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The University of Southampton

Sarajevo 1914: Spark and Impact

Published: 10 February 2014Origin: History

One hundred years after the start of the First World War, historians will gather at the University of Southampton to discuss events surrounding the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo, the ‘spark’ that ignited the Great War that raged across Europe for four years.

A major international conference on 26-28 June will bring together 23 veteran and younger historians from across Europe, including scholars from Croatia, Serbia and Austria to think about the question from different perspectives.

Organiser, Professor Mark Cornwall says the focus will be on the regional context for the murders that began the conflict: “While much attention this year will centre on remembering the events in Western Europe in 1914, we will be examining the unresolved South Slav problem in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the serious social tensions in the Balkans during the last years of Habsburg rule. Many of the issues remain controversial today and recent violence in Bosnia Hercegovina makes this approach particularly timely.”

Keynote speakers will be Christopher Clark and Lothar Höbelt. Subjects to be discussed range from the role of the military, the contribution of Franz Ferdinand himself and the legacies of the shootings in the Balkans and beyond. Mark will also present his own current research on treachery and loyalty in 1914 Habsburg Croatia. The Austrian Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Dr Emil Brix, will open the event.


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