Witnessing War: Culture and Conflict in the 20th Century and Beyond

8 March 2012, 13:15 - 18:00

CRASSH, Seminar room SG1

All welcome, free event

Please click the link "Booking Email" on the right hand of this page to register.


Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose and Dr Beatrice Jauregui

A half-day workshop in conjunction with Jay Winter's 2012 Humanitas Visiting Professorship in War Studies at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH).

Building on Professor Jay Winter’s series of lectures on Writing War, Figuring War, and Filming War, as well as a concluding symposium on Imagining War in the 20th Century and After, this workshop will provide an opportunity to further explore the general topic of 'imagining war' by linking it with some of the concerns of the Between Civilisation and Militarisation Faculty Research Group, particularly the murky and manipulable imagined line between 'civil' and 'military' spheres of action and influence. We will focus on the interrelations among the following conceptual triad: conflict + culture + witnessing. In this triad, ‘culture’ will be understood to encompass forms of creative expression and exhibition, as well as definitions of the term that stem from anthropology and political science, in particular the idea of ‘cultural violence’. Questions about practices of ‘witnessing’ and offering ‘testimony’ will be applied not only to the arts, social sciences and humanities as intellectual institutions, but also to the roles and responsibilities that various actors in conflict situations might perform, from military soldiers and museum archivists, to civilians living in war torn spaces, and even to the spaces themselves. Some of the questions raised during the workshop include: What kinds of politics of memory and recognition emerge from war? How do artistic expressions and exhibitions serve various actors in war situations in presenting testimonies of experiences? How have artists been drawn to war themes from ‘outside’ as witnesses to ‘internal’ conflicts? How do artistic and historical memorials offer more and less satisfying testimony to the destruction and loss occasioned by war?


Part of Between Civilisation and Militarisation Group, series.
For more information about the group please click the link on the right hand of this  page

Provisional Programme

13.15 - 13.30

Professor Simon Goldhill
Director, Centre for Research in Arts Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Professor in Greek Literature and Culture, University of Cambridge

13.30 - 14.00

Professor Jay Winter
Imagining the Great War: The Historial de la grande guerre, Péronne, Somme
Charles J. Still Professor of History, Yale University and
CRASSH Visiting Humanitas Professor, University of Cambridge

14.00 - 14.20

Mr Paul Cornish
Exhibiting War. A New First World War Gallery for the Imperial War Museum.
Senior Curator and Historian, Imperial War Museum, London

14.20 - 14.40

Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose
Cultural and Symbolic Violence: The case of Spain, 1936-2006
British Academy Post-doctoral Fellow, Macdonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge

14.40 - 15.00

Dr Khadija Carroll La
If you fight the dragon long, the dragon you become: Comments on Monuments in the Balkan
Newton Fellow, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge

15.00 - 15.30


15.30 - 15.50

Tea/Coffee Break

15.50 - 16.10

Prof Alex Danchev
The Images of Abu Ghraib
Professor of International Relations, University of Nottingham

16.10 - 16.30

Dr Beatrice Jauregui
American Communion: Vietnam War Veterans Reunions
Research Fellow in Social Anthropology, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge

16.30 - 16.50

Ms Jananne Al-Ani
The Aesthetics of Disappearance: A Land without People
Award-winning Artist, London

16.50 - 17.30


17.30 - 17.45

Closing Remarks/discussion

18.00 -

Wine Reception (at CRASSH)

19.30 -

Dinner, Pembroke College (Fully book)
To attend the dinner a Reservation is required.