Free public lecture: Edinburgh Napier University

Ahead of our upcoming conference, join us at the site of the former World War One Craiglockhart Military Hospital for a very special free public lecture about the pioneering work of Dr W.H.R. Rivers, delivered by Dr Nigel Hunt (University of Nottingham).

Narratives and stress: WHR Rivers role in helping understand the importance of story in psychology

The narrative approach – understanding stories – in psychology has become, over the last few decades, very popular. It helps us understand how people’s minds work and gives us tools for helping those who have been through stressful and traumatic events. Dr Rivers worked at Craiglockhart Military Hospital during World War One, trying to understand and treat the men who were sent there as ‘shell shock’ or ‘neurasthenic’ cases from the trenches of the war. His approach became widely known through the novels of Pat Barker, but his influence on psychology (and other disciplines) cuts across many fields. This talk focuses on how Rivers’ work can inform our understanding of the importance of stories in resolving war trauma, even today.

To register for this event, please follow the link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/narratives-and-stress-whr-rivers-role-in-helping-understand-the-importance-of-story-in-psychology-tickets-62130967396

Doors open at 18:15, and a wine reception will follow the lecture.

Please contact events@napier.ac.uk for further information.

Conference update: Friday afternoon workshop

Preparations are ongoing for our upcoming conference at Edinburgh Napier University, and we are delighted to share details of a workshop taking place on Friday afternoon, to which all our delegates are warmly invited. Ian Isherwood, R.C. Miessler, and Amy Lucadamo from Gettysburg College will be sharing their experiences of working on a digital project linked to the First World War letters of Hugh John Chevallier Peirs (better known as Jack). You can visit the website by following the link below:

https://jackpeirs.org/

In ‘The Great War and the Digital Humanities: Creating a project and building a team’, they will provide attendees with insights into the creation of a digital history project, consider engagement with a range of stakeholders, and answer questions from our delegates.

Ian Isherwood introduces the workshop:

“The centennial of the First World War has provided ample opportunities for historians to engage with broader audiences on the subject of war.  In 2014, conscious of the challenges that teaching the First World War presents for educators at all levels, a small team at Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania, USA) began digitizing an archival resource and made it available to the public without an institutional mandate or dedicated funding. The First World War Letters of H.J.C. Peirs: A Digital History website began as a mechanism for publishing the correspondence of a British officer 100 years to the day they were written. However, as the team embraced the methodologies of the Digital Humanities, worked collaboratively on creative technological innovations, and discovered new avenues for combining archival and digital pedagogy into the classroom experience, the Peirs project grew into a pedagogy-focused, archives-based digital project that serves as an example of boundary-crossing, team-based Digital Humanities efforts. Through the framework of the Peirs project, this workshop will give guidance for team-building and project management, provide examples of Digital Humanities tools and methods that can be used with First World War collections, and outline pedagogical uses for digital history in the classroom.”

All attendees to ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’ are warmly invited to join us at this fascinating workshop, and will have the chance to speak to the team behind Jack’s letters. Tickets are currently available to members of our mailing list, and the full programme can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

https://fwwnetwork.wordpress.com/the-first-world-war-past-present-and-future/

For the latest updates on our conference and all other news relating to the First World War Network, follow us on Twitter @FwwNetwork

Draft conference programme announced!

The First World War Network is delighted to announce that, following an incredibly competitive and difficult selection process, the organising committee behind ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’ are able to publish the first details of the speakers and panels that will provide the platform for discussions at our upcoming conference.

We are proud to present a series of papers that cover the breadth of work within the field of First World War studies, from a range of speakers. Alongside established academics, the programme for ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’ provides opportunities for postgraduate students, early career researchers, museum and heritage professionals, and independent scholars from across the world to showcase their research.

The topics that will be addressed over the course of this conference emphasise the diversity of research interests within the field at the end of the centenary period, and illustrate the local and global legacies of the First World War as a historical event.

The programme of intended speakers can be viewed in full by following the link below:

https://fwwnetwork.wordpress.com/the-first-world-war-past-present-and-future/

We are greatly looking forward to welcoming you all to Edinburgh Napier in June, and will be making further announcements about the event in due course. For all the latest information, make sure to follow the First World War Network on Twitter: @FwwNetwork

Western Front Association: Mentioned in Dispatches podcast – call for contributors

Tom Thorpe, a First World War Network member and the presenter and producer of the Western Front Association’s ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ podcast, is looking for new contributors.

The WFA is a national UK charity dedicated to furthering interest in the Great War through commemoration, education and discussion. It has over 60 branches and 6,000 members worldwide (https://www.westernfrontassociation.com/). The WFA is a non-political organisation and does not seek to glorify war but perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of all those on all sides who served their countries in France and Flanders, and their own countries, during the Great War.

