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This seminar consists of papers that offer reflections on the recent centenary of the Great War:

Computerised Commemoration: Remembering the First World War in the Digital Age (Helena Power)
This paper will consider how the First World War was memorialised online during the Centenary, covering a range of sources from social media accounts and posts to larger institutional online projects. In doing so, it will demonstrate how the nature of remembrance and the ways we communicate and share cultural memory have shifted in the digital era, while also highlighting the aspects which remain unchanged a century later. Ultimately, it will balance the advantages and pitfalls of the Internet’s ability to replace the physical monuments of the past, and how this might impact future commemoration.

Monuments and Memory Spaces: War Memorials at the Centenary (Louise Rodwell)
The most recognisable memorialisation of the war in Britain are the monuments that inhabit most settlements across Britain. Whilst varying in design, war memorials are often instantly recognisable civic markers, usually placed in a socially significant space which solicits attention from passers-by. What do these monuments mean to the everyday viewer at the Centenary? Are these memorials an unchanging aspect of the legacy of war, symbolised by the very stone that they are created from? Does the initial meaning of a memorial have to last forever? To commemorate and remind future generations of monumental events not to be forgotten is a memorial’s main, if not sole purpose, yet the terms of engagement with these spaces at the Centenary indicated that there were attempts to challenge their alleged immoveable and irremovable symbolism. The memory spaces of memorials do in fact, move - but as war memorials and monuments are not generally regarded by wider society as creative spaces, or even places for creative interpretation or discussion, we must interrogate how this is possible. This paper will evaluate the role of war memorials at the Centenary; interrogating the spectre of memory that has been cast on the landscape of Britain since the First World War, and how this role was negotiated at the Centenary.

Helena Power and Louise Rodwell are PhD candidates at the Universities of Kent and Essex respectively.


All welcome- this seminar is free to attend but advance registration is required.

This session is a hybrid session and in-person tickets are limited.