Reflections on the “Commemoration of Conflict”

Marjolein Van Bavel


‘The Commemoration of Conflict’, Postgraduate Conference, UCL Department of History, London, UK, May 27, 2014

2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, an event commemorated in ceremonies and events around the world. This comes as no surprise, considering the central place that both World Wars occupy in our collective memory. But conflict commemoration is not just a modern-day phenomenon, nor have all aspects of war been remembered in the same way. From Simonides’ commemorative epigrams after the Persian Wars and the foundation of Battle Abbey following William the Conqueror’s victory, to the establishment of Decoration Day in memory of American Civil War casualties, communities have memorialized the impact of war in a variety of ways. On the 27th of May, research students in the UCL Department of History organised a Postgraduate Conference titled “The Commemoration of Conflict” that considered how various conflicts from the ancient world to the present were remembered and commemorated.

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