CFP INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE UNDEFENDED NEUTRALITY: THE CULTURE OF PEACE IN EUROPE DURING THE GREAT WAR

CFP INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 

UNDEFENDED NEUTRALITY: THE CULTURE OF PEACE IN EUROPE DURING THE GREAT
WAR_ 

Venue: 

DEPARTMENT OF CONTEMPORARY HISTORY 

FACULTY OF GEOGRAPHY AND HISTORY 

UNIVERSITY OF SEVILLE 

26TH-27TH NOVEMBER 2014 

        CONFERENCE RATIONALE: 

In August 1914 the European powers were drawn into a conflict that
blurred frontiers all over the Old Continent and invalidated the
international order under construction. Until then, the establishment of
laws of war had apparently demonstrated the European nations' commitment
to the modern ideals of progress and civilization. Actually, the two
Hague Conferences (1899, 1907) had traced an unsuccessful path to a
system of regulative cooperation between states. However, despite the
peacekeeping failure, the rhetoric of peace -actively promoted by
pre-war pacifism campaigns- forced warring states to justify publicly
their entry into the conflict. Therefore, from the very onset, the
question of war guilt assumed special emotional importance in
belligerent societies. So, the controversy around international
responsibilities had a momentous impact on the contemporary perceptions
of war, going far beyond the armistice. 

Particularly, Germany's role continues to be most controversial. But
even so, major interpretations are still based on Fischer's claims that
Berlin's "grasp for world power" was the main reason for the European
catastrophe. Moreover, the pictures of "the Rape" of Belgian neutrality
gave a depiction of the German assault on international rights and
humanitarian principles. So the aggression against neutrality set one of
the primary stages for discussing issues of legal liability and moral
culpability, with also significant developments in the field of war
propaganda. In general warfare demonstrated that categorical imperatives
had little to do with international realities, because laws turned out
to be relative, flexible and adaptable depending on the political,
economic and geostrategic interests at stake. The illusory safety that
rested upon the presumable inviolability of international laws was
challenged "_by the perpetration of all kind of acts in contravention of
every written and unwritten law that stood in the way of belligerent
targets_". 

In such a view, for instance, the economics also had a deep impact on
initial belligerent actions towards neutrals. German _Mitteleuropa_ and
the British blockade were two main issues in political and diplomatic
correspondence between belligerent and neutral powers. The latter
challenged the argument that the British went to war to safeguard the
rights of neutral and small nations. So the winners' narratives of war
might be reviewed from the neutral side as well. So what did neutrality
mean in a war context where "_might was right_"? Overall, the integrity
of neutral rights depended not only on the wishes and expectations of
warring states but also "_on the actual means and skills to follow the
behaviour expected of a neutral state"_. 

On these bases, the neutrality remains an understudied topic by
comparison to those related to belligerent societies, which have
traditionally been the focus of the international scholarship.
Generally, historians of the conflict have marginalized the role of
neutrals as much as the historians from neutral countries had failed to
care the role of total war. Within the centennial of the First World
War, the neutral question thus continues to be open to discussion.
Nations and their people often viewed the conflict from different
perspectives. For instance, Spanish historiography of the war has been
dominated by a national perspective focusing on the collapse in the
Restaurationist system between 1917 and 1923. But this primary domestic
approach tends to neglect the consequences of total war within a
transnational context. Actually, the place of Spanish neutrality in the
general map of the conflict is worthy of further consideration, widening
the scope of the research from a comparative European perspective and
crossing perceptions and expectations of peace and war. 

 This international conference, open around neutrality in the general
framework of the First World War, will discuss the significance of total
war for the European learning curve as well as for collective
expectations of integration in the XXth century. 

We invite and welcome papers proposals on the following lines and
topics: 

1. NEUTRAL EXPERIENCES OF WAR IN A GLOBAL WORLD 

2. THE FAILURE OF EUROPE. A CIVILIAN WAR? 

3. INTELLECTUALS AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE   

4. RELIGIOUS INTERNATIONALISM AND THE ROLE OF THE NATIONAL CHURCHES 

5. PROPAGANDA ISSUES. WAGING A WAR OF WORDS AND IMAGES 

6. SOCIAL AND CIVIC MOVEMENTS. THE MOBILIZATION FROM BELLOW  

7. GENDER HISTORY 

8. HISTORY OF EMOTIONS 

9. EUROPE AND "THE THIRD OPTION". LAW AND CONFLICT 

The meeting will include papers given by invited speakers and
presentations submitted through a call for papers. 

PAPER SUBMISSION 

The paper submission will include the abstract and contact details. We
would kindly ask to keep a limit of 350 words for the proposal. We also
expect a short academic cv from the applicants. 

ALL PROPOSALS FOR PAPERS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TO:
NEUTRALITYCONFERENCE@US.ES 

CONFERENCE LANGUAGES: ENGLISH, SPANISH. 

The evaluation of the submitted proposals will be ensured by the
Scientific Committee of the Conference. 

After notification of acceptance, a Conference fee in amount of EUR 80
will have to be paid until 15th August 2014. The Organizing Committee
will announce the bank account to the selected participants in due
course. 

TIMELINE 

15TH MARCH 2014 – DISSEMINATION OF THE CALL OF PAPERS 

15TH JUNE 2014 – PAPER SUBMISSION CLOSING 

15TH JULY 2014 – NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE 

15TH AUGUST 2014– REGISTRATION FORM AND PARTICIPATION FEE 

26TH-27TH NOVEMBER 2014– INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE 

Dr. Rafael Sánchez Mantero (Universidad de Sevilla) 

Dr. Alfonso Botti (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia) 

Dr. Inmaculada Cordero Olivero (Universidad de Sevilla) 

Dr. Maximiliano Fuentes Codera (Universidad de Girona) 

Dr. Carolina García Sanz (EEHARoma-CSIC) 

Dr. José Antonio Montero Jiménez (Universidad Complutense Madrid) 

Dr. Ana Paula Pires (Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas -
Universidade Nova de Lisboa) 

Dr. José-Leonardo Ruiz Sánchez (Universidad de Sevilla)

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