1914-1944: Clashing Anniversaries or Multi-Directional Memories
A one day conference on the competition and negotiation of the past
June 13, 2014
Cloisters Room, University of Chichester
This one-day conference is inspired by the relationship between the two significant commemorative events of 2014; the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 and the D-Day landings of June 1944. Both dates serve as important markers in the history and memory of Britain and Europe and their coincidence provides an intriguing context to examine issues of culture, politics and power within the activities of remembrance in wider society. Despite the consequence attached to these two dates, with the limitations of time and finances placed on institutions, the ever-shifting political interest in commemoration and the weariness of a public saturated with memory, there is a fear that these significant moments will be set against one another, rather than placed in contrast and comparison.
This conference will address these concerns but it will also directly consider why certain events are accorded significance and value over others and how that might shape value, habits and ideals. For example, with the advent of the First World War anniversaries, will the remembrance of the Second World War diminish or perhaps be relegated to the periphery? In these circumstances, what effect will this have on politics, culture and society in contemporary Britain and Europe?
The concept of ‘simultaneous anniversaries’ is forwarded to describe this potentially highly productive arena for research, as we seek to evaluate these two events and the possible ways in which new practices of memory may alter or challenge established structures of commemoration. The conference also proposes to be a starting point for discussion of comparable anniversary clashes, collisions and alignments, including the First World War and the 1916 Easter Uprising; the anniversaries of 1917 as a year of war and revolution; as well as other less well known commemorative intersections, overlaps and clashes.
09:00 – 10:00 Registration: Tea/Coffee
10:00 – 10:30 Welcome and discussion: Dr Hugo Frey and Dr Ross Wilson
10:30 to 11:30 Plenary Session: : Professor Max Silverman, University of Leeds
11:30 to 12:30: Session One:
Dr Andreas Boldt, National University of Ireland, Maynooth National and European anniversaries and memories: a comparison of collective memory between Ireland, Britain and Germany
Professor Kirrily Freeman, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada Amusez-Vous Bien Vichyssois: Great War Memories and the Politics of Identity in Vichy
12:30 to 13:30 Lunch
13:30 to 15:30 Session Two
Dr Ailsa Grant Ferguson, National Theatre Burdened remembrances: Shakespeare’s tercentenary and the first Anzac Day, 1916
Professor Maggie Andrews, University of Worcester ‘For Home and Country’: the overriding appeal of commemorating the First World War
Emma Login, PhD Student, University of Birmingham The memorialisation of multiple anniversaries in First World War France
Alwyn Turner, University of Chichester The Last Post: Music and Remembrance
15:30 to 16:00 – Tea/Coffee
16:00 to 17:00 Plenary Session
Dr Silke Arnold-de Simine, Birkbeck, University of London Between Memory and Silence, between Trauma and Nostalgia, between Family and Nation: Remembering the First World War
We are delighted to welcome you all to the conference this summer and to the University of Chichester.
If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact Ross Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org / (+44) 01243 812191.