War and Peace: Universities and the First World War

28 March, 2014

Venue: St Paul’s College, University of Sydney
Access via 9 City Rd (Princes Hwy), Camperdown
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Scholarship on the First World War and on its legacies is a well developed field of historical inquiry. But the relationship between universities and the first global conflict of the twentieth century has been surprisingly neglected. How was knowledge, both inside the university and outside it, refashioned by total war and its demands? What role did academic expertise play in the conflict and after it, and how was it mobilised? What were the consequences of the mass mobilisation of men and mind power, not just into uniform, but also across space and social distance? What could the state ask of the university in the years after the war, and what could the university demand of the state? How was the war remembered and commemorated, both inside the university and outside it?

The aim of this symposium is to bring historians of the First World War and its legacies, together with historians of higher education to examine the relationship between the university, the conflict and society in Australia and beyond. In doing so we wish to extend our frame of analysis from 1914-18 to include the 1920s – drawing attention to the longer-term ramifications of these entanglements and their influence on the peace.

Keynote speakers: Professor Glenda Sluga and Dr Tamson Pietsch.

Symposium speakers include Emeritus Professor Alan Atkinson, Dr Peter Hobbins, and Professor Stephen Garton.

This symposium is run in conjunction with the At War! University of Sydney and the First World War project, organised by the University Historian and University Archives, and the History of University Life Seminar Series Group convened since 2008 by Alan Atkinson with Julia Horne and Geoffrey Sherington.


9.30                Coffee

9.50                Introduction

10.00              Keynote
                      Dr Tamson Pietsch
(University of Sydney)
                      Khaki Common Room: academic networks and the Great War

11.00              Morning Coffee

11.15              Session 1: Society
                      Prof Stephen Garton
(University of Sydney)
                      The Legacy of Return

                      Emeritus Prof Alan Atkinson (UNE and St Paul’s College, University of Sydney)
                      Men, Women and the War: The Impact on Students 

                      Assoc Prof Julia Horne & Dr Ian Johnson (University of Sydney)
                      Staff and Students at War: An online database connecting people, places and events

13.15              Lunch

14.15              Session 2: Legacies
                      Brad Manera
(Principal Historian, Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park Sydney)
                      Our Absent Dead: The need for war memorials in Australia in the 1920s and 30s

                      Dr Colin Bale (Moore College)
                      “Though lost to sight, to memory ever dear”: grave stone inscriptions for soldier students

                      Dr Peter Hobbins (University of Sydney)
                      Marking time? The thwarted futures of 1919

16.15              Concluding discussion and walk

Change of venue to the Women’s College
Access via 15 Carillion Ave, Newtown
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17.00              Drinks and canapés – Main Common Room, The Women's College

18.00              Keynote (in conjunction with Sydney Ideas) – Menzies Hall
                      Prof Glenda Sluga (University of Sydney)
Nationalism, Internationalism and the Legacies of the First World War

NB. This talk is open to the public – attendance is free but registration for non-workshop participants is required.

19.30              Informal dinner for those wishing to attend

Contact:Dr Tamson Pietsch