Call for papers for conference ‘New Zealand in the First World War’

The New Zealand Studies Network (UK and Ireland)

Call for papers

For the second NZSN  Biennial Conference on Thursday 3rd to Friday 4th July 2014 at 43  Gordon Square, Birkbeck, University of London, WC1H OPD.

New Zealand in the First World War

This conference will consider the broader, more cultural aspects of New Zealand’s involvement in the First World War.  It will include the period leading into the war, the war years themselves, and the aftermath of war.

Possible topics would include:

  • The militarisation of New Zealand in the pre-war years: the South African War, the school cadet system
  • Mobilising for war
  • The introduction of compulsory military training
  • Opposition to the war: trade unions, churches, Maori, women’s organisations
  • Conscientious objection
  • The front line and the home front: the effects of a uniquely long distance between these
  • Women in the war and at home
  • Maori and Pacific Island involvement in the war
  • Medical aid, Red Cross, ambulance and veterinary services, hospitals
  • The physical culture of war: health, fitness, training
  • Troop songs and war entertainment
  • The post-war years: commemoration, memorialisation, the enshrinement of Anzac Day, persistence of militarism
  • Returned soldiers: experiences and social consequences
  • The long term effects of war: personal, familial, social, political, institutional, national identity
  • The relationship with the UK forged during World War 1.
  • The historiography of NZ and the First World War: war and the writing of national history
  • The literature, visual culture and music of the First World War
  •  War letters and diaries: the experience and memory of war

These topics are intended to indicate the parameters of the conference but the list is not exclusive.

Already confirmed speakers from New Zealand include:

  • Felicity Barnes (Auckland University): New Zealand soldiers in London
  • Murray Edmond (Auckland University): Maori poetry and World War One
  • Harry Ricketts (Victoria University): New Zealand poetry and World War One
  • Sarah Shieff (Waikato University): War memoir
  • Alex Calder (Auckland University): War memoir
  • Paul Turner (Massey University): Music and World War One

Speakers from the UK:

  • Tony Collins (De Montfort University): Rugby, war and national identity
  • Rod Edmond (University of Kent): Archibald Baxter and conscientious objection
  • Janet Wilson (University of Northampton): New Zealand fiction about World War One
  • Charlotte Bennet (Oxford University): Children and World War One
  • Sandra Barkhoff (University of Plymouth): The New Zealand occupation of Samoa


EXTENDED DATE:  The date for abstracts has now been extended to 16th May 2014. Please send abstracts of approx. 150-200 words with a brief biography to

Convenors: Rod Edmond & Janet Wilson

Registration: Details to come

NZSN WW1 conference CFP (.docx)

birkbecjk northampton