Moderated by Dr. Austin Long, Assistant Professor, School of International and Public Affairs and Member, Saltzman Institute of war and Peace Studies
This presentation will offer some thoughts on the significance of the impending centenary observances of the anniversaries of the Great War 1914-18 with particular emphasis on their likely place in the former Dominions of the British Empire (Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa). While the Centennial of World War One has attracted modest attention in the United States (for whom it will have little real resonance before 2017 in any case), this is not true in the rest of the English-speaking world, to varying degrees. The Great War helped to define the settler societies of the British world, for better or worse, for much of the 20th Century and in Australia, in particular, it has attracted lavish government support and will likely constitute the biggest series of public commemorative activities seen for many years. Given that there are now no surviving veterans of the war in any of these countries, this paper asks some pertinent questions about the place of war and the collective understanding of war experience in the national consciousness.
Jeffrey Grey is professor of history in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University College, Canberra, and foundation director of the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (Honors) from the Australian National University (1983) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of New South Wales (1986). He is the author or editor of twenty-six books in the fields of Australian and comparative and international military history, and has published numerous articles, chapters and reviews in these fields. In (northern) academic years 2000-2002 he held the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair in Military Theory at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. He has served two terms as a trustee of the Society for Military History (US), and as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Military History, and currently serves on the advisory boards of War in History (UK), Scientia Militaria (South Africa), First World War Studies (UK), the Australian Army Journal, and Australian Defense Force Journal. He is currently, again, editor of the journal War & Society.