France and the Second World War in Global Perspective

France and the Second World War in Global Perspective, 1919-45

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Conference dates: 2-3 July 2015

Conference venue: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

In conjunction with Global War Studies
Organisers: Dr Rogelia Pastor-Castro and Dr Karine Varley 

Keynote speakers:

Talbot Imlay (Université Laval)

Peter Jackson (University of Glasgow)

Olivier Wieviorka (Ecole Normale Supérieur de Cachan)

Martin Thomas (Exeter) Discussant

Call for Papers

As the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War approaches, this conference seeks to re-evaluate the experiences and roles played by France during the war and its lead-up. Its aim is to explore France in the Second World War from a global as well as domestic perspective, including the interwar years of shifting foreign relations, international entanglements, political upheaval and military build-up. What new approaches might scholars bring to the history of the Vichy regime, collaboration, resistance, liberation, and the German and Italian occupations of France and Corsica? How have historians’ understandings of the roles played by the French colonial empire and colonial forces changed? How might international, transnational or comparative approaches contribute towards developing new avenues of research in this area? How have military histories of the preparations for war, the defeat of 1940, the defence of French colonies, and the liberation been informed by these new approaches?

Possible topics might include:

  • French foreign relations during the 1920s and 1930s
  • Preparations for war
  • The defeat of 1940
  • The Vichy regime
  • Collaboration and Resistance
  • The German and Italian occupation of France
  • French wartime relations with Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union
  • The French colonial empire at war
  • The liberation of France

This conference aims to bring together scholars working in the fields of military, political, cultural, diplomatic, international, colonial, transnational, and comparative history, and encourages interdisciplinary contributions. We invite proposals for 20-25 minute papers on any aspect of the conference theme. Proposals for panels of two or three papers are particularly welcome.

Paper proposals should comprise an abstract of no more than 300 words and a one-page CV. Please send proposals to Dr Karine Varley at: Karine.Varley@strath.ac.uk and Robert von Maier at: globalwarstudies@gmail.com by 3 November 2014.

The conference proceedings will be published as a special issue of Global War Studies, and may include an edited volume (monograph) as well. Submissions for the proceedings should be received by 15 October 2015.

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Civic Reception at Glasgow City Chambers on Thursday 2 July (Photos courtesy of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau) 

About the Keynote Speakers

Talbot Imlay is Professor in History at Université Laval, Quebec. He has published widely on French preparations for the Second World War. His publications include: (with Martin Horn), The Politics of Industrial Collaboration During World War II: Ford France, Vichy and Nazi Germany (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014), Facing the Second World War: Strategy, Politics and Economics in Britain and France, 1938-1940 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003). He is currently writing a book entitled, The Practice of Socialist Internationalism: British, French and German Socialists and International Politics, 1918-1960.

Peter Jackson is Professor in Global Security at the University of Glasgow. His research interests lie in nineteenth and twentieth century international history and he has published widely on French foreign policy, intelligence and security. His publications include: Beyond the Balance of Power: France and the Politics of National Security in the Era of the First World War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) and France and the Nazi Menace: Intelligence and Policy Making, 1933-1939 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Olivier Wieviorka is Professor in Contemporary History at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan. He is a leading historian of France and the Second World War, and has published extensively on the Resistance, Vichy, the liberation and the memory of the war. His publications include: Histoire de la Résistance: 1940-1945 (Paris: Perrin, 2013), La mémoire désunie: le souvenir politique des années sombres, de la Libération à nos jours (Paris: Seuil, 2010), Histoire du débarquement en Normandie: des origines à la libération (Paris: Seuil, 2007) and (with Jean-Pierre Azéma), Vichy 1940-1944 (Paris: Perrin, 1997).

Global War Studies is the leading international peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of the Second World War, 1919-1945. Published three times annually, GWS features articles and book reviews that explore a broad range of topics, including military, air power, naval, intelligence, and diplomatic history. Additionally, the journal publishes original research on weapons technology, geopolitics, home front studies, the Holocaust, resistance movements, and peacekeeping operations.

The conference is part of a wider History research strand at the University of Strathclyde focusing on Peace, Conflict and Identity in the Modern World. A related seminar series on Conflict and Society will start in September 2014.

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