Uncovered Fields: Perspectives in First World War Studies

Uncovered Fields: Perspectives in First World War Studies

Uncovered Fields: Perspectives in First World War Studies

Uncovered Fields: Perspectives in First World War Studies

Synopsis

This volume presents original research on the military, social and cultural history of the First World War. Inspired by the reinvigoration of this subject area in the last decade, its chapters explore the stresses of waging a war, whose totalizing logic issued formidable challenges to communities, accounted for the pervasion of the conflict into the private sphere, and brought about specific intellectual responses. Subjects included are race and gender relations, shellshock, civil-military relations, social mobilization and military discipline. It encompasses an unusually broad geographical range, including papers on Britain, France and Germany, but also Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria-Hungary and Latin America.This collective undertaking will interest those who are dedicated to the comparative history of modern warfare.Contributors include: Olivier Compagnon, Emmanuelle Cronier, Anne Duménil, Stefan Goebel, Hans-Georg Hofer, Jean-Yves LeNaour, Andre Loez, Jenny Macleod, Jessica Meyer, Michelle Moyd, Michael Neiberg, Tammy Proctor, Pierre Purseigle, Matthew Stibbe, Ismee Tames, Susanne Terwey.

Excerpt

Pierre Purseigle and Jenny Macleod

The papers gathered together in this book were originally presented at a small conference held in Lyon on 7 & 8 September 2001. The conference brought together young scholars—defined loosely as postgraduate or postdoctoral—who work upon the First World War at universities in seven different countries. There were various motivations behind the conference: an awareness of recent renewed interest in 1914–18, a desire to explore the influence of perceived historiographical shifts, an ambition to lower some intra-disciplinary boundaries, to foster international collaboration and comparative history, and to share preliminary or more polished findings. The conference was prompted, above all, by the perception that communication between historians who had recently entered the fray was relatively weak.

More than 50 academics, including some of the historians who have been involved in the historiography of the First World War since the 1970s, joined together to discuss the work of the newest scholars in the field. Some of their research is presented here to a wider audience. The following fifteen papers reflect the individual undertaking of postgraduate students and postdoctoral scholars, and represent a broad assessment of the state of First World War studies in 2001.

As organizers and as editors, we will now attempt—somewhat untraditionally—to distance ourselves from a project we coordinated. Our aim is to provide a critical assessment of the intellectual and academic environment which made it necessary, and prompted the questions we tried collectively to address.

The approach adopted here has been inspired by Gérard Noiriel’s Sur la crise de lhistoire. His book issued several important challenges

In order to build upon the connections made at the conference, the International Society for First World War Studies has been established.

Noiriel (1996). For a critical and yet fair appraisal of Noiriel’s book, see Kramer (1998).

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