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War and Childhood in the Age of the World Wars

Local and Global Perspectives


5–7 June 2014

Conveners: Mischa Honeck (GHI Washington), James Marten (Marquette University), Andreas Gestrich (GHI London), Arndt Weinrich (GHI Paris)
Venue: German Historical Institute Washington


How was it possible for modern societies to reimagine childhood as a space of sheltered existence and mobilize children for war at the same time? And how did modern warfare disrupt or accelerate rites of passage in the realms of gender, sexuality, national loyalty, ethnic and racial identity, and military involvement? We ask these questions on the assumption that young people experienced war in ways that were age-specific and different from how adults endured it. Usually, these differences found some means to express themselves, and despite the devastation suffered by real children in wars, the power of youth as a symbol of renewal outlived them.


Conference programme (PDF file)

Conference report (PDF file), published in: GHIL Bulletin 36 (2014), Vol 2