2016 Conference

The First World War: Commemoration and Memory

Read the report of our conference, which took place at IWM North on 26 and 27 February, 2016 here.

Keynote addresses:

Maggie Andrews: Gendering Remembrance: The Home Front in Contemporary Media and Community Engagement with the First World War

Helen McCartney: The First World War in 2014 -15: new commemoration projects, new public narratives?

Jay Winter: Remembering the Great War: A Trans-National Approach

Click the titles above to read abstracts for each of these papers.

The First World War: Commemoration and Memory

Friday 26 February 2016

Venue: IWM North, Manchester, United Kingdom

Conference Programme

10:00 – 10:25 Registration

10:25 – 10:30 Introduction

10:30 – 12:00 Parallel Sessions 1


Anna Branach-Kallas (Nicolaus Copernicus University): ‘Comparing Homefronts: Female Protagonists and Family Trauma in British, French and Canadian Contemporary Great War Fiction’

Jonathan Black (Kingston University): ‘‘Stand Fast’: Masculinity and Heroism in Representations of the Great War British ‘Tommy’ on War Memorials in the North-West of England’

Jack Davies (University of Kent): ‘‘Disremembered Deviants’: Women, discipline and crime in the First World War hospital’

Precedents and Legacies

Nick Mansfield (University of Central Lancashire): ‘Connections between Great Wars: 1642, 1805 and 1914’

Jenny Macleod (University of Hull): ‘The Gallipoli Centenary in Comparative Perspective’

Joel Morley (Queen Mary, London): ‘Hearing Veterans’ narratives in interwar Britain’

12:00 – 12:15 Break

12:15 – 13:15 Parallel Sessions 2


Jason Bate (Falmouth University): ‘Albums and Ambiguities: Renegotiating the cultural memory of facially injured soldiers from the First World War’

Emily Bartlett (University of Kent): ‘Blind Botanists and Sympathetic Smokers: Consuming Charity in Interwar Britain’

North-West Showcase

Keith Vernon (University of Central Lancashire): ‘The Harris Institute at War: Education, opportunity and community in Preston during the First World War’

Ian Gregory & Corinna Peniston-Bird (Lancaster University):‘Streets of Mourning, Lancaster: The impact of First World War casualties on a northern town’

13:15 – 14:15 Lunch

14:15 – 15:15 Parallel Sessions 3

Material Culture

Sonja Andrew (University of Manchester): ‘Memory and Perception: A Visual Narrative of Conscientious Objection in World War I’

Hanna Smyth (University of Oxford): ‘Identities Set in Stone? The Vimy Ridge and Delville Wood Memorials as Sites of Hybridity’

Forgotten Episodes

Florence Largillière (Queen Mary, London): ‘French Jewish Veterans and the First World War in the 1930s’

Christophe Declercq (University College, London): ‘Forgetfulness and the Belgians in Britain during the First World War’

15:15 – 15:30 Break

15:30 – 16:30 Keynote address

Helen McCartney (King’s College London): ‘The First World War in 2014-15: new commemoration projects, new public narratives?’

16:30 Conference closes

Saturday 27 February 2016

09:00 – 09:25 Registration

09:25 – 09:30 Introduction

09:30 – 10:10 Keynote address

Jay Winter (Yale University): ‘Remembering the Great War: A Trans-National Approach’

10:10 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:45 Parallel Sessions 1

Global Perspectives

Santanu Das (King’s College London): ‘Not So Quiet: Race, Memory and First World War Centennial Commemoration’

Burcin Cakir (Glasgow Caledonian University): ‘Gallipoli in Turkish Literature: Myth, Memory and/or Reality?’

Richard Smith (Goldsmiths, London): ‘Locating the memory of British West Indian First World War military service’


Arabella Hobbs (University of Pennsylvania): ‘Transcendental Healing: Mending France’s Gueule Cassée’

Gethin Matthews (Swansea University): ‘Welsh Chapel Memorials’

Caitriona McCartney (Durham University): ‘British Sunday Schools and the First World War: Commemoration and Memory’

11:45 – 12:00 Break

12:00 – 13:00 Parallel Sessions 2

Cultural Representations

Michael Paris (University of Central Lancashire): ‘The Same Old Story: The Great War, Docudrama, and British Television’

Suzie Hanna & Alisa Miller (Norwich University of the Arts): ‘Tripwire: War Wounds, Survival and Memory in the Twentieth Century’

Roundtable discussion

Chair: Alison Fell (University of Leeds)

A small panel of experts will consider how academics and communities can work together to research the First World War; what the benefits of such collaborations are; and consider some of the challenges such projects face as the centenary of the conflict progresses. Participants to include: Karen Brookfield (Heritage Lottery Fund); Rosemary Collins (Open University); Keith Lilley (Living Legacies 1914-1918; Michael Noble (Centre for Hidden Histories); Liz Woolley (Independent Researcher)

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

During the lunch hour, delegates will have the opportunity to view and discuss the display boards, and there will be two presentations of creative works inspired by the First World War:

Dawn Cole: ‘The Silence of Knitting’

Ian Kirkpatrick & Lucy Moore: ‘Minutiae into the Moment: Graphic Design, Sculpture and the First World War’

14:00 – 15:00 Keynote address

Maggie Andrews (University of Worcester): ‘Gendering Remembrance: The Home Front in Contemporary Media and Community Engagement with the First World War’

15:00 – 15:15 Break

15:15 – 16:45 Parallel Sessions 3

Commonwealth Commemorations

Catriona Pennell (University of Exeter): ‘The First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours and the normalisation of conflict amongst young people in England’

Penny Edwell (Australian Defence Force Academy): ‘Beneath a national narrative: How individual and community based World War I commemorative projects can shed light on the prominence of the Great War in Australian history’

Teresa Iacobelli (Queen’s University, Kingston): ‘Creating Memory: Commemoration, Popular Media and Evolving Narratives of the Great War’

Transmitted Legacies

Geoff Cubitt (University of York) & Jessica Moody (University of Portsmouth): ‘The Meanings of Remembering: Museum Visitors, Commemoration and the First World War in 2014’

Jessica Hammett (University of Sussex): ‘The role of small groups in remembering the First World War’

Vincent Trott (Open University): ‘‘The War and the Younger Generation’: literature, young men, and the memory of the First World War during the interwar years’

16:45 – 17:00 Break

17:00 – 18:30 Parallel Sessions 4

Sites of Memory

Laura Brandon (Canadian War Museum): ‘‘A hubristic act of arrogant unoriginality’: the public debate over Canada’s ‘Never Forgotten National Memorial’’

Emma Login (University of Birmingham): ‘‘A serious thing for serious events’: changing attitudes towards memorialisation, 1914-2014’

Karen Shelby (Baruch College, City University of New York): ‘The Lange Max Museum: A German Presence in West Flanders’

Uncomfortable Pasts

Matthias Meirlaen (Université Lille 3) & Karla Vanraepenbusch (Université Catholique de Louvain): ‘Memoryscapes of Violence: First World War execution sites in occupied Belgium and France’

Emile Coetzee (North West University): ‘‘A Tale of Two Graves’: The story of Lance-Corporal Wijnand “Vic” Hamman, 2nd South African Infantry’

Kamil Ruszala (Jagiellonian University): ‘Sites of World War I memory in Galicia: from mythologizing the Gorlice-Tarnów campaign battlefield into (non) remembrance’

18:30 Conference concludes