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Report of Kings College’s Conference ‘War in Historical and Contemporary Perspective’, 5 June 2017

Roel van der Velde (@RoelVelde) of the School of Languages and Area Studies, University of Portsmouth, explores how the outcomes of this event can be of benefit to students of Francophone history. He is presently in the final stages of his doctoral thesis on ‘French-South African arms trade as a community of practice, 1955-1979’. On 5 June 2017, a heavy congregation of military historians convened at Kings College for the ‘War in Historical and Contemporary Perspective’ conference. The conference aims were to make an inventory of developments and innovations within the discipline in a dynamic new century. This piece contends that researchers of French-Francophone relations can benefit from these discussions. War Studies, with its roots in military history, is in need of a robust research agenda in support of interdisciplinarity, an issue it has in common with Area Studies. At a similarly introspective conference it was observed that Area Studies ‘cannot be grounded in the significance of specific geographical areas. All ‘areas’ are historically contingent, with fluid and often contested boundaries; their very coherence as areas – whether geopolitical, socio-economic, or cultural-historical – shifts over time, often depending upon the perspective of who is viewing, from where, and for what purpose.’.[i] Furthermore, both disciplines […]

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LECTURE. Red Globalism: The ‘Other’ Europe, Africa and Decolonization, Prof Paul Betts

CEISR ANNUAL LECTURE Red Globalism: The ‘Other’ Europe, Africa and Decolonization by Prof Paul Betts, University of Oxford   Professor Paul Betts is Professor of Modern European History in St Anthony’s College at the University of Oxford. His research and publications focus on Modern European Cultural History in general and 20th Century German History in particular.  Professor Betts has a special interest in the relationship between culture and politics over the course of the century, and have worked on the themes of material culture, cultural diplomacy, photography, memory and nostalgia, human rights and international justice, death and changing notions of private life. His recent publications include Within Walls:  Private Life in the German Democratic Republic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010; paperback, 2012), which was awarded the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History by the Wiener Library. Professor Betts has also co-edited a number of volumes recently, including Heritage in the Modern World:  Historical Preservation in International Perspective (with Corey Ross, Oxford University Press, 2015); Years of Persecution, Years of Extermination: Saul Friedländer and the Future of Holocaust Studies (with Christian Wiese, London: Continuum, 2010); and  Between Mass Death and Individual Loss: The Place of the Dead in Twentieth-Century Germany (with Alon Confino and Dirk Schumann, New York/Oxford: […]

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