HomeLes pèlerinages sur le front occidental de la première guerre mondiale

HomeLes pèlerinages sur le front occidental de la première guerre mondiale

Les pèlerinages sur le front occidental de la première guerre mondiale

De la fin de la guerre aux pratiques contemporaines

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Published on Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Abstract

Dès la guerre, des dizaines de milliers d’anciens combattants, de familles de défunts et de délégations officielles ont entrepris des pèlerinages sur les champs de bataille à la recherche de proches disparus dans un vaste mouvement d’hommage collectif ou individuel sans précédent dans l’histoire. Les pèlerinages, dans leurs spécificités, se poursuivent aujourd’hui vers des sites faisant l’objet d’aménagements renouvelés depuis les commémorations du centenaire, tels que les vestiges des champs de bataille, les ruines, les cimetières, les mémoriaux. Les nouveaux pèlerins (re)découvrent les paysages, l’histoire de ces sites et les multiples conséquences de la guerre, pour les territoires comme leurs habitants.

Announcement

Date : 19-20 oct 2023

Argument

The First World War was fought over four years in 11 theaters of operation and over 14 million people lost their lives. Along the Western Front, spanning from the coast of Belgium to the France/Switzerland border, soldiers fought along a continuous, largely static line of trenches and defensive zones. It was ultimately the Western Front which caused the most casualties and decided the war’s outcome. During the war, soldiers returned to cemeteries and battlefields  where their comrades were killed. And, French families visited graves and searched for their missing loved ones.

In the decades following the end of the war, tens of thousands of veterans, family members, and official state delegations undertook pilgrimages to the Western Front. In some cases, pilgrimage guidebooks were published, giving us insight into the pilgrimage routes, goals of the pilgrimages, and observations about the war. Among the large-scale pilgrimages documented in guidebooks or first account accounts were the 1925 Ypres Pilgrimage (see The Immortal Salient: An Historical Record and Complete Guide for Pilgrims to Ypres), the 1927 American Legion Pilgrimage (see The American Legion Official Program and Guide Book), the 1928 Royal British Legion Pilgrimage (see The Story of an Epic Pilgrimage: The Battlefields Pilgrimage), and the 1936 Vimy Pilgrimage (see Guide Book of The Pilgrimage to Vimy and the Battlefields). In addition to these and other organized pilgrimages, family members journeyed to battlefields and cemeteries as part of their grieving process and to ‘make meaning’ of the war and the deaths of their loved ones. Examples of these pilgrimages include the US Gold Star Mother Pilgrimages of 1930-1933. During Second World War many soldiers are visiting cemeteries and battlefields of WW1. While the familial grieving has passed into history, many descendants of WWI veterans are now searching for information about their ancestors and the historical milieu of the war and the post-war era. As such, pilgrimages continue to specific sites such as battlefields, cemeteries, memorials, and ruins. People are (re)discovering the geographic landscapes, historical contexts of these sites, and the meanings of the war.  

Contemporary pilgrimages to the Western Front are part of a larger trend of the growth of pilgrimages worldwide. Beyond their historic significance, pilgrimage sites are being reimagined as people seek meaning, connection to history and humanity at large, and enhanced health and wellbeing. Traditionally the domain of religious and literary studies, pilgrimage research now encompasses sociology, geography, anthropology, and psychology.

Submission guidelines

Proposals (2000 words max) to be sent to Stephane.michonneau@univ-lille.fr and franckviltart@hotmail.com

before 15 June 2023.

Organization

Université de Lille, Conseil départemental de l’Aisne

With the support of : la Région des Hauts-de-France, la ville de Château-Thierry, le VDK, l’ABMC, la CWGC, la DMCA.

Orgainzation Committee

Stéphane Michonneau, Université de Lille, Franck Viltart, Département de l’Aisne, Heather Warfield, Antioch University (USA).

Scientific Committee

Philippe Nivet, Gilles Malandain, Anne Hertzog, Laurent Veyssière, Franck Viltart, Heather Warfield, Stéphane Michonneau.

Places

  • Caverne du Dragon-Musée du Chemin des Dames
    Oulches-la-Vallée-Foulon, France (02 160)

Event attendance modalities

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Thursday, June 15, 2023

Keywords

  • pèlerinage, guerre mondiale, tourisme, patrimoine, nécropole, cimetière, mémoire, deuil

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Stéphane Michonneau
    courriel : stephane [dot] michonneau [at] u-pec [dot] fr

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Les pèlerinages sur le front occidental de la première guerre mondiale », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, April 05, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1awr

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