The Great War in Central and Eastern Europe: Politics, Culture and Society


Annual Conference

School of History and Archives and Centre for War Studies
University College Dublin
9 – 10 May 2014

Call for Papers

The War on the Eastern Front is less developed in the English-language historiography and has impinged less on popular consciousness than the war in the West. This conference is devoted to World War I in the borderlands of empire, in the Balkans, Austria-Hungary and Tsarist Russia. We are aiming for an inter-disciplinary approach, and contributions from students of literature, art and culture as well as history are solicited.

Of particular interest are the following themes and questions, on which contributions would be particularly welcome: how did soldiers experience war and how did they remember it? What was the experience of POWs, especially in Russia and how did it affect them and their transition to civilian life after the war? How were civilians affected by war and, in some cases, occupation or displacement? What were the key markers of vulnerability: gender? age? ethnicity? How did people cope with war and what survival strategies did they adopt? How did the authorities respond? What was the effect (if any?) on earlier political configurations and values? Was the experience of war a solvent in terms of pre-war culture and values?

The war coincided with or accelerated a broader cultural shift to modernism. How widespread was this trend, how evenly – or unevenly – distributed and what was its significance? What forms did it take in these regions and why? Is it best understood in terms of social and cultural crisis or was the war merely coincidental?

Did the lingering fault-lines and fractures of World War I help to undermine stability and political institutions in the interwar period? What is the relation between the violence of the war and that of 1939-45? Finally, how was the war remembered and commemorated (or, in some cases) largely forgotten?

Abstracts of c.4-500 words should be sent to by 30 October 2013.



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