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World War One International Conference

Perspectives on the 'Great' War
Rückblick auf den Ersten Weltkrieg

Queen Mary, University of London
1-4 August 2014

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, an international, multi-disciplinary conference is being organised by the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film and the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London, the Open University, and the Department of German at University College London. The organizers are working in partnership with the Imperial War Museum, the German Historical Institute, the Leo Baeck Institute London, and the Centre for Anglo-German Cultural Relations (Queen Mary, University of London). The conference will be hosted at Queen Mary, University of London on its attractive campus in the East End of the city. The oldest Jewish cemetery in London is situated on site and the campus is close to the Olympic Park, Docklands, Victoria Park, the Regent's Canal and many other places of interest.

The keynote speakers will include:

  • Professor Elza Adamowicz (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Professor Christopher Clark (University of Cambridge)
  • Professor Jonathan Steinberg (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Professor Sam Williamson (University of the South)
  • Professor Jay Winter (Yale University)
  • Professor David Stevenson (London School of Economics and Political Science)
  • Professor Michael Epkenhans (Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr)

This conference will mark the outbreak of the First World War, which was named the "Great War" from as early as 1916, when it was already referred to as the "Great European War". The dates for this event match exactly the four days between Germany's declaration of war on Russia and the British declaration of war on Germany. Although the USA remained neutral at this point, the conference does not neglect its eventual involvement. Almost every nation involved in the World War will represented by our speakers: Germany and Austria, Great Britain, the USA and Canada, Ireland, the Middle East and India, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand, the former African colonies of both Germany and Britain, the Balkans, Poland, Russia, Spain, Italy and Portugal. As well as national and regional perspectives, the following perspectives and topics have emerged: political and military perspectives; colonial perspectives; Jewish perspectives (cultural and religious); other religious and confessional perspectives; the perspectives of occupied territories; gendered perspectives; science, technology and medicine; and the arts.

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The conference committee has put together a programme based on some 150 abstracts that have been submitted. Download a copy below:

Perspectives on the Great War - conference programme [PDF 4.88 MB]

Please note that the programme may be subject to some change.


The list of abstracts is continuously being updated. Download the most up-to-date PDF file of it.

Funding and fees

Our university will be able to provide some funding, but cannot promise to fund the entire event or pay speakers' expenses. We will therefore have to charge a fee to cover our internal expenses, but we will keep this as small as possible. We will charge a reduced fee for students.


We cannot promise to publish all conference papers, but we do intend to produce one collection of refereed articles. We are currently negotiating with a number of publishers and will announce any developments as soon as they become concrete.


Felicity Rash

Falco Pfalzgraf

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