World War I and the Environment

The centennial of World War I begins a year from now; there will be a vast international discussion of the Great War over the following four years and more.  So we want to bring the environmental dimension of the war’s legacies to people’s awareness – both academics and the broader public.  We have proposed panels for the ASEH conference in San Francisco next March and the World Conference on Environmental History (WCEH) in Guimaraes, Portugal on July 7-14 next year.  The deadline for proposals for WCEH is this August 31, so there is still time to organize proposals.  See the website: <>.

In addition, there will be many other possible venues for presenting our work, including the annual conference of SMH, the Society for Military History, which will be in Kansas City on April 3-6 (see <>), hosted in part by the National World War I Museum there.  We are building bridges between ASEH and SMH, so anyone with ideas for that conference should check the website; the deadline for proposals is October 1.  We note also WHA, the World History Association (<>), which will hold its annual conference in San Jose, Costa Rica, on July 15-18, 2014, as well as other regional symposia.

Our opportunities will extend for the four years of the centennial, and we should consider many ways of presenting our work.  We have created a bibliographic section on that war on our Bibliography page; we invite additional contributions to that or any section of the growing bibliography.

In addition, we are building an email list of anyone interested in research on that war, to keep in touch with each other’s work and proposals, including ideas about innovative venues: public places, veterans’ organizations, etc.  If you would like to be added to that list, send a message to Richard.

Keep watching for our further development of the project page on the Centennial.

Resisting war in the 20th century

Lisbon, 27, 28 February and 1 March 2014

Keynote speakers: Paul Preston, Benjamin Stora, Joanna Bourke, Catherine Lutz, Chen Alon, José Manuel Pureza, Fernando Rosas, João Freire, Aniceto Afonso

The twentieth century witnessed the substantial intensification of the phenomenon of total war. The distance between the front and the home vanished as the difference between combatants and civilians became tenuous; the society as a whole became engaged in war, with each individual considered responsible to contribute to the war effort. This was true not only of the two world wars but also of such conflicts as civil wars, colonial wars, or wars of independence. In response to the nature of total war, the universe of resistance to war also became broad and diverse, employing a variety of means not limited to armed resistance. We are interested in the concrete acts of resistance as well as in the broader sweep of the impact and meanings of resistance: of its mobilization, its confrontation with participants in the conflict, and the ways in which it has been remembered.

This congress intends to promote debate about the multiple kinds of resistance to war as well as explore the different academic approaches taken to studying it, especially but not exclusively in history, anthropology, sociology and political science as well as literary, cultural, artistic, subaltern and gender studies.

We call for empirical, theoretical or methodological papers that discuss the issue of resistance to war in the twentieth century in its multiple performances and visions, in different observation scales. We hope to see studies highlighting different actors, institutions, practices and speeches and also hegemonic or counter-hegemonic collective representations.

We invite colleagues from all disciplines and professions to send presentation proposals that address, however we will consider other topics, these general questions or the following themes:

Great World Wars
Civil Wars
Independence Wars
Empires in question/Empire’(s) war (s)
Total war: technology and control
Nationalism, colonialism and independence movements
War against war: subversion and guerrilla
Deserters, dislocates and refugees
Peacebuilding and conflict resolution
International organizations and movements
Social movements and collective action
Ideology and engagement (intellectual)
Gender experiences
War representations and War culture (Visual and cinematic representations, material culture, literature, propaganda, etc.)
War memory


Contact information:

Instituto de História Contemporânea – Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Av. de Berna, 26 C 1069-061 Lisboa, Portugal