Mention in Dispatches started in February 2017, and has produced around 90 programmes to date with a combined total of 104,000 downloads. Each weekly programme gets around 1,000 hits. The back catalogue is available on iTunes, Castbox and Acast (https://www.acast.com/mentionedindispatches). The podcast has covered a diverse range of subjects from widows, nannies and animals in the Great War to battles, leaders and revolutionaries. It has featured a wide range of historians, academics and community projects.

Tom would be delighted to hear from anyone who may want to do an interview to promote some research, a book or just share their scholarship with a wider audience. We greatly encourage our members to contact him on press@westernfrontassociation.com

We look forward to hearing more about your work soon!

MiDPodcast_v2

Call for papers – The First World War: Past, Present, and Future

Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus: 27-28 June 2019

In the wake of the centenary of the First World War, The First World War Network seeks to build upon the success of its inaugural event at IWM North in February 2016 by reflecting upon the first century of First World War history, celebrating current, pioneering research into all areas of the conflict, and producing an ambitious, transnational framework for the future direction of scholarship on the twentieth century’s first global conflagration.

The organisers welcome contributions that examine the local, regional, national, and international dimensions of First World War history, that provide diverse and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the conflict, and/or that emphasise the war’s multiple legacies and impacts. We aim to bring together the latest in academic scholarship with participation from heritage agencies, libraries, museums, archives, community groups, individual researchers and all those with a shared desire to sustain interest in furthering knowledge and understanding of this seminal event. Alongside a range of traditional presentations, the conference will include poster presentations and roundtable discussions on the future of First World War studies with participants drawn from across the academic and public sphere.

Abstracts for individual twenty-minute papers, panels of three connected papers, and posters which focus upon any aspect of the past and present of First World War studies are invited. Suggested themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • The conduct of the war
  • The politics of the war
  • Commemoration/remembrance
  • Community projects
  • Forgotten theatres
  • Wounding and its aftermath
  • The centenary
  • Cultural responses to the war
  • Uses of the war
  • Gendered aspects of warfare
  • Local, regional, national or international responses
  • Dominant discourses
  • Myth and memory
  • Understanding/coping with death
  • Peace making
  • Silence

The working language of the conference will be English. Abstracts of 250 words should be accompanied by your name, institutional/organisational affiliation (if any), and a biographical statement of up to 100 words. Submissions for complete panels should also include a statement of up to 250 words outlining the relationship between the individual papers. A ‘flash presentation’ session will take place during the conference, in which poster displayers can introduce and discuss the research behind their displays.

To download this call for dissemination around your networks (which we would be very grateful for!), please click here.

We wish to encourage submissions from academics, students, institutions, organisations, independent researchers, and community groups. In line with our mission to encourage and support postgraduate students and early career researchers, a number of bursaries will be available to individuals who fall into this category to assist their attendance at the conference. In addition, the First World War Network will be coordinating opportunities for postgraduate students and early career researchers who participate in the conference to engage in a peer mentoring scheme. Please indicate upon your submission if you wish to be considered for a bursary and/or the peer mentoring scheme.

All submissions and enquiries should be sent by email to: fwwnetwork@gmail.com

The deadline for submissions will be: 14 December 2018

The organising committee aim to notify all applicants of their decision by 1 February 2019.

The Venue

Located to the south-west of the Scottish capital, the Craiglockhart campus of Edinburgh Napier University possesses a famous link to the First World War. The campus, commandeered for use as a military hospital for the treatment of shell-shocked officers, provided both the location for the first meeting between the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen and the site upon which Dr William H. Rivers made significant advances in psychiatric treatment. The campus is now home to the War Poets Collection, a tribute to Sassoon, Owen, and their contemporaries whose words have provided a significant and lasting effect upon the public memory of the conflict.

A permanent exhibition allows visitors to view the collection, and gain an insight into the personal and social experiences of war through the words, memories, voices and objects that the officers, medical staff and relatives of those associated with Craiglockhart Military Hospital left behind.

Motherhood, Loss and the First World War, 5-6 September 2018

Motherhood conference lead image

The First World War Network is delighted to be able to share the details of this upcoming conference, hosted by Big Ideas, the London Centre for Public History, and the Institute for Historical Research. Alongside presentations from a number of our members across two days of the conference, delegates are invited to attend two free public events on the evenings of 5 and 6 September.

On 5 September, Professor Susan Grayzel will provide a keynote lecture on the topic of ‘National Service, Personal Sacrifice: The Cultural Politics of Mourning Mothers during and after the First World War’. On 6 September, the award-winning composer Clare Connors will lead an evening of music and readings exploring the experiences of mothers bereaved during the First World War.

