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The Stage of War. Academic and Popular Representations of Large-Scale Conflicts

18.07.2019 14:02 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

March 26-27, 2020 

Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands 

Deadline: October 1, 2019

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 re-enactments. 

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 suggest what a responsible approach to  the past might entail. Simultaneously, 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 is  comprised of academic lectures, presentations, roundtable discussions,  and a battlefield tour in Rotterdam by military history specialists. 

Target groups 

         Historians, sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists 

         PhD and ReMa students 

         Military specialists 

         Memory / heritage specialists 

         Popular culture specialists 

         Tourism professionals 

         Producers of historical musicals, films, video games,  exhibitions, websites 

         Script writers, curators, game developers, graphic novel authors 

         Trainers, heritage educators, history teachers 

Thematic scope 

Contributors are invited to submit papers on topics 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 

Keynote speakers 

Alison Landsberg (George Mason University, USA) 

Robin de Levita (Robin de Levita Productions, The Netherlands) 

Stefan Berger (Ruhr Universität Bochum, Germany) 

Please send abstracts of max. 300 words and a short biographical  statement of  max. 50 words to before 1 October 2019. 

All abstracts will be reviewed. Notification of acceptance: 1 December 2019. 

Location and organization 

The venue of this conference will be campus Woudestein Erasmus  University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The conference is an outcome of  the Research Excellence Initiative 'War! Popular Culture and European  Heritage of Major Armed Conflicts', directed by prof.dr. Maria Grever  and prof.dr. Stijn Reijnders at the Erasmus School of History, Culture  and Communication (ESHCC). See also




         Early bird €70, - 

         After 1 February 2020 €100,- 

         Students €25,- 

         Dinner €35,- 

Our organisation committee consists of Prof.dr. Maria Grever, Prof.dr.  Stijn Reijnders, Prof.dr. Jeroen Jansz, Prof.dr. Kees Ribbens, dr. Susan  Hogervorst, Siri Driessen, Pieter van den Heede, dr. Laurie  Slegtenhorst, Lise Zurné, dr. Robbert-Jan Adriaansen and Prof.dr.  Franciska de Jong. 



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