This three day conference at the University of Kent is organised by Gateways to the First World War, a centre for public engagement with the Great War centenary funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The event is supported by the Western Front Association.
Book your place here.
From the popular to elite, amateur to professional, a wide range of performative genres had a significant impact on the fighting spirit of servicemen and civilians in all combatant countries. Yet this vital area of the conflict has yet to be subject to in-depth academic attention. This conference will explore a variety of performance cultures in all theatres of war, on the home and fighting fronts, 1914-1918, seeking to extend the breadth and depth of our knowledge of this important area of First World War studies.
Featuring keynote lecture-performances by:
Neil Brand, writer, composer and silent film accompanist and Dr Kate Kennedy, Research Fellow in English and Music at Girton College Cambridge
The conference will include a performance of Friend or Foe? Voices of World War One at the Gulbenkian Theatre, and a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s The Vagabond (1916)
A combination of keynotes, panel sessions, workshops and performances will feature work on a broad range of wartime subjects including music, music hall, theatre, cinema and dance.
Download a list of conference rates here.
Download a conference programme here. Please note that this may be subject to minor amendments prior to the event.
What role did music, cinema and theatre play in the lives of servicemen and women, and civilians, in Britain and other combatant nations?
How were various forms of music utilised by the Forces, both at home and on the fighting fronts, and in prisoner of war camps?
How did wartime restrictions (ideological, economic and material) alter the nature of performance between 1914 and 1918?
In what ways did theatres, cinemas, music halls respond to the war effort?
What were the therapeutic uses of music and theatre?
How were the tensions between entertainment and high art played out during the war, and what were the post-war consequences for the entertainment industries?
All-inclusive conference package, with bed & breakfast accommodation, ticket for Friend or Foe? performance and conference dinner, £275 (concessions £150).
Day rates also available.
Special rates are available for members of community groups working on First World War projects and our Community Heritage Researcher Dr Sam Carroll will be holding drop-in advice sessions.
5% discount for members of the Western Front Association.
Imperial War Museum images: ©IWM (Q5329) and © IWM (Q6107).