The Great(er) War of Military Occupations in Europe Antecedents, Experiences and Legacies

We invite you to our new conference on occupations in Europe during the First World War.

Our conference is an international conference for both early career and experienced researchers in History. We would like to initiate discussions on the subject of occupations and invite anyone who would like to participate to register. Presentations will be in English and each session will be followed by a panel discussion.

The aim of this conference is to understand the different forms taken by the occupations during the First World War and to develop better categories of analysis. We would like to connect and compare these occupations at the European or even global level, to question the transfers between them, and finally to consider them more comprehensively in the long run or in the broad perspective of imperial regimes of domination. We’ll look beyond Central Powers occupations towards Entente military presences that may or may not be defined as occupations and beyond the traditional chronological limits towards the Greater War.

The Study and Documentation Centre for War and  Contemporary Society (State Archives of Belgium) and the Laboratoire de recherches historiques (University of Louvain) are organising this conference in cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, the Zentrum für Militärgeschichte und Sozialwissenschaften der Bundeswehr, the National Fund for Scientific Research of Belgium, the Institute for the Analysis of Change in Contemporary and Historical Societies and the Department of History of the University of Louvain.


Thursday 23 June

9:30 Welcome

10:00 Opening Remarks

Session 1 Experiences of the Occupied Annette Becker & Laurence van Ypersele

10:30 Introduction

10:40 Gustavo Corni
Conflicting Elites in Occupied Friuli and Venetia, 1917–1918

11:00 Renaud Dorlhiac
Beyond the Adriatic: the Italian Occupation of Albania, 1915–1920

11:20 Kostis Gkotsinas
Disloyal Friends: Traces and Experiences of the Allied Presence in Macedonia (1915-1919)

12:30 Lunch Break

Session 2 Occupied Notables and Occupiers
Nico Wouters

13:30 Introduction

13:40 Jan Naert
Maintaining Order under Occupation: Mayors and Occupiers in Belgium and Northern-France during the First World War

14:00 Klāvs Zariņš
The Shaping of a Military Occupation: Some Perspectives and Problems of Collaboration in Northern Ober Ost, 1915–1918

15:00 Coffee Break

Session 3 Occupation and Environment
Frank Hadler

15:20 Introduction

15:30 Iaroslav Golubinov
The Environmental Dimension of the War: Occupied Lands on the Eastern Front in 1914-1918

15:50 Andrew Hoyt Kless
Ecological Encounters in First World War Poland

17:00 Keynote by Maciej Górny
And what is your occupation? East Central European experiences

Friday 24 June

8:30 Welcome

Session 4 Pacification
Markus Pöhlmann

9:00 Introduction

9:10 Jake Gasson
A Colonial Mindset: British Approaches to the Pacification of Macedonia, 1915–1918

9:30 Christoph Ortner & Daniel Gunz
Violent Interaction between Occupiers and Occupied. The Prosecution of Violence at Austro-Hungarian Military Courts in Occupied Albania, 1916–1918

9:50 Hauke Petersen
Conflicts between Occupiers and Occupied: Delinquency during the American Occupation of the Rhineland, 1918–1923

11:00 Coffee Break

Session 5 Modernisation and Demodernisation
Maren Röger

11:15 Introduction

11:25 Vanda Wilcox
Planning for a Colonial Future? The Italian Wartime Occupation of Albania

11:45 Marco Mondini
“The Year of Hunger”: the Austrian-German Occupation in North-Eastern Italy 1917-1918. Brutalization, Exploitation, Demodernization.

12:05 Halit Dündar Akarca
The Impacts of Infrastructure Projects during the Russian Military Occupation of Ottoman Territories during WWI

13:15 Lunch Break

Session 6 Transfer of Experience
Élise Julien

14:15 Introduction

14:25 Gilad Ben-Nun
Neighbouring Miltary Occupation (NMO) as the Surrogate of Conquest: 1872–1945

14:45 Anne Godfroid
The Belgian Occupation of the Left Bank of the Rhine: a Theater of Transfer of Experiences Against the Backdrop of Tensions between Occupiers

15:05 Reinhold Zilch
Allies or Competitors? Germany, its Allies, and the Exploitation of Occupied Territories

Saturday 25 June

9:30 Welcome

Session 7 Ethnic Engineering and Identities
Tamara Scheer

10:00 Introduction

10:10 Christopher Kinley
The Italian Occupation of Epirus: Regional Ambitions and the Ethno-Engineering of a Region, 1916–1920

10:30 Petra Svoljsak
The Italian Occupation of the Slovenian Territory (1915-1917). Preparations for the future Annexation

10:50 Sibel Koç
Allied Occupation of Istanbul 1918–1923. Encounters within the “Occupied Society”

12:00 Lunch Break

Session 8 Human and Biopolitical Resources
Emmanuelle Cronier

13:00 Introduction

13:10 Thomas Edelmann
In Control of the Body. The Fight against Infectious Pathogens behind Habsburg Frontlines

13:30 Alexandros Touloumtzidis
The British Military Occupation of Greek Macedonia: Approaching its Development through the Organisation of Public Works and Labour Relations in Salonica and in the British Military Sector

13:50 Christian Westerhoff
Recruitment under Changed Conditions. German Labour Policy in the Territories of the Russian Empire Occupied in 1917–1918

15:00 Coffee Break

15:15 Closing Remarks by Sophie De Schaepdrijver

16:15 End of the Conference

Practical Information

When ? from 23 to 25 June 2022

Where ? at the CegeSoma (square de l’Aviation 29, 1070 Brussels)

Price €15 / day (lunch and coffee break included) | Free for UCLouvain students


Register via the form and by paying the correct amount into the bank account

IBAN: BE12 6792 0045 0092
Communication: Occupations + first name and last name

Your registration will be validated when the payment is processed. You will receive a confirmation by email.

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