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Nineteenth-century guerrilla and counter-insurgency warfare colloquium

A two-day colloquium to be held at the University of Kent, on 27–28 October 2018.

The term ‘guerrilla’ tends to evoke twentieth-century connotations. ‘People’s war’, Mao and Che Guevara all conjure up notions of revolutionary warfare, of ‘new’ warfare far removed from the supposedly state-centric armies and strategies of the nineteenth century. Yet recent research has demonstrated the diversity both of the guerrilla and of counter-insurgency throughout history. The nineteenth century offers a particular opportunity for a fresh study of global insurgency and counter-insurgency. The military history of this century reveals much more than the symmetrical warfare of Napoleon, Grant and Moltke. It also reveals well-known and less well-known insurgencies, of links between guerrilla movements and nationalism, and of complex motivations and strategies driving both insurgencies and counter-insurgencies. Contemporary strategists were much more impressed by the burden and appeal of guerrilla warfare than a cursory glance at the military academies would reveal. Even the great exponent of interstate war, Carl von Clausewitz, had a complex understanding of guerrilla warfare that has often passed unremarked by scholars studying the post-Westphalian overtones in his On War.

The colloquium will examine global insurgency and counter-insurgency in the nineteenth century. It will bring together both distinguished and rising scholars from Europe and North America to provide new insights into an under-researched topic, exposing insurgencies unknown to most scholars and the links between insurgencies and nationalism. It will also explore the extent to which we can identify evolving patterns between reactive and progressive insurgency, along with learning curves and emulation in counter-insurgency.

Saturday 27 October 2018, Grimond seminar Room 2 (GS2)

Session 1 (chair: Mark Lawrence)

12:00-12:15 Introduction (Mark Lawrence, Kent)

12:15-12:45 The Peninsular War guerrilla and its antecedents: Humiliation forgotten, disaster prefigured: the guerra fantástica of 1762 (Charles Esdaile, Liverpool)

12:45-13:15 Nineteenth-century insurgencies in South America(Natalia Sobrevilla, Kent)

Session 2 (chair: Natalia Sobrevilla)

14:15-14:45 Insurgencies of the First Carlist War (Mark Lawrence, Kent)

14:45-15:15 Memory, Magic and Militias: Cora Indian Participation in Mexico’s Wars from La Reforma to La Revolución, 1854-1910 (Nat Morris, University College London)

15:45-15:45 Guerrilla Warfare in Katanga: The Sanga Rebellion of the 1890s and Its Suppression (Giacomo Macola, Kent & Jack Hogan, LSE).

15:45-17:00 Plenary

Sunday 28 October 2018, Grimond Seminar Room 2 (GS2)

Session 3 (chair: Ian Beckett)

10:30-10:45 Introduction (Mark Lawrence, Kent), tea and coffee

10:45-11:15 Rebellions and Counter-Insurgency in Ireland, 1848-67 (Timothy Bowman, Kent)

11:15-11:45 General Zuo’s Counter-Insurgency Doctrine (Kenneth Swope, Southern Mississippi)

11:45-12:15 A Predisposition to Brutality? German Practices against civilians and franctireurs during the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71 (Bastian Matteo Scianna, Potsdam/LSE)

Session 4 (chair: Mark Lawrence)

13:15-13:45 The Campaign of the Lost Footsteps: The Pacification of Burma, 1885-95(Ian Beckett, Kent)

13:45-14:15 The Force Publique’scampaigns in the Congo-Arab War, 1892-94 (Mario Draper, Kent)

14:15-15:15 Plenary


For further information, please contact Dr Mark Lawrence.

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