CFP: The First World War and coalition warfare

 

[Version française ci-dessous]

Early-Career Researchers Conference

The Centre d’Histoire des sociétés, des sciences et des conflits (CHSSC) at the Université de Picardie-Jules Verne (France) and the Department of History at the University of Warwick (UK), in partnership with the French Institute in London, are holding a one-day conference for early-career researchers on Thursday 15th December 2016.

The conference aims to foster Franco-British collaboration and to establish a network of French and British early-career scholars of the First World War. Following on from a successful event in 2015, this conference will bring together postgraduate students and post-doctoral researchers based at French and British research institutions.

Our conference will consider the First World War as coalition warfare.

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Géographies de la Première Guerre mondiale

 

Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 2016/1 (71e année). 336 pages.
ISSN : 0395-2649
ISSN en ligne : 1953-8146
ISBN : 9782713225116

Compagnon Olivier, Purseigle Pierre, « Géographies de la mobilisation et territoires de la belligérance durant la Première Guerre mondiale »

Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 1/2016 (71e année) , p. 37-64
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-annales-2016-1-page-37.htm

Prenant acte du fait que l’histoire globale de la Première Guerre mondiale n’en est encore qu’à ses balbutiements, cet article propose de « déseuropéaniser » l’historiographie du conflit en dépassant la dialectique des « centres » et des « périphéries » et en combinant les échelles spatiales de l’analyse. D’une part, il s’agit de déplacer le regard depuis les théâtres européens de la guerre vers des espaces communément considérés comme marginaux, mais dont l’éloignement de l’épicentre des combats n’empêcha pourtant pas qu’ils soient parcourus de tensions directement liées au conflit et qu’ils connaissent des mutations majeures entre 1914 et 1918. D’autre part, il convient également de placer la focale sur des objets de recherche tels que l’environnement, les ressources naturelles ou les diasporas, qui se prêtent particulièrement bien à des approches émancipées des cadres nationaux de la réflexion et permettent de restituer l’impact global de la Grande Guerre. De cette double démarche émergent ainsi les bases d’une nouvelle géographie des mobilisations et de la belligérance entre 1914 et 1918, susceptible de rendre compte du caractère authentiquement mondial que revêtit la Première Guerre mondiale et de la diversité des expériences vécues du conflit.

Geographies of Mobilization and Territories of Belligerence during the First World War
The global history of the First World War is still in its early stages. This article proposes to contribute to its development by “de-Europeanizing” the historiography of the conflict and suggesting some of the ways scholars can move beyond “centers” and “peripheries” to combine different spatial scales of analysis. First, it demonstrates the need to look beyond the European theatres of war and investigate battlefields hitherto deemed to be marginal: distance from—or the absence of—combat did not prevent the manifold impact and legacy of the war from being felt in many regions of the world. Second, it invites scholars to focus on elements such as the environment, natural resources, or diasporas, which make it possible to break out of a national framework of analysis and to do justice to the global impact of the Great War. This twofold approach underlines the value of a new geography of mobilization and belligerence that matches the diversity of experiences and the truly global dimensions of the First World War.

Keller Tait, « Aux marges écologiques de la belligérance. Vers une histoire environnementale globale de la Première Guerre mondiale»

Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 1/2016 (71e année) , p. 65-86
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-annales-2016-1-page-65.htm

Cet article est une première exploration de l’histoire environnementale de la Première Guerre mondiale et suggère de nouvelles approches susceptibles de modifier notre compréhension du conflit. Bien que les terres agricoles ravagées, les arbres calcinés et les bourbiers soient des images iconiques de la Première Guerre mondiale, les chercheurs ont souvent eu tendance à négliger la place et le rôle de la nature dans le conflit. Pourtant, ce n’est qu’en prenant en compte l’environnement que nous pouvons pleinement comprendre le traumatisme de la guerre et appréhender la façon dont ce conflit, en particulier, a façonné de manière durable les dimensions les plus élémentaires de l’existence humaine. Les armées de la Première Guerre mondiale étaient des entités à la fois sociales et biologiques qui dépendaient d’une « écologie militaire » de l’extraction, de la production et de l’approvisionnement en vivres et en énergie. Pour nourrir les soldats et faire fonctionner les machines, les États belligérants réquisitionnèrent de la nourriture et du carburant dans l’ensemble de la biosphère, contribuant ainsi à étendre la portée écologique de la guerre bien au-delà du front de l’Ouest. L’étude des différentes façons dont la guerre a transformé la périphérie (modification de l’écologie des maladies en Afrique coloniale, extraction de l’étain en Asie du Sud-Est et production alimentaire en Amérique latine) permet de montrer que les frontières de la belligérance étaient très étendues. Ces trois régions illustrent également les différentes façons dont la préparation et la conduite du conflit ont modifié les sociétés et le milieu naturel. Se pencher sur Première Guerre mondiale en adoptant une perspective environnementale permet de mettre en lumière sa dimension planétaire. La « catastrophe fondatrice » du xxe siècle, pour reprendre l’expression de George Kennan, a accéléré des changements environnementaux amorcés au siècle précédent et fait apparaître certaines tendances – production militaro-industrielle, persécutions et exploitation de l’environnement – qui définiront le xxe siècle.

