Lecture Series: World War I

On the centennial anniversary of the beginning of World War I, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies presents a series of lectures by historians focused on new data and interpretations. What has been mistaken or overlooked in standard histories? What new data sheds light on the war’s causes? Did old empires disappear entirely? What were the long-term effects of the war on the environment? Join us for fresh looks at the catastrophe that in many ways defined modern Europe.

“The Causes, Conduct, and Consequences of WWI”
DAN LINDLEY (Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

“Grim Fields: Militarized Environments of the First World War and the Making of the 20th Century”
TAIT KELLER (Rhodes College)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm

Seeing what George Kennan called the twentieth century’s “seminal catastrophe” from an environmental perspective changes our understanding of the First World War. Iconic images of the Western Front include ravaged farmlands, charred forests, and muddy quagmires, but few have investigated the war’s enduring environmental impacts on and off the battlefields. This talk will focus on how energy schemes to fuel both bodies and machines transformed environments around the world. To keep soldiers and engines in action, militaries commandeered energy resources throughout the biosphere and altered ecosystems. By analyzing how warfare and energy regimes coevolved over the course of the Great War we can better understand the intersections of military violence, human victimization, and environmental change during the twentieth century.​

“The Great War’s Forgotten Realm: Revisiting the Habsburg Monarchy’s First World War”
JOHN DEAK (Department of History, University of Notre Dame)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

For a long time historians have seen the First World War as the last nail in the coffin for the dying Habsburg Empire. Notre Dame’s own Historian John Deak will talk about new, emerging perspectives that fundamentally call into question this classic interpretation and what it may mean for central European history and our understanding of the First World War.

“Violence, Military Occupation, and the First World War: Rethinking Paradigms”
JONATHAN GUMZ (University of Birmingham, U.K.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm

“Eyes Wide Open: Germany’s Bid for Mastery of Europe in 1914”
KEIR LIEBER (Georgetown University)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 4:30 pm