Université de Strasbourg

Round Tables: Experiences of the Great War

From May 27, 2016 until May 28, 2016

For a long time, the First World War was studied mainly from the political, diplomatic and military perspective, in a strictly national framework. In the last two decades, the "Great War" has become the subject of intense historiographical renewal. Comparative and transnational research in the social, cultural science and the arts have profoundly extended, deepened and transformed our understanding. Two Round Tables around 1914-1918 war experiences, organized by USIAS Fellows Nicolas Beaupré and Alexandre Kostka, aim to present to a large audience the recent achievements of some of this innovative research.

Round Table: The Great War. Experiences of time, experiences of space

Friday, May 27, 2016: 17h-19h
Conference room, MISHA - 5 Allée General Rouvillois, Strasbourg

Historians have wondered for a long time about the reasons for the tenacity and endurance of soldiers in the First World War. This roundtable proposes to focuse on the time and space experienced by the soldiers and civilians. How the Great War contemporaries experienced, shaped and represented time and space can help us understand what it meant, between 1914 and 1918, "to be at war."

With members of the Historial International Research Center of the Great War (CIRHGG, Peronne, Somme):

  •     Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau (EHESS, President of CIRHGG)
  •     Nicolas Beaupré (Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand, USIAS Fellow)
  •     Gerd Krumeich (University of Düsseldorf)
  •     Anne Rasmussen (University of Strasbourg, USIAS/FRIAS Fellow)
  •     Jay Winter (Yale University)

Moderator: Annie Deperchin (Judicial History Centre - University of Lille 2)

Excursion 1914-1918

Saturday, May 28, 2016: 7h15-17h

This excursion of about three to four hours, under the direction of a guide (Florian Hensel, specialist of Alsace-Lorraine in the Great War) will follow the footsteps of the fighters 1914-1918 in the Vosges Mountains, around the Tête des Faux. It includes a visit to the remnants of a battlefield of the Great War and will give insight to the specific challenges of fighting in an mountainous area in the winter, and into the culture of rememberance during and after the war.


Round Table: The Great War: artistic experiences

Saturday, May 28, 2016: 17h30-19h30
Auditorium of the Museums of Strasbourg - MAMCS 1, place Jean Arp

The Great War has inspired much artistic work, and it was accompanied by a reformulation of aesthetic standards in the countries that participated. The injuries inflicted on the heritage, but also on the artists themselves resulted in the questioning of established certainties, and the emergence of new heritage presentation practices. The analysis of the often complex relationships between these dynamics can help to better understand the experience of the Great War for both artists and the public.


  • Annette Becker (University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, vice president of the Historial Research International Center of the Great War in Peronne)
  • Franck Knoery (Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg)
  • Alexandre Kostka (University of Strasbourg, USIAS Fellow)
  • Claire Maingon (University of Rouen)
  • Christina Kott (Sorbonne Paris II)

Moderator: Nicolas Beaupré, Blaise Pascal University, Clermont-Ferrand; USIAS Fellow

Investissements d'Avenir