From the Personal to the Global: Lived Experiences of the Second World War

Date / time: 17 February, 12:00 am


Joint conference of the Second World War Network (Scotland) and the Second World war Research Group

University of Edinburgh, 9-10 June 2023 | Call for Papers, deadline – 17 February 2023

Click to download the call for papers

In 1997, a seminal collection of essays edited by Paul Addison and Angus Calder was published, Time to Kill: The Soldier’s Experience of War in the West 1939-1945. Now, a quarter of a century later, this conference reconsiders the themes of this landmark book and extends them to include the experiences of civilians/non-combatants and men and women who served in air forces, navies and auxiliary services as well as armies. Its geographic focus will extend beyond Europe and North Africa and encompass the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Following the ‘global turn’ in the historiography of the Second World War, the conference aims to recover the lived experiences of men and women transnationally, integrating national histories with global perspectives and addressing local, regional, national, racial, ethnic and gender dynamics. A key focus of the conference is to critically discuss the research agenda for the sub-discipline of Second World War Studies over the next decade as we approach key anniversaries of the conflict.

With that aim in mind, we invite paper proposals on themes including, but not limited to:

Soldiers, Aviators, Sailors – Civilians – Empire/Imperialism/Anti-colonialism – Neutrality and belligerence – Intelligence – Strategy/operations/tactics – The Holocaust – Gender – Ethnicities – Sexualities – Elites/Minorities – Forgotten fronts – Mobilisation – Environment

Postgraduate and Early Careers researchers are particularly encouraged to apply. A limited number of travel bursaries, generously sponsored by Queen Mary, University of London, are available for PGRs, ECRs and participants from the Global South. We invite interested parties to enquire about the eligibility criteria in advance of submitting an abstract.

The intention is to publish an edited collection based on the conference.

Paper proposals should include an abstract of no more than 300 words and a one-page CV. Panel proposals for groups of three to four speakers are also welcomed; they should, in addition to individual paper abstracts and CVs, include a brief description of the panel theme (no more than 500 words). The deadline for proposal submissions is 17 February 2023. Submissions, queries and expression of interest to attend should be addressed to

Image: Wiki Commons