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Conference: Breaking Empires, Making Nations? The First World War and the Reforging of Europe

Breaking Empires, Making Nations? The First World War and the Reforging of Europe

Rompre les empires, faire les nations? La Première Guerre Mondiale et la refonte de l’Europe

An international conference at the College of Europe, Natolin, Warsaw, 7-8 April 2015, organised by The Chair of European Civilization

The languages of the conference are English and French, with simultaneous translation between the two. There is no conference fee. However, we ask you to confirm your attendance by 16 March 2015. Please email Anna Banach at

For more information please see:


7 April 2015, Auditorium Copernicus, Retinger Building

13.00-14.00 Registration

14.00-16.00 Inaugural session

Welcome by the Vice-Rector, Mrs Ewa OŚNIECKA-TAMECKA

Address by the Rector, Professor Jörg MONAR

Introduction by the Chairholder, Professor Richard BUTTERWICK-PAWLIKOWSKI

Keynote lecture by Professor Sir Hew STRACHAN (University of Oxford) The Ideas of 1914

16.00-16.30 Coffee break

16.30-18.30 Panel 1: (Re)imagining Empires, Nations and a Continent

Professor Andrzej NOWAK (Jagiellonian University, Cracow) Eastern European Geopolitical Shifts and the British Imperial Imagination, 1914-1919

Professor Gunda BARTH-SCALMANI (University of Innsbruck) The Habsburg Monarchy: From ‘Prison of Nations’ to ‘Successor States’ – National Developments and the Gender Aspect

Professor Michael WINTLE (University of Amsterdam) Europe’s Self-Image during the First World War, as Expressed in the Visual Arts


8 April 2015, Auditorium Copernicus, Retinger Building

09.00-10.45 Panel 2: Soldiers, Civilians and Nations

Professor Frédéric ROUSSEAU (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III) Les Combattants français et leurs familles (tbc)

Dr Stephan LEHNSTAEDT (German Historical Institute, Warsaw) Facing Enemies? Ethnic Approaches in Poland by the Central Powers and Nazi Germany

Dr Dmitar TASIĆ (University College Dublin) Forging a New Identity – from the Serbian to the Yugoslav Army


10.45-11.00 Coffee break
11.00-12.45 Panel 3: War, Nations and Communities

Professor Frank SYSYN (University of Alberta) The War through the eyes of a Ukrainian cleric and patriot: The Diary of Mykhailo Zubrytsky

Dr Alexander WATSON (Goldsmiths’ College London) Forging a Nation, Breaking a Community: Cracow at War, 1914-1918

Dr Alex DOWDALL (College of Europe, Natolin, and Trinity College Dublin) Forced Displacement, Local Communities and the Nation: France’s Refugees and their European Context, 1914-1918


12.45-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.30 Panel 4: Aftermaths, Legacies and Memories

Professor John HORNE (Trinity College Dublin) Empires and Nations in Transition: Paramilitary Violence 1917-1923

Dr Jens BOYSEN (German Historical Institute, Warsaw) Post-war in the Province: Germany’s Defeat and Revolution and the German-Polish struggle over Their Strategic Borderlands (West Prussia, Greater Poland, Upper Silesia), 1918-22

Professor Susan GRAYZEL (University of Mississippi) The Gendered Legacy of the Great War

Dr Élise JULIEN (Institut d’Études Politiques de Lille) France et Allemagne de l’entre-deux-guerres: des mémoires nationales contrastées du premier conflit mondial


15.30-15.45 Coffee Break

15.45-17.15 Student Workshops (venues tbc)

Professor Georges MINK (Collège d’Europe, Natolin) La question polonaise et la Pologne pendant la Première Guerre Mondiale: protagonistes, débats, effets

Quincy CLOET (College of Europe, Natolin) Unite or Wither Away: European Reflections on Pacifism, Decay and Integration after the First World War

Dr Alex DOWDALL (College of Europe, Natolin) Europe on the Move – Population Displacement

17.15-17.30 Coffee Break

17.30-18.30 Concluding Roundtable (speakers tbc)

18.30 Closure of the Conference


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