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The Many Faces of War - Changing Perspectives on Armed Conflict

November 17, 2017 - November 18, 2017
British Commission for Military History (BCMH)

St John's College Cambridge
United Kingdom

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***The conference programme is now available atBritish Journal for Military History***


Since ancient times war has been conceived of not only as a means of destruction but also as a generative process that demands expertise and innovation. This ambivalence is exemplified by the Greek goddess Pallas Athene, who represented not only war but also the arts and sciences. This complex goddess reflects the theme of this year’s New Research in Military History Conference, which is concerned with exploring multi-dimensional perceptions of warfare.

This conference will focus on a range of subjects associated with the history of war, ranging from the study of military technique to issues more concerned with representation and art.

Themes might include:

  • The role of war in international relations
  • War as a means or as a failure of politics
  • The difference between pre- and post-Enlightenment perceptions of warfare
  • The difference between victory and defeat, in the perception of soldiers and civilians, or in terms of remembrance culture
  • Ways to cope with a “lost cause;” for instance by the armed forces and the political leadership
  • Intelligence, understanding and war
  • War as a means of social change
  • Insurgency, resistance and de-colonisation
  • Tactical and technological change
  • War and the history of science
  • Gender, war and identity

This is the 8th conference organised by the British Commission for Military History. Its purpose is to bring together current research by postgraduate and early career scholars in the field of military history and related disciplines. Its philosophy is to offer an open and supportive forum for people with a broad range of interests – from material culture to those interested in intelligence or military technique – to meet up and share their research.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Brendan Simms (University of Cambridge)

La Haye Sainte: the writing and the relevance

Registration Fee

There is a registration fee for both speakers and attendes. The price includes refreshments at breaks and a sandwich lunch.

Fee for attending both days: £40

Fee for attending either Friday or Saturday: £30

Fee for Speakers attending both days: £30

Fee for Speakers attending 1 day: £20

The conference is being underwritten by the British Commission for Military History and is being organised on a not-for-profit basis.

Registration will be taken via Eventbrite and will start later on in the year.

Conference Dinner

The conference convenors will host a conference dinner on the evening of Friday 17th November at Clare College. Details to be confirmed.

After dinner speaker: Professor Guy Rowlands (St Andrews)

Conference Papers

There is an opportunity for speakers to subsequently publish their work in the peer-reviewed British Journal for Military History.


Adam Storring (University of Cambridge), Arthur Kuhle (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Tobias Roeder (University of Cambridge), Lucia Staiano-Daniels (UCLA) and Matthew Ford (University of Sussex)

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November 2, 2017, 11:00pm BST

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