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Call for Proposals: Remembering Peace: Global Perspectives on Commemorating War
Deadline for Proposals: 30 November 2019

Commemorations of the First World War have taken place globally over the past five years. During and after the conflict, it was referred to as “the war to end all wars.” The establishment of the League of Nations and the rhetoric of peace and peacemaking were important to how the First World War was fought and the ways it was remembered in the immediate years after the war. However, discourses about peace can be harder to locate in many contemporary commemorations and narratives about the legacy of the Great War. The end of the centenary commemorations presents an important opportunity to talk about peacerather than only war. Yet how much are ideas about peace presented within these commemorations?

Hosted by the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University, this workshop invites papers that blend boundaries between times of war and peace, and that complicate distinctions between battlefront and homefront. Taking place on 7-8 May 2020 on the centenary of the completion of Paris peace talks in 1920, this conference explores themes related to the legacy of the war and ideas about peace that it built on, generated, and erased, and how those ideas continue to shape conversations and events throughout the 20thcentury and into the 21st.

The workshop approaches the Great War not as a beginning or end of discussions about peace, but part of broader transnational conversations and agreements that span centuries and continue to our present day.  The historical timeline for this workshop is open, and we welcome discussions of peace and the way it is commemorated and discussed from the 17thto 21stcenturies. The topic for papers can be broad; we invite papers that discuss ideas about peace and relationships between war and peace outside of western contexts and before, during, and after the Great War. Definitions about peace are also left open for participants to define based on their own ways of knowing and historiographical foundations.

Workshop participants will explore the legacy of the war by situating discourses about peace, including its possibilities and its failures, as part of this legacy. The Great War was a moment in time, a product of the centuries that came before it and a factor that helped shape the century yet to come.

We invite papers related to, but not limited to, the following workshop themes:

  • Representations of peace in policy, literature, the press, films, images, music, etc.
  • Movements of ideas, objects, and people during times of war
  • Exploring transnational ideas and advocacy for peace
  • Reconciliation
  • Veteran and family experiences throughout the 20thcentury (including children)
  • Refugee narratives and experiences
  • Commemorating and memorializing peace
  • Grief and mourning
  • Teaching about peace and peace movements

We welcome proposals of 250 words by 30 November 2019. After the symposium, presenters will be invited to submit papers for the consideration of the editors of the L.R. Wilson Rethinking Canada in the WorldSeries with McGill-Queen’s University Press. The edited volume will stand as a key contribution to ongoing critical work on peace in Canada and abroad.

The Wilson Institute will provide assistance towards lodging and travel reimbursement for accepted speakers. Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2019. Applicants should submit their proposals and a one-page CV to the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History with the subject line Remembering Peace to:

The workshop will be hosted by the Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University, which is located on the traditional territory of Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe under the Dish with One Spoon wampum covenant.