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Commemoration and Heritage: First World War Memorials and Cemeteries

International Conference, Kraków, 1-3 June, 2023



Organiser: Kamil Ruszała (


Keynote Lectures: Jay Winter (Yale University), Aaron J. Cohen (California State University, Sacramento)


From June 1st to 3rd, 2023, the Jagiellonian University will be hosting an international scientific conference "Commemoration and Heritage: First World War Memorials and Cemeteries." This event will bring together researchers from more than 20 institutions representing several countries including the USA, France, United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Italy, Estonia, Netherlands, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic. The conference aims to provide a platform for these scholars to present their research and insights on the heritage of the First World War and the commemorative practices for the fallen soldiers in Europe.


The keynote lecture will be delivered by Professor Jay Winter from Yale University and Aaron J. Cohen from California State University, Sacramento. This conference is organized by the research group "Heritage of War 1914-1918" with Kamil Ruszała as the Principal Investigator and Research Group coordinator. The event is part of the Critical Heritage Studies Hub's Flagship Project, which is funded by the Research University – Excellence Initiative.




Thursday, 1 June 2023

Venue: Collegium Novum (Gołębia 24), Hall 56


09:00–09:30 Opening Session

Kamil Ruszała

Maciej Mikuła


09:30–10:30 Opening Lecture


Jay Winter, Palimpsests: War Memorials as a Sites of Multiple Memories


10:30–11:00 – Coffee&Tea


11:00–13:00 Panel 1: Commemoration and Memorials on Western Front

Chair: Pieter Trogh


Jan Vermeiren, Site of Memory and Reconciliation: Changing Narratives and Meanings of Verdun

Edward Madigan, The Not-So Silent Cities: Discordant Familial Grief in the Personal Inscriptions on Imperial War Graves Commission Headstones

Megan Kelleher, ‘A “Dog in the Manger” Kind of Treatment’: The Commemoration and Care of First World War Dead in the United Kingdom by the Imperial War Graves Commission

Laurence van Ypersele, The Return of the Fallen WWI, Belgium 1914–1923




13:00–14:30 Break


14:30–16:30 Panel 2: Military Cemeteries and War Monuments in Central & South Europe

Chair: Tamara Scheer


Ljiljana Dobrovšak, The Military Cemeteries and Memorials of the Great War in Croatia

Vlasis Vlasidis,  Buildings Cemeteries in Foreign Land and Paying Tribute to the Almost Forgotten Fallen Soldiers of the Salonika Front

Nenand Lajbenšperger, WW1 Cemeteries and Monuments in Serbia – Characteristics during Arrangement and Protection (1918–2018)

Mihael Uršič, Military Cemeteries on the Isonzo Front




16:30–17:00 Coffee&Tea


17:00–19:00 Roundtable: Museums and Representation

Chair: Petra Svoljšak


Francesco Frizzera, Museo Storico Italiano della Guerra di Rovereto,

Pieter Trogh, In Flanders Field Museum,

Mari-Leen Tammela, Estonian War Museum,

Maša Klavora, Fundacija Poti miru v Posočju/Walk of Peace in Soca Region.


Friday, 2 June 2023

Venue: Collegium Novum (Gołębia 24), Hall 56


09:30–10:30 Opening Lecture


Aaron J. Cohen, Beyond Good and Evil: World War I Memorials as Objects in Space and Time


10:30–11:00 – Coffee&Tea


11:00–13:00 Panel 3: Heritage of Conflict/Conflict of Heritage?

Chair: Jan Vermeiren


Hannah Malone, Fascist Italy’s military cemeteries of the First World War as a challenging heritage

Laima Laučkaitė, German War Memorials in Vilnius: Two Cases with Different Fate

Kamil Ruszała, When the Battlefield Speaks: Galicia and WW1 Military Cemeteries as a Conflict/Cultural Landscape

Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska, Sleeping German Soldier or a Virgin Mary? Recycling of the German Great War Memorials in Post-Displacement Slavic Central Europe




13:00–14:30 Break


14:30–16:30 Panel 4: Public Space & Politics of Memory

Chair: Karolina Ćwiek-Rogalska


Snezhana Dimitrova, Memorial Policy and Mourning Culture, 1917–1948: Bulgarian Case

Emmanuel Debruyne, Memory of the Fallen in an Occupied Capital City

Christina Theodosiou, Remembering a „Forgotten Front”: Marseille and the French Commemorations of the Macedonian Front (1925–1935)




16:30–17:00 – Coffee&Tea


17:00–19:00 Panel 5: Finding the Fallen and (Re)constructing Memory

Chair: Hannah Malone


Tamara Scheer, From the Scratch: Turning a Forgotten Burial Place of 450 Austro-Hungarian Soldiers in Rome into a European Memorial

Damjana Fortunat Černilogar, Javorca Memorial Church and its Cultural Landscape – Place of European Remembrance

Danilo Sarenac, Serbia’s Great War Dead and Archeology. Burying, Exhuming and Burying Again

Marcin Czarnowicz, Barbara Witkowska, Martin Vojas, The Heritage of War from an Archaeological Perspective. Discovering the history of Carpathian War Cemeteries


Final Discussion and Closing Remarks



Saturday, 03 June 2023

Field trip: Heritage of WW1 in Lesser-Poland (Małopolska)


Pliki do pobrania
Conference programme