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Category: Events and Conferences

Nineteenth-Century Guerrilla and Counter-Insurgency Warfare: Conference Report

Written by Tom Lawrie. The overall historiography of insurgency and counter-insurgency is generally both Eurocentric and regionalist, lacking a truly definitive, overarching study of global guerrillaism and the general response from established authorities. This two-day symposium organized by Mark Lawrence and the Centre for the History of War, Media and Society pledged to put the study of insurgency and counter-insurgency in a truly global context, bringing in papers that focussed not only on the cradle…

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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…

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CFP: ‘Keep Smiling Through’: British Humour and the Second World War

Two-day interdisciplinary symposium – 12/13 September 2019

University of Kent

In conjunction with Special Collections and Archive, home to the British Cartoon Archive

In wartime, as circumstances become increasingly bleak with military losses and civilian deaths mounting, something very distinctive happens to humour. There is an evident demand for an opportunity to laugh: a release from the increased working hours, the separation from loved ones, the dual burdens of work and maintaining a household, the fear of sustaining battle wounds and death. Indeed, war and comedy are intimately connected. In the Second World War, variety shows which included comedy sketches and humorous songs performed for servicemen provided an essential means of respite from both the boredom and the horror of battle, while home front popular culture, in the form of radio programmes, feature films, documentary films, newsreels, cartoons and songs, parodied the conflict and were crucial morale-boosters as the war evolved into a protracted struggle. But it was more than just a coping strategy and a form of escapism; it was also a key element of ‘Britishness’. As Sonya Rose asserts, humour served to define British national character, much of which was constructed in opposition to the humourless Nazis. And of course since 1945, the Second World War has sparked the imagination of scriptwriters. Unlike the First World War, the cultural memory of the later war is replete with stories about the conflict that use humour as a device.

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Victims, Perpetrators, Bystanders and Collaborators: Conference Report

Written by Kate Docking. There has been a lack of meaningful scholarly engagement with the utility of the terms ‘victims’, ‘perpetrators’, ‘bystanders’ and ‘collaborators’ as historical concepts. Too often, the word ‘perpetrator’ is used by historians without any explanation as to its meaning. But what exactly makes a ‘perpetrator’? How do we define a victim? Have the connotations of these terms changed over time or been overly politicised? Is it the job of the historian…

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Centre for the Study of War, Propaganda and Society – New Research Event, 20 September 2016

  On 20 September, in the week before the 2016-17 academic year proper began, the Centre for the Study of War, Propaganda and Society held an event to discuss new and ongoing research within the Centre and to welcome new members (primarily new first-year PhD students) to the community. The event began with an introduction from Centre director, Dr Stefan Goebel, which outlined the direction which the Centre will be taking over the next year…

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