Quick update

As ever, Trench Fever has been undergoing its summer lull whilst I toil away at writing and try not to let myself get distracted.

I am now between conferences – gave a paper at Birmingham last week, and doing one in Canterbury tomorrow. The Birmingham Conference had some particularly interesting papers from postgraduates: I’m really impressed with the quality of the military historical research that’s being done now at the PhD level. Overall, it made me think about some of my previous understanding of the BEF in 1918, which was the point. Lots of good stuff on logistics too..

Paper tomorrow is about Remembering and Forgetting the First World War on the Web. I’ve tried to work out some ways of analysing the multiple functions of sites connected to the remembrance of the war, and will talk about whether the web is democratising some of the ways we remember.

More detailed updates on both these later – I tried to write something on Birmingham immediately, but found I needed time to get my head round everything I’d heard.

Other things I’ve been thinking about: 1940 vs 1940-1941: turning point or defining period?; representing Britain’s maritime war; which historians inspired me with their writing (part of preparation for a mini-lecture on a revamped undergraduate history skills course).

More at the weekend I hope


3 Responses to Quick update

  1. Christina says:

    I’d be very interested in the paper on the web. I had to put together a (glossy) piece recently on the last veterans and found that there is a whole set of digital communities of memory out there that just hadn’t appeared on my radar. The behind-the-scenes discussions on Wikipedia were fascinating material, as is Youtube, of course…

  2. trenchfever says:

    It’s coming, it’s coming! In a way, the fact they weren’t on your radar bears out one of the points I’d make about digital remembrance, which is that whilst it might sustain lots of different versions of the past, it often does so without touching the dominant discourse.

  3. I am a big fan of “digital remembrances” however I have to admit that “little” people don’t really add very much to the overarching “historical” narrative. Even the extra “colour” and “texture” they contribute is often of dubious quality and veracity – despite that, these personal stories are often very engaging, entertaining and sometimes quite horrific – certainly the mawkish details are what tend to stick in my memory.

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