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Call for papers: Business as usual? Institutional impact in the First World War: Wednesday 2 March 2016

Business as usual? Institutional impact in the First World War

Wednesday 2 March 2016 in the Senate Rooms, University of Glasgow

“Professors and lecturers went on leave of absence to take up war duties in London or elsewhere. Many of the medical teachers and students, both men and women, were mobilised for hospital work at home and abroad; but a sufficient nucleus remained for the intensive training and testing of young practitioners… In a word, the experience of Glasgow was similar to that of the other national Universities, though owing to its situation, circumstances, and special modes of activity, it had in some respects a character of its own.”

Donald Macalister, Principal of the University of Glasgow, March 1922

This conference will bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines to examine the role of institutional involvement in an individual’s experience of the First World War. We will consider submissions for all types of institution from educational establishments, churches, professional bodies, clubs and societies, to commercial and industrial companies and other workplaces. This conference seeks to understand how overarching corporate entities with localised institutional identities impacted participation in the First World War and how the war changed or redefined these discrete communities.

The event is being organised by the University of Glasgow’s Dr Tony Pollard, Senior Lecturer in History/Archaeology, Dr Charlotte Methuen, Senior Lecturer in Theology & Religious Studies and Dr Jennifer Novotny, Research Assistant, Glasgow University’s Great War Project.

The remit is wide-ranging and we welcome submissions from academic researchers in subjects like History, Archaeology, Sociology, Anthropology, as well as individuals working in cultural heritage management, museums, archives, schools, corporate history, and community research projects. Abstracts of 300 words should be sent to by noon on 16 November 2015.

Suggested themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • mobilisation and recruitment at institutions, from obstruction to encouragement to outright coercion
  • incidence of colleagues joining up together and the impact this has on the institutional community
  • what life was like for those left behind in the institutional environment
  • how institutions coped (or failed to cope) during the war years
  • resuming life (or not) within the institutional community after demobilisation
  • changes and adaptations within institutions, such as shifting demographics or policy changes, as a result of the war
  • institutional relationships with all members of their internal communities, from soldiers at the front to conscientious objectors and non-combatant and “enemy aliens”
  • commemoration and memorialisation of individuals within an institutional community