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New Voices in the History of War:

Twitter Conference #NVHOW20

Friday 25th September 2020

(all times in BST)

Presentations: 13:00 - 17:00

Society AGM (Members Only): 17:00 - 17:30


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Keynote speech by Professor Beatrice Heuser


Compassion and War


PLEASE NOTE: This talk will be given to SHoW members as part of the SHoW AGM & published on YouTube shortly afterwards.

There is an eternal paradox in human sentiments between innate compassion on the one hand and utter cruelty on the other, with indifference in the middle.  While in peacetime, utter cruelty is rarely practised in inter-human relations, in wartime, there is ample scope for it.  Greek and Roman historiography records many instances of it.  There are also records of instances when rulers or military commanders showed compassion, but these were, it seems, exceptional, and because of this made it into the history books.  Even once Christianity had “invented” the notion that one must be compassionate even towards slaves (leading eventually to the abolition of slavery among Christians in the high middle ages), it took centuries to impress upon Christians hosts that they must not maltreat their own peasant populations (mainly to secure victuals and farm animals).  Arguably, it was only from the 15th century that military commanders extended that injunction to the treatment of enemy civilians.  These were of little effect in the Thirty Years’ War, but from then onwards there were some signs of institutionalised compassion with civilian populations and even enemy prisoners of war.  The situation was reversed with the rise of nationalism and racism: these ideologies from the late 19th century pitted nations against each other in a Darwinist fight for the survival of the fittest, with mass armies, mass casualties, a mass destruction of civilian property marking the First, and deliberate attacks on civilian populations the Second World War.  Efforts made in recent decades to protect civilian populations from the ravages of war recall practices of the 18th century, and yet are half-hearted even now.

Full Timetable & Speakers:
Timetable & Full Abstracts Can be Downloaded Here
Using the British Civil War in Colchester in the early nineteenth century

Michael Sewell (@Mike_Sewell) - 13:00-13:15

This presentation focusses on how the Civil War was subsequently used by Whigs and Tories to express loyalty and dedication in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  
Living Memory and the Commemoration of the First World War in Britain  

Liam Markey (@Liam_Markey94) - 13:15 - 13:30

This presentation examines the nature of British commemorative practices and the social conditions which led to their creation.
Humanitarian work of the Carniolan Savings Bank during the First World War

Nataša Henig Miščič (@NMiscic) - 13:30-13:45

This study deals with the development of Carniolan Savings Bank’s position in the public space of Carniola province and its role in humanitarian work during the Great War. 
Young men’s encounters with the Great War in interwar Britain

Dr. Joel Morley (@JoelMMorley) - 14:00-14:15

This presentation draws on oral histories and Mass Observation material to discuss young men’s encounters with representations of the Great War in interwar Britain. 
The Bethnal Green Shelter Disaster

Dr. Stephen Moore (@smooreBofB1940) - 14:15-14:30

This presentation examines how the causes of the greatest loss of life in a shelter in the UK during the Second World War have been distorted by post-war press.
An affective and reflective approach to studying Holocaust memory and photographs

Alice Tofts (@alicetofts2) - 14:30-14:45

This presentation draws on Alice’s experience of researching institutional, individual and familial memories of the Holocaust to examine the challenges implicit in managing emotional reactions to harrowing subjects.
"This Whole Wretched Mess": Representations of the First World War in Children’s Literature

Harriet Jackson (@harrietj1928) - 15:00-15:15

This presentation examines the relationship between the cultural memory of the First World War and its representation in the children’s literature of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
‘TOMMIES’ – The First World War as BBC Radio Drama

Jonathan Ruffle (@jonathanruffle) - 15:15-15:30

This presentation explores the conception and building of one episode of his 42-episode First World War BBC Radio 4 drama -TOMMIES
Newsreels and the Narrative of World War II: Then and Now

Grace Stephenson (@GStephensonHist) - 15:30-15:45

This paper considers the implications of how the narratives evident in World War II cinema newsreels have become embedded within British culture
Waiting is the Women’s Role: the Falklands Conflict media representation of Royal Navy Wives

Dr. Victoria Woodman (@v_woodman) - 16:00-16:15

This presentation examines how Falklands naval wives were portrayed in newspaper and television reports during the Falklands conflict
Hippocrates under arms: adaptation, cooperation, and agency

Francesca Hooft (@FrancescaHooft) - 16:15-16:30

This paper discusses the ambiguous position of medical personnel serving the military, examining their dual loyalties in historical perspective
What did YOU do in the war, Mummy?

Hannah West (@hannah_r_west) - 16:30-16:45

The British Army has repeatedly attempted, but failed, to control women’s war labour through their construction of ‘combat’, the ‘front-line’ and the recording of campaign narratives to sustain the myth of women’s absence. 
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