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The Crimean War, the first european modern war?

La guerre de Crimée, la première guerre moderne européenne ?

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Published on Monday, December 10, 2018 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

the Crimean War marked, with the Civil War (1861-1865), a great historical and anthropological turning point in military history, witnessing profound transformations not only in the way of fighting, but also in the relations between societies and war, during and after the conflict. This conference will aim in putting the Crimean War in this new historiographical approach to  military conflicts by highlighting three fundamental aspects: The anthropological approach, the transnational dimension, the sociocultural dimension of the conflict, and its memory.

Announcement

This International conferenc is organized by the 19th century history center, the LabEx EHNE and the Slavs history research center (UMR SIRICE) and will be held at Paris-Sorbonne from 7 to 9 November 2019.

Argument

So far, the Crimean War has been rather neglected in French military history. It has only been the subject of a synthesis, quite traditional in its views, and was associated with the Second Empire whose trace, according to the historiography of the Third Republic, was to be erased. The strongest and most recent study was written by Alain Gouttman. However, although this work is very scientific and objective, it remains deeply marked by a tropism for the history of the battle. This situation is all the more regrettable as today the Crimean War is being rewritten in other countries, particularly in Britain, in the context of a revised history of conflicts, increasingly studied in a multidisciplinary approach.

Indeed, the Crimean War marked, with the Civil War (1861-1865), a great historical and anthropological turning point in military history, witnessing profound transformations not only in the way of fighting, but also in the relations between societies and war, during and after the conflict.

This conference will aim in putting the Crimean War in this new historiographical approach to  military conflicts by highlighting three fundamental aspects:

1) The anthropological approach to modern warfare as a key to understand struggles, strategies, experiences and feelings of combatants and the relationship between war and societies.

2) The transnational dimension, introducing a comparison of the conflict history. The confrontation of cross-sources  will make it possible to leave the compartmentalization imposed by purely  national approaches. Above all, the Crimean War should not be seen from the West and has to be  evaluated, regarding  its perception and its repercussions,  in the Russian world as well as in the Ottoman one.

3) The sociocultural dimension of the conflict, and its memory. The Crimean War influences the society also because of medical, economical and symbolical involvement of State, army and citizens.

Having in mind this  methodological approach,  the conference will be structured along four major topics:

I) Diplomacy and war

Here, it will be about the origins of the war, belligerents’ motivations and consequences of the conflict on diplomacy. The Crimean War will be replaced in a double context that is the one of the so-called “concert of nations” and the other around the Eastern Question. If the religious origins of the conflict may have been overestimated, on the contrary, economic reasons and the control of the Straits, (generally underestimated) could be replaced in the core of European diplomacy issues.

II) Experiencing the war

The Crimean War marks important upheavals in the soldiers’ experience of fights. New weapons and techniques (striped cannon rifle, explosive shells..) and military strategy evolutions (appearing of trench war) increase risks, corporal infringements and lethality. New injuries appear, while the cholera decimates troops. This new context gives birth to new medical structures and initiatives (as shown by role of Florence Nightingale, Valérie de Gasparin and Elena Pavlovna). People were also mobilizing at the back, as demonstrated by the numerous subscriptions raised for helping the families of dead and injured soldiers in France and England or by Anatole Demidov’action in favor of war prisoners in Europe.

III) Economy, society and public opinion

The Crimean War impact exceeds very far away the frame of the military operations. A  War economy develops thanks to loans and the rise of war contractors. In the Ottoman case, the military involvement gives birth to the creation of the Ottoman Imperial Bank and then to the the tutelage of European powers on the overindebted Sublime Porte. Societies also live at the rhythm of the war. A real « sacred union » appeared in all the States, well powered by governments who try to mobilize their public opinion against the enemy. Indeed, public opinion is playing an increasing role, reinforced by telegraph and photography.

IV) Pictures, representations and memory

New Perceptions and representations of war emerge and it is  useful to refer to cultural  and art history and well as to history of collective and social imaginaries. During and after the war, although the heroical officer cult (Saint-Arnaud in France, Gorchakov in Russia) is maintained, ordinary troop soldiers are honored,  as demonstrated by numerous monuments dedicated to them. Last the Crimean War has also a very strong memorial dimension, as expressed by toponymy and its place in historical references of nowadays different political leaders.

Submission guidelines

A paper proposal with a title, a short summary (2000 signs), and a curriculum vitae must be sent to this address : francfigeac@yahoo.fr

before January 30, 2019

Languages of the conference : French, English

Important Dates

a) Submission of paper proposals: 30 January 2019.

b) Responses : February-march 2019.

c) Notification of the final programme : 15 May 2019.

d) Conference: 7-9 November 2019.

Organization committee

  • Marie-Pierre Rey (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, SIRICE)
  • Éric Anceau (Sorbonne Université, LabEx EHNE)
  • Jean-François Figeac (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle)

Scientifi committee

  • Éric Anceau (Sorbonne Université, LabEx EHNE),
  • Jacques-Olivier Boudon (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIX ème siècle),
  • Yves Bruley (Ecole pratique des hautes études),
  • Walter Bruyère-Ostells (IEP d’Aix-en-Provence),
  • Lorraine de Meaux (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne),
  • Hervé Drévillon (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, directeur de la recherche historique au SHD),
  • Anne-Laure Dupont (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIX ème siècle),
  • Edhem Eldem (Collège de France, chaire d’histoire turque et ottomane),
  • Jean-François Figeac (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIX ème siècle),
  • Orlando Figes (Birkbeck College de Londres),
  • Hubert Heyriès (Université Paul Valéry/ Montpellier III),
  • Catherine Horel (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, SIRICE),
  • Dominique Kalifa (Université
  • Panthéon-Sorbonne, Centre d’histoire du XIX ème siècle),
  • Jean-Noël Luc (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIX ème siècle),
  • Silvia Marton (Université de Bucarest),
  • Nicolae Mihai (Université de Craiova),
  • Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen (Sorbonne Université, Centre d’histoire du XIX ème siècle),
  • Marie-Pierre Rey (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, SIRICE), Odile Roynette (Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté),
  • Özgür Türesay (Ecole pratique des hautes études).

Research centers

  • Centre d’histoire du XIXème siècle, LabEx EHNE
  • Centre de recherches en histoire des Slaves (UMR SIRICE)

Partners

  • Fondation Napoléon, Service historique de la Défense

Places

  • Sorbonne
    Paris, France (75)

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Keywords

  • guerre de Crimée, guerre moderne, anthropologie militaire

Contact(s)

  • Marie-Pierre Rey
    courriel : marie-pierre [dot] rey [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr
  • Eric Anceau
    courriel : ericmarc [dot] anceau [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Jean-François Figeac
    courriel : francfigeac [at] yahoo [dot] fr

Information source

  • Jean-François Figeac
    courriel : francfigeac [at] yahoo [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« The Crimean War, the first european modern war? », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, December 10, 2018, https://calenda.org/523133

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