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The University of Southampton

The war to end wars, a hundred years on

Published: 17 February 2014Origin: History
Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The First World War will be remembered through a series of thought-provoking events at the University of Southampton. Academics in History, English, Film and Music have been organising the commemorations throughout 2014 and 2015 which will include seminars, exhibitions and concerts. There will also be a major international conference, lifelong learning study days and a summer school for secondary school pupils.

The First World War has a special resonance at the University of Southampton. The buildings of the former Southampton University College, now Highfield Campus, were used as a war hospital during the conflict. At nearby Swaythling, the horses used on the western front were marshalled ready to be shipped across the Channel. However, the focus of many of the University’s Great War: Unknown War commemorations will be on neglected aspects of the war, especially happenings in Eastern Europe.

One of the first major events will be a three day conference Sarajevo 1914 – Spark and Impact, organised by Southampton historian Professor Mark Cornwall in June. Leading scholars will discuss the assassination in Bosnia of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Habsburg Empire – the ‘spark’ that ignited the conflict. They will also consider the regional context for the murders and the so-called ‘South Slav’ problem in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Bookings for the conference can be made online.

More events will be announced and listed on the Great War: Unknown War website as the year progresses.

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