The Long End of the First World War: Ruptures, Continuities and Memories

Beginn: Uhr
Ende: Uhr
Schloss Herrenhausen
Fachpublikum Wissenschaft

The symposium "The Long End of the First World War", taking place in Hanover, May 8-10, 2017, focuses on the relation between global and social history. 

Soldiers from the former Ottoman Empires.
The year 1918 did not mark the end of fighting in parts of the world - for example in the former Ottoman Empires. (Photo: LOC via Wikimedia Commons)

Link to the Summary Report, Videos, and Photos.

The Herrenhausen Symposium "The Long End of the First World War: Ruptures, continuities and memories" takes place in Hanover from May 8-10, 2017. It focuses on the relation between global history and social history, highlighting actors and regions, and it systematically engages with the issue of diverse periodizations. In discussing linkages between experience, historiography, and commemoration, the symposium aims at unsettling the notion of a static and clearly defined "end" of the First World War, a construct mainly based on European developments. While the armistice of November 11, 1918 marked the end of fighting on the Western Front, the case was different in other parts of the world, particularly in the former Russian and Ottoman Empires as well as in East Africa, where armed conflicts related to the destruction and re-formation of political orders persisted, in some parts even for several years. These struggles affected daily life and biographical trajectories as well as local perceptions, representations and interpretations of the War. Which events or developments marked the "end" of the war? How did the processes which marked the end of the War differ regionally, and how did prisoners of war, demobilized soldiers, women, or children from and in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East perceive and experience the "end"? How did this "end" influence new networks, social movements, society, economic processes, or ecological developments? And how were these questions discussed by contemporary intellectuals in Asia, Africa or the Middle East?

With the centennial of the outbreak of the War in 1914 and the increasing temporal distance it conveys, the nature of remembrance, too, is changing. The centennial in 2014 was marked by extensive commemoration activities in many parts of the world, not only on various political levels but also in the media, in the fields of literature and in the arts. The symposium asks whether and how they shaped contemporary dialogues on commemoration, not only in Asia, Africa, or Latin America but also in Europe. Can the loss of "Zeitzeugen" be compensated by the use of electronic and other media? And: does this make transnational commemoration easier (or more difficult)? We are particularly interested in issues and questions of what could be called "non-memory", forgotten or submerged memories. What is written out of historical narratives and what is being rediscovered? In this respect, the symposium will also discuss questions of changing memories and contested commemorations.

Herrenhausen Symposium
The Long End of the First World War: Ruptures, continuities and memories
May 8-10, 2017
Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, Germany


The program for the Symposium "The Long End of the First World War: Ruptures, continuities and memories" can be found in the column on the right. Session 1: Post-War Political Frameworks, Networks and Movements Session 2: New Fault Lines, New Wars Session 3: The Shaping of Cultural Memories Session 4: Humanitarianism Session 5: Ecological Impacts of the War Session 6: Reversed Attitudes Session 7: Remembrance without "Zeitzeugen"? Session 8: Sharing History: Museums and Exhibitions Session 9: New Historiographies Session 10: Towards a New Chronology


If you would like to attend the conference, please register by clicking on the registration link in the column on the right. There are no fees for attendance but registration is essential.


The conference language is English.

Exhibition on display: Lives from a Global Conflict. Cultural Entanglements during the First World War

During the coffee and lunch breaks a poster exhibition entitled "Lives from a Global Conflict. Cultural Entanglements during the First World War" will be on display. This exhibition showcases the outcome of a three-year collaborative research project entitled "Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals, and Belligerents during the First World War". The posters illustrate trajectories of 16 individuals who lived through these extraordinary times, and whose experiences illustrate the global and varied nature of Great War. The project was funded by HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) and consists of four teams of researchers from Kings College London, Utrecht University, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan, and ZMO in Berlin. For further information please click on the exhibition program in the column on the right.

Venue and public transport

The conference is held at Herrenhausen Palace in Hanover, Germany. You can reach the venue by tram: Take line 4 or 5 and get off at "Herrenhäuser Gärten".