Attendance at these public events is free, but tickets must be booked through the following links:

Susan Grayzel lecture: http://www.history.ac.uk/events/event/16555

Clare Connors performance: http://www.history.ac.uk/events/event/16556

Motherhood conference flyer (1)-1Motherhood conference - keynote lecture e-flyer (1)-1Motherhood conference - evening performance e-flyer (1)-1

Shell shock stories and beyond

Are you a Community Researcher Engaging with Trauma Narratives as part of your First World War Centenary Project?

Professor Nigel Hunt and Dr Larissa Allwork at the University of Nottingham have been awarded AHRC funding to explore the extent to which the psychological condition of trauma has been integrated into community engagement with the First World War centenary. Trauma here is being incorporated broadly to encompass a range of responses to the 1914-1918 conflict. From shell shocked soldiers recovering in specialist hospitals to cases of ‘barbed wire disease’ in ‘enemy alien’ internment camps; and from post-1918 literary and poetic representations of trauma to the contemporary family historian dealing with issues of transferential trauma in the archive. As part of their project, Nigel and Larissa want to get in touch with any Heritage Lottery Funded and/or AHRC First World War Engagement Centre community history projects that are engaging with narratives of trauma as part of their research.

L0046100 'Shell Shock': image from 'The Fourth' magazine
By J.P.D. Hewatt [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Over the course of the centenary, community partners have expressed an interest in examining the human impact of the war and have looked to the First World War Engagement Centres to support them in doing so. Several participants in engagement activities have remarked that any understanding of the events of the war is inadequate without comprehending its traumatic effects. The difference between historical and contemporary perspectives on mental and emotional trauma presents a challenge to community researchers as it requires an understanding of how such trauma was regarded, described and recorded in historical records. An additional challenge is presented by the emotional impact on the researcher who examines potentially disturbing and upsetting material. This challenge is often felt more keenly by researchers who investigate people with whom they have a direct connection, such as members of their family or community.

Nigel and Larissa’s project is intended to equip community partners from across the First World War Engagement Centres with the skills and support to meet these challenges and to ensure that this crucial perspective on First World War history is not omitted from the programme. As part of their project, Nigel and Larissa will be holding a series of public workshops across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for community groups on the topic of war trauma, with specific reference to the First World War and its aftermath.

Nigel and Larissa are keen to get in contact with any Heritage Lottery Funded and/or AHRC First World War Engagement Centre community history projects that are engaging with issues of trauma as part of their research. This means that Nigel and Larissa are interested in community history projects that might include topics such as:

  • Autobiographical narratives by soldiers on the front line who suffered from shell shock.
  • Autobiographical narratives by civilians who suffered from shell shock.
  • Observations on shell shock by First World War era doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists.
  • Observations on shell shock in First World War era local and national newspapers.
  • Observations on reintegrating traumatised veterans into communities, both during and after WWI.
  • Literary representations of shell shock (eg. Rebecca West, Pat Barker etc.)
  • Poetic representations of shell shock (eg. Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen etc.)
  • Documentary film or television representations of shell shock (eg. ‘War Neuroses’ etc.)
  • Dramatic film or television representations of shell shock (eg. ‘King and Country’ etc.)
  • Encounters with trauma narratives through family history research (eg. discovered a relative with shell shock).
  • Encounters with ‘Barbed Wire’ disease as a result of research into the British ‘enemy alien’ internment camps.
  • Encounters with narratives of trauma associated with histories of migration and displacement.

siegfried_sassoon_by_george_charles_beresford_28191529
Siegfried Sassoon: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Nigel and Larissa would like to hear from Heritage Lottery Fund and/or First World War Engagement Centre researchers looking at these themes because they:

  • Want to understand how much community research is being done in relation to trauma and the First World War.
  • Aim to understand the needs of community researchers in relation to this subject area.
  • Desire to compile a list of groups who would be interested in a workshop on trauma and the First World War, to run in either autumn 2018 or spring 2019.

If you are engaged with narratives of trauma as part of your First World War centenary community research project, please contact: larissa.allwork@nottingham.ac.uk or on Twitter @LarissaAllwork

Additional Information

Professor Nigel Hunt and Dr Larissa Allwork are part of the AHRC Centre for Hidden Histories, based at the University of Nottingham. The Centre for Hidden Histories is associated with the AHRC First World War Engagement Centres. The Centre for Hidden Histories has a particular interest in the themes of migration and displacement, the experience of ‘others’ from countries and regions within Europe, Asia and the Commonwealth, the impact and subsequent legacies of the war on diverse communities within Britain, remembrance and commemoration.

Find out more about the Centre for Hidden Histories at: http://hiddenhistorieswwi.ac.uk/

Twitter: @Hidden_Hist

For further information about this research project, please contact: larissa.allwork@nottingham.ac.uk