First World War seminars - Ypres 2017
05/12/2016 - Ieper - Source: In Flanders Fields Museum
The In Flanders Fields Museum and the University of Kent present a series of eight seminars on Thursday evening, free and open to all. The four lectures in Ieper are scheduled at 7pm and take place in the reading room of the In Flanders Fields Museum, Sint-Maartensplein 3, Ieper. In Canterbury, the seminars are held in Keynes Seminar Room 13, University of Kent, at 6pm.

To be organized in 2017:

THURSDAY 19 JANUARY 2017, Ieper, 7pm
Professor Alison Fell (University of Leeds)
Culture Clashes: Belgian Refugees in Yorkshire

This talk will explore the interactions between Belgian refugees and the residents of Yorkshire in the First World War, considering the way in which attitudes evolved on both sides, particularly from 1916 onwards. It focuses in particular on the case of a large house near Bradford in which several Belgian families were accommodated throughout the war, and which was run by a charitable committee of local residents, the minutes and correspondence of which have been preserved. It looks at the way in which these encounters involved ‘culture clashes’ not only between British hosts and Belgian refugees, but also between social classes, different faith groups, different generations, and between men and women from both nations.

Professor Mark Connelly and Dr Stefan Goebel (University of Kent)
Forgetting Ypres, 1944-2014

As the Great War began to re-emerge in Anglophone culture from the mid-1950s, the attention was often shifted towards the Somme providing an alternative prism through which to view the confl ict. Many themes can be detected in this shift surrounding the changing status of Britain and its relationship with the Commonwealth, and wider cultural changes which could be grafted on to the history of the Somme. Of course, this did not mean that Ypres was utterly eclipsed; rather, the Somme emerged more strongly into the commemorative landscape and provided a much stronger alternative memory site than it had in the inter-war period.

Ypres was no longer. The town to which battlefi eld tourists returned from the 1960s had changed its name to Ieper. Langemarck, too, was a thing of the past, replaced by Langemark. The new spelling (in German) was not simply a matter of orthography. Langemarck had represented both an idea and a site; Langemark, by contrast, was a mere place name. After 1944 the Langemarck myth was never invoked again. This talk will explore collective memory and cultural amnesia in the second half of the 20th century.

THURSDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2017, Ieper, 7pm
David Richardson (Director of Horticulture, Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Gardening the World – looking forward to the next century

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a reputation for its exceptionally high standards of horticulture and is the largest single amenity horticulture employer in the world with a global gardening workforce of over 850. Ensuring that these standards are maintained and developing strategy for the next century is in the remit of the CWGC’s Director of Horticulture, David Richardson, who will share his experience and insight of this great gardening organisation in an illustrated talk.

THURSDAY 2 MARCH 2017, Ieper, 7pm
Professor Adrian Smith (University of Southampton)
Mannock, McCudden, and the new tacticians of the 1917-18 air war

By 1918 British factories were supplying the future RAF with over two thousand aircraft every month, including the deadly SE5a, fl own by battle-hardened pilots who embraced the new technology and pioneered a more combative approach to aerial warfare. Most infl uential were the working class air aces James McCudden and ‘Mick’ Mannock. Air supremacy in the skies above the Western Front is seen as dependent on aeronautical innovation, industrial mobilisation, and front-line squadrons’ ruthless employment of fresh tactics rooted in harsh experience and unforgiving analysis.

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