  • military coordination and precision

Conference papers will be circulated in advance to all attendees. Panels will focus on discussion rather than presentation; each paper’s time-slot will commence with a commentary, before the floor is opened to broader discussion in order to promote engaging and
interdisciplinary conversations. 


Globalising and Localising the Great War

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Audience: Open to all