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CFP: 'Its work will never be done': The Commonwealth War Graves Commission, its task, legacies and future

Submission deadline: April 10, 2017

Conference date(s):
September 4, 2017 - September 6, 2017

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Conference Venue:

School of History, University of Kent at Canterbury
Canterbury, United Kingdom

Topic areas


2017 marks the centenary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Originally named the Imperial War Graves Commission, the organisation emerged from the various bodies given responsibility for the war dead of the British Empire. Led by the remarkable Sir Fabian Ware, a man driven by a vision of imperial collaboration, the Commission took responsibility for a global project for the permanent commemoration of the dead. Finding solutions to the vast number of questions faced by the Commission was a delicate process, and it resulted in a unique form of remembrance which has left a deep impression on people across the world.

The Centre for War, Propaganda and Society (School of History, University of Kent) and Gateways to the First World War (AHRC-funded World War One Engagement Centre) are hosting a conference for PhD students and Early Career Researchers in the CWGC’s centenary year to explore its work and legacies.

The conference will be held on the Canterbury campus at the University of Kent, 4-6 September 2017.

We are keen to encourage exploration of a wide range of themes connected with the work of the Commission, including (but not confined to) issues of identities (including class, race, and gender), horticultural and architectural treatment, mourning and grief, landscape and space, belonging and ownership, tourism and pilgrimage, interaction between visitors and the communities occupying the zones around the cemeteries and memorials, different uses and interpretations of the cemeteries and memorials, comparisons with other commemoration schemes, on-going role of the CWGC and its future.

Proposals for papers of no longer than 25 minutes in length, and all other queries, should be sent to: Eileen Hartney (

Closing date for proposals [no more than 350 words]: 10 April 2017

This conference is a Gateways collaboration with The Western Front Association

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