War, remembrance and the making of history

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Event Details

Date:
22 October 2019 at 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Venue:
John White Room C1.10, Level 1, Building C, Caulfield Campus
Categories:
School of Languages Literatures Cultures and Linguistics

Description

Panel discussion

  • Professor Christina Twomey
  • Associate Professor Kevin Forster
  • Professor Craig Stockings

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printed flyerAs we farewell the centenary of the end of the Great War and welcome the beginning of the eightieth anniversary of the commencement of the Second World War, former combatant nations once again re-visit the causes, costs and consequences of these two, world-shaping conflicts. In the light of this heightened focus on remembrance and revaluation, this panel brings together three speakers whose research focuses on the relationship between archives, memory and history. How are histories made? How are the momentous military events of our past, far distant and more recent, remembered by those who fought in them, toiled at home, or who seek to excavate the archival trove of military conflict to bring the public a richer understanding of what happened. What is the role of memory, private documents and official archives in shaping the narratives of the past?

This panel brings together three historians of war whose work explores the complex and confounding processes by which memory is, or is not, translated into history and then goes on to shape subsequent experience of War. Professor Christina Twomey’s work explores how the domestic spaces of the Second World War, and its aftermath, have escaped much of its celebratory public history; Associate Professor Kevin Foster considers how the Falklands War was written into Britain's national past, and is now re- surfacing in the Brexit debate as a touchstone of lost, national glory; Professor Craig Stockings, the Official Historian of Australian Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Australian Peacekeeping Operations in East Timor, addresses the question of exactly how an official history is written – what gets in, what doesn’t and why.

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