10:00 am – 11:30 am

Workshop “The State of Remembrance in Europe”

Memory and Historiography of the First World War in the Centenary

Chair: Prof. Dr Heidemarie Uhl | Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria

In this session, we will explore the concept of “cultures of memory” and discuss why they are relevant for historical research and for society. Moreover, we will try to assess to what extent the Centenary changed historiography and memory cultures. Are there any recent trends in the historiography of the First World War? Do we have new historiographical questions, approaches, concepts or theories? This session will begin with a presentation by Aleida Assmann who will focus on European Commemoration(s) of the First World War during the Centenary and will assess whether there has been a change from national to transnational memory cultures. Boris Kolonitsky will follow and characterise the relationship between memory and history. Overarching questions are: What is remembered and when? Which historical narratives can be explained through turning points, key processes and mentalities?

Prof. Dr Aleida Assmann (University of Konstanz, Germany)
European Commemorations of the Great War – From National to Transnational Memory Cultures?

Prof. Dr Boris Kolonistky (University of St. Petersburg, Russia)
Russian Culture in World War I and the Cultural Memory of War in Russia


12:00 am – 1:30 pm

Workshop “Challenges and ‘Blind Spots’ of Remembrance”

Claiming „Space“ in the Memory of the First World War

Chair: Prof. Dr Heidemarie Uhl | Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria

The European memory of the First World War was predominantly formed by operations on the Western Front, the battles in Verdun and on the Somme. However, the First World War was a “world” war with consequences for national turning points and narratives in many parts of the world. This session aims to explore the “different geographical and conceptual regions of memory” by examining the dividing war experiences. Maciej Gorny will shed light on the experiences on the Eastern Front and how and why interpretations of the War often differ from these experiences. Additionally, to the various colonial troops that fought and worked during the First World War, the British and French governments also hired contract labourers. Guoqi Xu will talk about the Chinese workers on the Western Front, who had a significant impact not only on the war itself but contributed greatly to China’s national identity.

Dr Maciej Górny (German Historical Institute Warsaw, Poland)
“Our War”? Eastern Europe’s Experience and Memory of the Great War

Prof. Dr Guoqi Xu (University of Hong Kong)
Chinese Workers on the Western Front and Chinese Memory of the Great War


2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Workshop “Looking Ahead: European Perspectives and Strategies”

The Geographical and Political Dimensions of Memory: the Case of Armenia

Chair: Prof. Dr Heidemarie Uhl | Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria

2015 will mark the centenary of the massacres against the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire, an event that has been polarising memory up till now. These conflicting memories pose difficult questions for European politicians and societies. Therefore, this session aims to pay particular attention to research that focuses on how these events are remembered in Europe. Hayk Demoyan will speak on the significance of the Armenian problem for the European history and memory culture. Taner Akcam will focus on its historical European dimension by examining a report sent in 1909.

Dr Hayk Demoyan (Armenian Genocide Museum & Institute, Armenia)
Armenian Genocide and European History and Memory: Uses and Misuses of the Contextualization

Prof. Dr Taner Akçam (Clark University, U.S.)
European Dimensions of the Armenian Refom Question