The Ecological Edges of Belligerency
Toward a Global Environmental History of the First World War
This article represents an initial foray into the global environmental history of the First World War and suggests new approaches that can change our understanding of the conflict. With ravaged farmlands, charred trees, and muddy quagmires as iconic images of the First World War, scholars have generally tended to overlook the place and role of nature. Yet only by taking the environment into account can we fully understand the trauma of war and how this conflict in particular shaped the most basic levels of human existence for years to come. Armies in the First World War were both social and biological entities, which depended on a “military ecology” of energy extraction, production, and supply. To keep soldiers and machines in action, belligerent states commandeered food and fuel throughout the biosphere, extending the war’s environmental reach far beyond the western front. Examining a number of the ways that war shaped the periphery—evolving disease ecologies in colonial Africa, tin extraction in Southeast Asia, and food production in Latin America—will show that the boundaries of belligerency were vast. These three regions also illustrate the different ways in which the preparation and pursuit of war transformed societies and the natural world. Seeing what George Kennan called the twentieth century’s “seminal catastrophe” from an environmental perspective illuminates the global dimensions of the First World War. The conflict accelerated environmental change that had begun in the previous century, and established the patterns of military-industrial production, human victimization, and environmental exploitation that defined the twentieth century.

Satia Priya, « Centralité des marges. Les campagnes britanniques au Moyen-Orient pendant la Grande Guerre»

Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales 1/2016 (71e année) , p. 87-126
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-annales-2016-1-page-87.htm

L’auteure soutient dans cet article que l’impact culturel de la Première Guerre mondiale en Grande-Bretagne ne peut être compris que si l’on donne aux campagnes du Moyen-Orient la place centrale qui est la leur. Il montre qu’un des effets généralement attribués au front de l’Ouest – une totale perte de foi dans la technique et dans l’héroïsme individuel – a été compensé, à bien des égards, par les leçons tirées de la guerre en Palestine et en Mésopotamie, où cette même foi a connu chez les Britanniques un formidable regain. Si l’on prend en compte cet héritage culturel, on comprend mieux pourquoi ce peuple est resté engagé dans la guerre et a continué de croire dans le développement industriel et la guerre impérialiste une fois le conflit mondial terminé. L’aura héroïque de Thomas Edward Lawrence (Lawrence d’Arabie) et l’image du développement des infrastructures entrepris par l’armée britannique en Mésopotamie ont en effet donné un nouvel essor à la foi dans la technique et dans l’empire, tandis que le front de l’Ouest en révélait un visage autrement plus terrible. Le texte s’ouvre sur l’étude des tactiques militaires originales que les Britanniques, influencés par une vision singulière d’une « Arabie » largement imaginaire, ont adoptées à un degré sans précédent dans la région : la ruse, la guerre irrégulière et la force aérienne. L’auteur montre ensuite comment le gouvernement, à mesure que les succès se multipliaient, s’est efforcé de capitaliser sur la propagande entourant ces « théâtres secondaires » de guerre. Il s’agissait notamment de mettre en avant l’idée que l’empire trouverait une rédemption dans la restauration de l’antique « berceau de la civilisation », entretenant ainsi des notions d’un idéalisme achevé, quand, sur le front de l’Ouest, un nouveau type de cynisme faisait rage.

Side-Shows at the Center
The Middle Eastern British Campaigns of the Great War
This article places campaigns in the Middle East at the heart of the effort to understand the First World War’s cultural impact in Britain. By doing so, it shows that the effects typically attributed to the western front—loss of faith in technology and heroism—were mediated in important ways by lessons emerging from the Middle Eastern fronts in Palestine and Mesopotamia, where the British found their faith in technology strengthened. By incorporating that cultural legacy, we can better understand why Britons remained committed to the war and why they maintained their faith in industrial development and warfare empire after the war had ended. The heroic image of T. E. Lawrence and of the infrastructural development undertaken by the British military in Mesopotamia together bolstered faith in technology and imperialism just when the western front was revealing their darker side. The article begins with a study of the unique military tactics the British adopted in the region, shaped by particular cultural notions about “Arabia”: deception, irregular warfare, and airpower were used to an unprecedented degree in these campaigns. It goes on to show how the British government strove to capitalize on the propaganda effects of these “sideshows” as they became successful. In particular, they stressed the notion that the empire could find redemption in the restoration of the ancient “cradle of civilization.” Such ideas sustained idealistic notions even as the western front unleashed a new kind of cynicism.

