Call for Papers No End to the War: Cultures of Violence and Care in the aftermath of the First World War

Call for Papers


No End to the War: Cultures of Violence and Care in the aftermath of the First World War


Thursday 24-Friday 25 January, 2019, The University of Manchester



The Centre for the Cultural History of War, The University of Manchester

War, Conflict and Society Research Group, Manchester Metropolitan University

Legacies of War Project, University of Leeds

Confirmed Speakers:

Prof. John Horne (TCD, Emeritus)

Prof. Robert Gerwarth (UCD)

Prof. Alison Fell (Leeds)


Europe’s post-war transition of 1918/1919 has received new scholarly attention in light of the First World War centenary. There has been a recent attempt to contextualise this transition, and to understand how the period after 1918 witnessed both continuing traces of violence and a renewed focus on caregiving. Particularly relevant are the ways in which, across Europe, the war gave rise not only to paramilitary violence, civil unrest, and military occupation, but also new cultures of humanitarianism. This conference aims to act as an intellectual and public intervention in the discussions of 2018 and 2019, and engage with key issues in the cultural history of the transition from war to peace.

This conference seeks to stimulate dialogue between historians of post-war violence, occupation, caregiving and humanitarianism, and contribute to a new integrated history of the aftermath of the First World War. We invite papers on any nation or region, and particularly encourage comparative and transnational approaches. Major topics of discussion will include:

  • Paramilitaries and Paramilitary Violence
  • Post-War Military Occupations and Transfers of Occupation
  • Demobilisation and Demilitarisation
  • Post-War Incarceration
  • POW Returns
  • Forced Displacement
  • Humanitarianism
  • Nursing and Medicine
  • Cultural Representations of Violence and Care

Within these parameters, the conference seeks to range broadly over the interrelationship of violence and care in the aftermath of the First World War, but potential questions include:

  • What new humanitarian cultures and practices did the ‘wars after the war’ provoke? What pre-war ideas and practices persisted?
  • How instrumental were ex-servicemen in spreading cultures of care and violence after 1918?
  • In what ways did post-war paramilitarism and humanitarianism intersect?
  • How successfully were returning POWs cared for and rehabilitated?
  • How violent were the Allied occupations of Germany and the Ottoman Empire after 1918?
  • In what ways did the injured and disabled challenge social reintegration?
  • The family as site of care and violence: what new challenges did families face after 1918?
  • How significant was local activism in shaping transnational networks?
  • What insights can we gain from examining the role of individuals as agents of humanitarianism?
  • How did the creative arts and languages serve populations coming to terms with survival, loss and continued violence?
  • How were images of human suffering mobilised by humanitarian activists?
  • Which victims of war or agents of humanitarianism are remembered (and forgotten)? Why were some voices weakened or silenced?
  • How have museums and practitioners in the field of cultural heritage curated and communicated the complexities of violence and care in the wake of war to public audiences?

Papers should be 20 minutes in length, and submissions from post-graduate and postdoctoral scholars are particularly encouraged. Please send a 300 word abstract and 1 page CV to by 18 May, 2018.





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