A free public lecture has been organised as part of the Alternate Spaces of War: 1914 to the Present conference taking place at the University on 6-7 July.
This lecture locates both the authentic Western Front of history, and the numerous Western Fronts of the imagination from 1914-18 to the present, within the context of the wider landscapes and timescapes of the First World War. The success of historical methodologies and approaches that examine other aspects of the war than the trench deadlock of the Western Front is to be applauded. But attempts to remove the Western Front from its central place, both in the history and wider cultural meanings of the war, although valuable for promoting debate and open thinking, neither can nor perhaps should succeed. This is due to unique features of the First World War which gave the trench deadlock its central importance at the time. In this sense, the Western Front is ‘eternal’ in any historical understanding of the war. Further, although the historical Western Front was deadlocked for a relatively short time in comparison with other wars, and was a surprisingly urban environment subject to constant innovation and change, the Western Front of the imagination of deadlocked trenches and mud was from 1914-18 onwards, and still is, also ‘eternal’ in a second sense of remaining the culturally omnipresent landscape of the war.
The lecture will be given by Professor Stephen Badsey from the University of Wolverhampton and all are welcome (no booking required). Doors open at 17:30 for registration with the lecture starting at 17:45.
Please contact the event organisers via email (alternatespaces@plymouth,ac.uk) with any queries.
Stephen Badsey PhD MA (Cantab) FRHistS is Professor of Conflict Studies, and Co-Director of the First World War Research Group, at the University of Wolverhampton. He is an internationally recognised specialist on the history and present practice of wartime propaganda and military-media relationships.
He has written more than 100 books and articles, including The British Army in Battle and Its Image 1914-18 (2009), and his writings have been translated into five languages. He is also the series editor of the Wolverhampton Military Studies Series for Helion publishers. His next book will be “The German Corpse Factory”: A Study in First World War Propaganda (2015). He appears and advises frequently for television and other media, and advises for academic, defence and governmental organisations; in the last five years he has been invited to address audiences in Denmark, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Estonia and the United States.