The Greater War: Empires in the Era of World War One

The Greater War: Empires in the Era of World War One

Prof. Dr. Robert Gerwarth, Centre for War Studies, University College Dublin
Vom - Bis
18.05.2012 - 19.05.2012
Robert Gerwarth

This conference takes a global approach to the First World War and its often violent aftermath. It highlights the mobilization of empires which played a crucial role in allowing the imperial powers to conduct a total war. The consequences of these mobilizational processes had a profound impact on the subsequent transition of these empires from war to a sometimes unstable peace.

We aim to bring together scholars from around the world to examine the complexities of this global mobilization and the ensuing demobilization process. Through comparative discussion and debate organized around themed subject panels, this symposium will help to develop a transnational analysis of the ramifications of the First World War throughout empires and nation-states in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and North America. The conference will explore the global effects of the Paris Peace Treaties, the emergence of anti-colonial movements invigorated by the First World War, the responses of the state authorities to such unrest, and the extent to which empires successfully managed to reintegrate their veterans.

This conference is funded by the European Research Council.


Friday 18 May 2012

09.00 Registration

09.30 Welcome and Introduction: Robert Gerwarth

09.45 – 12.00
Panel 1: Mobilizing Blue-Water Empires for War
Chair / Commentator: Hew Strachan (Oxford)

Richard Fogarty (Albany) – The French Empire
Timothy H. Parsons (Washington University in St. Louis) – Mobilizing Britain's African Empire for War: Pragmatism vs Trusteeship
Filipe Meneses (NUI Maynooth) – Portugal and its Empire, 1914-18
Michael Pesek (Berlin) – Germany’s African Empire

12.00 – 12.15 Break

12.15 – 13.45

Panel 2: Mobilizing and Demobilizing the European Land Empires for War
Chair / Commentator: John Horne (TCD)

Peter Haslinger (Marburg), Imperial disintegration and national confrontation in East-Central Europe, 1918-1920
Michael Provence (UC San Diego), The Ottoman Empire
Chris Read (Warwick), The Russian Empire

13.45 – 14.15 Lunch

14.15 – 15.45

Panel 3: The Paris Peace Treaties and the Wider World
Chair / Commentator: Alan Kramer (TCD)

Leonard Smith (Oberlin College) - Empires as Actors at the Paris Peace Conference
Alex Marshall (Glasgow) – The 1920 Comintern Congress: Communism, Empire, and De-colonization

15.45 – 16.00 Break

16.00 – 17.45

Panel 4: The Making and Breaking of Empires in the Middle East
Chair / Commentator: John Darwin (Oxford)

James Kitchen (UCD) – Crushing the 1919 Egyptian Revolution: The British Army and the Post-War Crisis of Empire
Roberto Mazza (Western Illinois) – Jerusalem from Ottoman to British rule

19:00 Conference Dinner
After Dinner Lecture
Erez Manela (Harvard) – The Wilsonian Moment and the Extra-European World

Saturday 19 May 2012

09.30 – 11.15

Panel 5: Demobilization of non-European Troops and the Building of Nations: the “White Settler” Societies
Chair / Commentator: Bill Nasson (Stellenbosch)

Jennifer Keene (Chapman University) – Re-examining the Social Contract: Demobilizing the American Army
Nathan Smith (Toronto) – Britishness, Bolshevism and the Return of the Troops: Canada and the end of the First World War
Stephen Garton (University of Sydney) – The Return of the Anzacs

11.15 – 11.45 Break

11.45 – 13.30
Panel 6: The Fear of Colonial Revolts and State Responses to Colonial Unrest after the Great War: The Beginning of Decolonization?
Chair / Commentator: Erez Manela

Matthew Hughes (Brunel) – A British "Foreign Legion"? The British Police in Mandate Palestine
Martin Thomas (Exeter) – Rebellion and Restriction: Political Economies of Violence in France’s Inter-War Empire
Daniel M. Masterson (US Naval Academy) – Soldiers as Imperial Policemen: The Black and Tans in Palestine and the U.S. Marines in Nicaragua

13.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 15.45
Panel 7: Global Memories of the Great War: ‘Metropole’ and ‘Periphery’
Chair / Commentator: Adrian Gregory (Oxford)

Santanu Das (Queen Mary) – British Empire
Pierre Purseigle (Birmingham) – French Empire

Roundtable Discussion
Chair: Robert Gerwarth (UCD)

Hew Strachan (Oxford); Jay Winter (Yale); John Horne (TCD), Erez Manela (Harvard)

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