Programme of the early modern 'History in conflicts' webinar 28.01.2022

Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

The webinar starts at 13:00 (CET), through zoom. If you would like to join, please contact j.j.wubs-mrozewicz [at]


Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz: Introduction


1. Stuart Carroll: ‘Memorials and Conflict Resolution in Early Modern Europe.’
2. Jan Hennings: ‘Precedent, tradition, or history? The past as an argument in status conflicts.’

Short break


3. Lena Oetzel: ‘Peace as an argument in conflict I: The peace of Prague in the Westphalian peace negotiations.’
4. Dorothée Goetze: ‘Peace as an argument in conflict II: The peace treaties of Oliva and Alt-Ranstädt in the Swedish-Saxon dispute at the German Perpetual Diet.’

Longer break


5. Stephen Cummins: ‘Criminal pasts and conflict in the early modern Kingdom of Naples.’
6. Carlo Taviani: ‘Machiavelli and the Chimera. Financial Bubbles and Schemes in Early Eighteenth Century France.’
7. Marjolein Schepers: ‘Who belongs to the parish? Parish conflicts on household settlement status and access to poor relief in eighteenth-century Flanders and France.’

Short break


8. Shannon McSheffrey: ‘Documenting the London Evil May Day Riot, 1517.’
9. Gerard Wiegers: ‘Late 15th-century forced conversion to Christianity in Spain and a late 16th-century response.’
10. Hilde De Weerdt: ‘Recording and Anthologizing Personal, Communal, and Interstate Conflict in Late Imperial Chinese History.’

Short break


Conclusions and last round of discussion.

This webinar builds on the medieval meeting in June 2021: see the introduction and summaries of papers.

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History in conflict webinar: introducing the modern edition

Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz

Attention! We’re talking about history here, and it’s important. This might be the summary of the online webinar on #historyinconflict held on June, 25th (2022), where we addressed the role of bringing up historical narratives in conflicts in the 19th-21st centuries. It was the third instalment in a series of webinars, after meetings on medieval and early modern conflicts. Now our attention has turned to modern conflicts: for instance, WWII in the Netherlands, border struggles in South America from the 19th century onwards, tensions related to religious reforms in India in the 20th century, and the perceptions of the past in post-WWII Poland or Vietnam. The insights we gained from the fascinating papers that were presented, and the discussions that followed, show that references to the past have clearly gained a foothold as powerful and versatile tools. And that they grab our attention and often create controversy.

Historians like Margaret Macmillan and Timothy Snyder have rightly pointed out that history has been used, abused and re-used many times over, sometimes in a cyclical fashion. The editors of the newly minted Journal of Applied History underline that our current engagement with the past – especially during conflicts – is a topic that in fact more than merits our attention:  ‘The accumulation of crises in the new millennium, as well as the omnipresence of the instrumentalisation—and abuse—of history and historical claims in a highly polarised political climate may have increased public awareness of the value of historical thinking for the present, but these developments have also made such awareness more urgent.’ A crucial issue here is the role of professional historians: what part have they played in conflicts in the 20th century, and what role are they playing or should they play now? Is debunking myths enough, or should the spokespeople of the past be more activist or creative? [....]

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