Workshop & Book Launch

War, Demobilization and Memory: Rewriting the History of War in the Era of Atlantic Revolutions

20 April 2016

At the Winston House | The University of North Carolina’s European Study Centre in London 3 Bedford Square | London WC1B 3RA
King’s College London: Department of History and Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War
 University of North Carolina at Chapel HillDepartment of History and the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense

The Winston House London, College of Arts & Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


The major aim of the event by the UNC-King’s College London Partnership was to yield the book WAR, DEMOBILIZATION AND MEMORY: The Legacy of War in the Era of Atlantic Revolutions, edited by Alan Forrest (York University), Karen Hagemann  (UNC Chapel Hill) and Michael Rowe (King’s College London) and published by Palgrave Macmillan in early 2016 (for more information click here).

The book was the product of a joint KCL-UNC conference, which took place in London from 30 May to 1 June 2013 at the UNC Winston House. Bringing together thirty scholars of Europe, Russia, and North, Central, and South America—from five countries and a variety of institutions—this international conference on ‘War, Demobilization and Memory: The Legacy of War in the Era of Atlantic Revolutions’ revisited the Era of the Atlantic Revolutions. Among other issues, it explored the flow of ideas and material across the Atlantic during and after the wars and revolutions of the period, the cross-cultural dialogues that were created, the various attempts to come to terms with the violence and destruction wrought by warfare on an unprecedented scale, the impact of the demobilization that followed, and the contested memories of these conflicts.

The launched book was the result of this event and the following transatlantic cooperation. It focuses on the years from 1770 to 1830 that were scarred by war throughout the Atlantic world. These were wars about empire and global hegemony, as well as struggles of liberation and decolonization. During the era of Atlantic Revolutions the Atlantic became a highway for exchange not only of peoples and commodities, but also of ideas and cultural practices. New forms of mass warfare, for which patriotic-national propaganda mobilized soldiers and civilians alike, characterized these conflicts in Europe and the Americas. The contributors to the volume, all established experts in their field, examine the processes of military, economic, political, social and cultural demobilization after these wars, not only by states but also by local communities and individuals, and explore the long-term legacy of these conflicts. They discuss how their aftermath influenced politics, society and culture, including the gender order, and ask what shaped the contested and changing memories of these wars in the decades that followed.

4:00 pm:     Welcome
Karen Hagemann (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History) and Adam Sutcliffe  (Kings College London, Department of History)

4:15 pm:     Introduction
Michael Rowe (Kings College London, Sir Michael Howard Centre for the Study of War and Department of History)

4:30 pm:     Keynote
“Revolutions, Imperial Wars, Post-Napoleonic Legacies, and Postcolonial Studies”

Lloyd Kramer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History)

5:30 pm:     Roundtable DiscussionRewriting the History of War in the Era of Atlantic Revolutions”:

  • Alan Forrest (York University, Department of History)
  • Lloyd Kramer (UNC Chapel Hill, Department of History)
  • David Todd (KCL, Department of History)
  • Andrew Lambert (KCL, Department of War Studies)
  • Peter Wilson (Oxford University, All Souls College, Center for War Studies)

Moderation: Karen Hagemann (UNC Chapel Hill, Department of History)

7:00 pm:     Reception

Organizers: Karen Hagemann (UNC Department of History) and Michael Rowe (KCL, Department of History)