The World History Workshop, an all-UC Multi-Campus Research Group Announces a Conference on


"World Wars in the Twentieth Century: Politics, History, Memory"


Cowell Conference Room (132 Cowell) February 26-27, 2005





Human societies experienced a prolonged period of warfare in the 20th century. The two World Wars (plus the cold war and wars of decolonization) were global and industrial on a scale never before seen. They led to unprecedented material damage, deaths and injuries, as well as numbers of refugees. They were truly global in a way that no previous wars had been. Vast numbers of people around the globe were mobilized for prolonged periods and moved around the globe to participate in the war effort. Systems of permanent propaganda were mobilized to sustain the war effort. Unlike previous wars, the 20th century world wars took civilian populations as a primary target, leading to the holocaust of European Jewry, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and countless other atrocities. Subsequently, memories of the world wars enshrined in public memorials, school curricula and private initiatives (as well as no less systematic forgettings) have played a central role in structuring the political sphere in societies around the world.


Conference Program


Saturday, February 26


I.         20th Century World Wars In European Memory  9:15-11:00 a.m.


II.        Cold War Histories of the Environment       11:15-12:30 p.m.


III.      The Pacific War in Memory     2:30-4:30


IV.      What Was the USSR? Wars and Memories 4:45 - 5:45


Sunday, February 27


V.        Third World Memories of the World Wars 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.