The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871: A European Turning-Point? Online Conference, 16-17 April 2021, #1870WarConference

University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, 16-17 April 2021, Dr Karine Varley

Please note, all panels will be held on Zoom. Further information and links will be provided prior to the conference. All times are UK times (BST).

The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 is widely acknowledged to have been a cause of intense political, social and cultural conflict, a shaping element in modern French and German nationalism, and a significant factor in international tensions prior to 1914. The 150th anniversary in 2020-21 provides an opportunity to re-evaluate the impact of the Franco-Prussian War as a turning-point for Europe.

This conference aims to explore how the Franco-Prussian War triggered a range of upheavals, encompassing the international arena, the military and civilian experiences of the war, and the mobilisation of national sentiments. These turning-points will be analysed not as moments of sudden rupture, but as a series of short, medium and long-term national and transnational shifts.


Day 1: Friday 16 April 2021

Conference welcome: 9.30-9.45 – Karine Varley (University of Strathclyde)

Panel 1: 9.45-11.45 – Military Dimensions

Mark Bennett (Royal Armouries)- ‘Neue Waffen, alte Taktik’: Tactics, learning and the civil-military interface in Europe, 1866-1875

Bastian Matteo Scianna (Potsdam) – Who’s afraid of the francs-tireurs? The debate on irregular warfare in German military journals, 1870–1914

Jean-Philippe Miller-Tremblay (EHESS/Ecole Polytechnique) – Reforming an army? Parade and the French troops after the armistice of 1871

Mario Draper (University of Kent) – A military thoroughfare?: The legacy of the Franco-Prussian War on Belgian neutrality

Break: 11.45-12.00

Panel 2: 12.00-13.30 – Humanitarianism and International Law

Lia Brazil (European University Institute) – The Franco-Prussian War’s influence on the development of international laws of war

Richard Bates (University of Nottingham) – Florence Nightingale, the Franco-Prussian War and the Red Cross

James Crossland (Liverpool John Moores University) – Confusions, deceptions and banditry: The abuses of the Red Cross emblem during the Franco-Prussian War

Lunch break: 13.30-14.00

Panel 3: 14.00-15.30 – Literary Representations

Marion Glaumaud-Carbonnier (University of Cambridge) – Frapper au coeur : tourner la page de 1870 dans la littérature française (1870-1914)

Nicholas White (University of Cambridge) – Émile Zola’s La Débâcle: A transnational media event?

Kate Ashley (Acadia University) – Missing in Action; or, why Les Soirées de Médan has never been translated into English

Break: 15.30-15.45

Panel 4: 15.45-17.15 – Ideas of Nationalism and Race

Corentin Marion (University of Paris/University of Bielefeld) – Us and them. The impact of the Franco-Prussian War on the definition of nation in France and Germany

Maciej Górny (Polish Academy of Sciences/German Historical Institute Warsaw) – La race Prussienne and her source: Racist responses to the national calamity

Guillaume Lancereau (EHESS) – History defeated: Historiographical nationalism as a legacy of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1914)

Day 2: Saturday 17 April 2021

Panel 5: 9.30-11.30 – Diplomatic and International Dimensions

Alma Hannig (University of Bonn)- ‘The Prussians are incredibly lucky’: Austria-Hungary and the Franco-Prussian War

Uygar Aydemir (Üsküdar University, Istanbul)- Discourses of peace and war in Istanbul following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71

Andrea Ungari (Guglielmo Marconi University) – The Franco-Prussian War and its aftermath in Italian political scenario

Giorgio Ennas (European University Institute)- New diplomacy for a new world: The Ottoman adoption of Realpolitik

Break 11.30-11.45

Panel 6: 11.45-13.15 – Maps and Battlefield Tourism

Nina Kreibig (Humboldt-Universität, Berlin) – Of ‘locusts’, ‘crusaders’ and ‘battlefield tourists’. The fascination of (uninvolved) observation in the context of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871)

Christian Bunnenberg (Ruhr Universität Bochum) – From ‘grenade collectors’ and national pilgrimage sites – perspectives on the history of tourism after the war of 1870/71

Carolin Hestler (University of Education Ludwigsburg) – The commemoration of the Franco-Prussian war in school book maps

Lunch break: 13.15-14.15

Panel 7: 14.15-16.15 – Representations and Perceptions

José Manuel López Torán (University of Castilla-La Mancha) – Photography in Franco-Prussian war: A turning-point in the representation of the European heritage destruction

Tobias Arand (University of Education Ludwigsburg) – Ludwig Pietsch’s ‘Frühstücksplaudereien mit dem Kronprinzen’ – Artists and writers in modern war

Oliver Benjamin Hemmerle (Grenoble Alpes University) – The war of 1870/71 and the birth of the modern spy and saboteur? Realities, myths and perceptions

Mark Lause (University of Cincinnati) – Garibaldi’s Army of the Vosges: The making of a republican legend

Break: 16.15-16.30

Panel 8: 16.30-18.00 – Legacies

Nicholas Martin (University of Birmingham) – The Kaiser’s new clothes: culture wars in Germany after 1871

William Kidd (University of Stirling) – L’Algérie française, une nouvelle Alsace-Lorraine?

Cathérine Pfauth (University of Education Ludwigsburg) – ‘Heute vor 150 Jahren’ – A Twitter project on the anniversary of the Franco-Prussian War

18.00-18.05 – Conference close

Call for Papers:

Cite this blog post
redaktionsteam (2021, April 15). The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871: A European Turning-Point? Online Conference, 16-17 April 2021, #1870WarConference. Guerre franco-allemande / Deutsch-Französischer Krieg 1870/71. Retrieved May 27, 2024, from

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