Call for Papers

Confirmed keynote speakers

Alison Landsberg (George Mason University, Fairfax VA, USA)
Robin De Levita (Robin De Levita Productions, The Netherlands)
Stefan Berger (Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany)

Date: 26-27 March 2020

Host: Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), The Netherlands

The conference "The Stage of War" focuses on academic and popular representations of war and other large-scale conflicts. Nowadays, the cultural engagement with the history of violent conflicts spans a multitude of academic and above all popular genres, including (graphic) novels, films, tourism, musicals, games, exhibitions and reenactments. Producers of popular genres try to bring the past closer to the public through interaction, performance and multi-sensory experience, often to the discontent of academic historians who fear for a distorted or trivialized past. Nonetheless, research indicates that these popular genres can significantly affect and enhance our understanding of the past.

The unique aim of this conference is to stimulate an exchange between academic and popular approaches to the representation of violent conflicts. Instead of just criticizing popular historical culture, we call on academic historians to make clear what a responsible approach to the past might entail. On the other hand, we ask producers to clarify what the practical and ethical

limitations and opportunities are of representing violent pasts in contemporary society. How can we learn from each other? To what extent can critical historical thinking be stimulated through popular productions?

This two-day conference comprises academic lectures, presentations, roundtable discussions, and a battlefield tour through Rotterdam by military history specialists.

Target Groups

  • Historians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists
  • PhD and ReMa students
  • Military specialists
  • Memory / heritage specialists
  • Popular culture specialists
  • Producers of historical musicals, films, video games, exhibitions, websites
  • Script writers, curators, game developers
  • Trainers, heritage educators, history teachers

Thematic scope

Contributors are invited to submit papers revolving on topics, such as:

  • Diversification of war experiences
  • Embodiment and bodily understanding
  • The commercialization of war heritage
  • Creating immediacy, direct contact with the past
  • Battlefield representations for education, tourism and military training
  • Representing and experiencing authenticity
  • Marginal perspectives / multiperspectivity
  • Commemoration and reenactments

Please send abstracts of max. 300 words and a short biographical statement (max. 50 words) to thestageofwar@eshcc.eur.nl before 1 October 2019.

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