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Conference: Reflections on the commemoration of World War One

Conference call for papers

22-23 November 2018, Christchurch

Brought to you by Canterbury100

 As we approach the end of the centenary of World War One, it is timely to consider the ways in which this conflict has been commemorated. Galleries, libraries, archives and museums around New Zealand and the world have explored old and new narratives of the war and presented these in exhibitions, public programmes and research. Many of these interpretations have been the result of collaborations that have joined repositories with academia, other institutions and the community. This conference invites museum professionals, historians, librarians, academics, students, film makers, artists, writers, researchers, government sector contributors and others to reflect on the commemoration of the war. Papers that address the following themes are invited:

  • Local and transnational perspectives on commemoration
  • Reassessments, new narratives and new perspectives
  • The effect of commemoration on identity
  • The commemoration of identity
  • Pacifism, objection and dissent
  • Lessons learnt from the centenary
  • Tensions between celebration and commemoration
  • Assessment of public commemoration activities (e.g. exhibitions, public programmes, documentaries, books etc)
  • Diverse communities at war and at home
  • Gaps and omissions
  • Difficult stories and the trauma of a generation
  • Lessons for contemporary collecting

 Conference presentations may take one of the following forms:

  • 20 minute presentation
  • Panel session

The call for papers is now closed but you can still contact the conference committe at

Details about conference costs will be posted in due course.

A publication featuring a selection of papers from the conference will be produced following the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Tim Cook, C.M.

Dr. Tim Cook is a historian at the Canadian War Museum. He was the curator for the museum’s First World War permanent gallery, and he has curated numerous temporary, travelling and digital exhibitions. He has also authored 11 books, most of which have been longlisted, shortlisted or awarded prizes. His books have won the C.P. Stacey Prize for Military History (twice), the Ottawa Book Award (twice), the RBC Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, and the J.W. Dafoe Book Prize. His newest book is Vimy: The Battle and the Legend (2017), which was a national best-seller.

In 2012, Dr. Cook was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to Canadian history and in 2013 he received the Governor General’s History Award. Dr. Cook is a Member of the Order of Canada.

Professor Joy Damousi

Joy Damousi is Professor of History at the University of Melbourne. She has published widely on aspects of political history, women’s history and feminist history, memory and war, history of emotions, sound and war, and the history of post-war migration and refugees. She is the author of numerous books which include The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia (Cambridge, 1999); Living with the Aftermath: Trauma, Nostalgia and Grief in Post-war Australia (Cambridge, 2001); Freud in the Antipodes: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Australia (University of New South Wales Press, 2005: Winner of the Ernest Scott Prize); Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia 1840-1940 (Cambridge 2010) and Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War: Australia’s Greek Immigrants after World War II and the Greek Civil War (Cambridge, 2015). She had edited several books including (with Marilyn Lake) Gender and War: Australians At War in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, 1995) and (with Robyn Archer, Murray Goot and Sean Scalmer), The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, (Monash University Publishing, 2016). With Philip Dwyer she is the general editor of a four volume Cambridge World History of Violence due to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2018.

Her latest project is a history of child refugees, humanitarianism and internationalism from 1920 to the present for which she was awarded an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship. This research seeks to examine the history of child refugees displaced by the wars of the twentieth century.

Dr. Santanu Das

Educated in Kolkata and Cambridge, Santanu Das is a literary and cultural historian based at King’s College London. He is the author of the award-winning monograph Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (Cambridge, 2006) and Indian Troops in Europe, 1914-1918 (Paris, 2014) and the editor of Race, Empire and First World War Writing (2006) and the Cambridge Companion to the Poetry of the First World War (2014). His latest book South Asia and First World War Culture: Literature, Images and Music is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2018 and he is currently editing the Oxford Book of Empire Writing of the First World War. From 2013-2016, he directed a large pan-European research project on 'Cultural Encounters During Global Conflict: Neutrals, Colonials and Belligerents in the First World War'. He has been involved in a number of centennial commemorative projects on the war, from radio and television programmes with the BBC to advising on concerts, exhibitions, and, most recently, dance-theatre.