 

Warwick History of Violence Network Workshop

Friday 13 May 2016

S0.19 Social Sciences Building, University of Warwick

10-30 Reception and Coffee

11-00 – 11.30 – Keynote introduction

Richard Bessel (York),  Violence: A Modern Obsession

11.30 – 1-00 – Revolutionary Violence: Theory and Practice

Steve Smith (All Souls), Revolutionary violence

Philippe le Goff (Kingston), Auguste Blanqui and the question of violence

Alistair Dickins (Manchester), Rewriting a Violent Script? The Fear of Popular Unrest in the Russian Revolution, 1917

1-00 – 1-45 – Lunch Break

1-45 – 3-30 – War, Race, Drugs and Violence

Pierre Purseigle (Warwick), War, violence, and solidarity. The urban experience of the First World War

Ben Smith (Warwick), Mexican cartels and the Drugs Wars

Michael Fleming (Warwick),  Narrating antisemitic violence to the British governing class: The Weekly Political Intelligence Summary and the Holocaust.

Brendan McGeever (Birkbeck),  Antisemitic Violence and Revolutionary Politics in the Russian Revolution, 1917-1919

3-30 – 4-00 – Break

4-00 – 4-30

Summary of the Day – Future Plans

Chris Read & Jonathan Davies (Warwick)


Getting to Warwick: By car – There are a number of car parks on campus. For Social Sciences Car Parks 8, 10 and 15 are within five minutes walk. (Pay and Display – £3 for full day). Postcode for satnav: CV4 7AL

By Train: Coventry Station then taxi or bus no 12X, 11 and 11U from station forecourt –to the campus  (30 mins approx)

Full details on University website: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/about/visiting/directions/

 

THERE IS NO FEE BUT WOULD ANYONE OTHER THAN SPEAKERS PLANNING TO ATTEND PLEASE CONTACT ONE OF THE CONVENORS SO WE CAN ESTIMATE CATERING REQUIREMENTS ETC.

On #immigration in British politics

Following the recent regional elections in Germany, I was asked by The New Day, a daily newspaper recently launched here in the UK, to reflect upon the impact of immigration on British politics. Here is the edited, published (15 March 2016) version of the piece I wrote and the slightly longer original version I had submitted.

IMG_4871

 

The success of the xenophobic AfD in this weekend’s elections in Germany shows the extent to which anti-immigrant sentiment is now driving national politics across Europe and increasingly in Britain.

As a European immigrant established in the UK since 2002, I have witnessed with growing concern the hardening of British public opinion on this issue. While Britain remains a wonderfully open and tolerant society, British politics are now largely driven by anti-immigration sentiment. As in other European nations, mainstream politicians have failed to confront it head-on. Back in 2007, Gordon Brown even echoed the continental far right, calling for “British jobs for British workers”. For too long, UK politicians have complacently ignored the threat of right-wing populism. But Britain is no more immune to nationalism and racism than France or Hungary are. Though the first-past-the-post system has largely kept xenophobes out the Commons, the current debate on Brexit testifies to the radicalisation of the Tory party. What used to be confined to the xenophobic rants of the Express or the Mail is fast becoming the new orthodoxy within many Conservative Party constituency associations. It is high time MPs told the incontrovertible truth about immigration: it is simply indispensable to preserve the prosperity of societies whose populations are both ageing and dwindling. Whatever the Sun and UKIP would have you believe, we immigrants didn’t steal our jobs; we earned them the hard way like everyone else in the land and we work just as hard to keep them. Likewise, we are not responsible for the parlous state of the NHS and public services. Our taxes, like yours, pay for it and we draw little from them.

Anti-immigrant sentiment does not just undermine democratic values; it also threatens our prosperity in Britain and across Europe. Ignore it at your peril.

Uma arte liberal da guerra: a grã-bretanha e a primeira guerra mundial

Ler Historia, 66, 2014, p.141-159

A Primeira Guerra Mundial forçou a Grã-Bretanha a adaptar as suas estruturas militares, económicas e políticas em função dos desafios da guerra industrializada. A transformação do seu exército – uma pequena força convencionalmente encarregada do policiamento do Império – teve um impacto considerável na cultura política liberal dominante. A guerra desafiou concepções de cidadania estabelecida e redefiniu a relação entre o Estado e a sociedade civil. Este artigo assenta numa abordagem comparativa e transnacional e procura demonstrar que, apesar do indiscutível crescimento do aparelho de Estado, a guerra não foi um jogo de vencedores e vencidos para a sociedade civil britânica. Este artigo procura neste sentido reavaliar a importância crítica do pluralismo liberal que caracterizou o sistema político britânico em tempo de guerra.

URL : http://lerhistoria.revues.org/765