“Marseilles 1915-2015 : gateway to the remembrance trails” cfp

“Marseilles 1915-2015 : gateway to the remembrance trails”, Marseilles Municipal Archives, 9-10 April 2015.

« Marseille 1915-2015 : portail des chemins du souvenir », Archives Municipales de Marseille, 9-10 avril 2015.

Call for papers

The centenary of the landing of the colonial troops of the British and French empires in Marseilles provides an opportunity to reflect upon how the Great War is remembered and commemorated on a wider regional and global scale, behind and beyond the front lines of the European theatre of conflict.

This conference will be a prelude to the centenary of Anzac Day 25 April 2015 and the inauguration of the ANZAC Remembrance Trail in France and Belgium. If Marseilles is a gateway to the remembrance trails of the combatant nations on the Western Front, it is principally as a point of entry and transit for the armies of the allied dominions and colonies from the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. Of the several hundred thousand soldiers, sailors, labourers and auxiliairies who converged upon the city from 1914-18, or were repatriated  through its port in the months following the Armistice, more than 1,500 are remembered in the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Mazargues. Their memory is in some cases marginal to the mainstream histories of the Great War, but in others it has become central to the narratives which define independence from the European colonisers.

This two-day conference is convened by Aix-Marseille University and hosted by the Marseilles Archives in the context of the “Marseilles and the Great War” centenary programme. It will bring together researchers from AMU’s partner universities in Europe and the Commonwealth and members of the International Research Network for War Commemoration (IRNWC) to examine the shared history of former allies and adversaries from the colonial perspective and to assess the scope and limits of the idea of “shared memory”. The conference will focus on the wider war beyond the lines of the Western Front as part of the “The Great War on all fronts” exhibition cycle organised by the city of Marseilles which draws on the rich WWI documentary heritage of the municipal and departmental museums and archives. Public outrreach will be ensured by cooperation with the cultural agencies of Marseilles and media outlets of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes-d’Azur region. An editorial workshop  prepare the second volume in the series “Nation, Memory and Great War Commemoration (vol II) – The Wider War”, to be edited by Ben Wellings (Monash) and Shanti Sumartojo (RMIT) and published by the University of Provence Presses in conjunction with Liverpool University Press. Projected topics range from post-independence narratives of India’s role in the First World War, to reconstructing the history of the South African Native Corps in France, Afrikaans and British nationalism in wartime South Africa, and the Great War beyond Europe: in the Americas and the colonial theatres of Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Speakers announced include Ben Wellings (Monash), Andy Mycock (Huddersfield) and Devleena Ghosh (University of Technology Sydney).

Proposals are to be addressed to the conference organisers by email, with an attached 250 word abstract and brief biographical profile, by 30 January 2015.

The organisers :

Dr. Matthew Graves matthew.graves@univ-amu.fr  T. +33 648357048

Prof. Gilles Teulié gilles.teulie@univ-amu.fr  T. +33 685249892

Laboratoire d’Etudes et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone / Research Centre for the Study of the English-speaking World (LERMA)

UFR ALLSH, Aix-Marseille University (AMU)


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