Sept 12-13: Western Gateway Building, UCC | Sept 14: Crawford Art Gallery


Photo courtesy of Prof Jerzy Kutnik


On 12-14 September, over ninety delegates, many of whom are key names in their discipline and from across numerous world-class institutions, presented their work at the conference War in the Visual Arts, which took place in the Western Gateway Building (12-13 Sept) and the Crawford Art Gallery (14 Sept). Created by Ann Murray (History of Art) and organized by Murray and Alan Drumm (School of History), the conference is one of the most successful ever organized in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences. The event was officially opened by Professor Geoffrey Roberts, Head of the School of History, who remarked on the truly international scope of the event, drawing as it did, delegates from across five continents; in uniting the research of university academics, academic staff and archivists working in museums and galleries, former combatants who are now working as researchers, and practising artists, the conference brought together an impressive array of perspectives on representations of war in visual culture. It was this aspect, according to many delegates, that made the event such a resounding success.

The organizers wish to extend sincere thanks to Prof Geoffrey Roberts, Dr Flavio Boggi, Mr Gabriel Doherty and Dr Finola Doyle-O’Neill, whose guidance has been of immense support, and to our sponsors, the School of History, Dept of History of Art, Dept of Politics, Fáilte Ireland, the Irish Research Council, and to everyone who contributed to making this such a successful event. Special acknowledgement is extended to Dr John Borgonovo, School of History, UCC for leading a highly insightful tour through Cork’s military history on Friday 13; Mr Stephan Koch’s corralling of the troops for some memorable photographs in the Aula Maxima and the Quad lawn; the Crawford Gallery for hosting our event in their historic building on Saturday 14; and to the Irish Defence Forces, Collins Barracks, particularly Mr Gerry White, Chairman of the Cork branch of the Western Front Association, Capt Nollag Conneely and General Officer Commanding 1 Brigade, Brigadier General Diarmuid Fitzgerald for providing the perfect setting for the conference reception. Finally, sincere gratitude to the delegates and chairpersons, whose scholarly brilliance and sheer hard work combined to make the conference such a truly memorable one.

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Photograph by Stephan Koch of the delegation on the Quad lawn, Fri 13 Sept.


Mr Gerry White, Chairman of the Cork branch of the Western Front Association, recounts the history of Collins Bararcks in the Military Museum, Thursday, 12 Sept.

Official photograph in the Aula Maxima, University College Cork by Stephan Koch

Official photograph in the Aula Maxima, University College Cork by Stephan Koch


Call for Papers

How is war recorded in visual media? And what are we talking about when we talk about war? What, exactly, constitutes war and what qualifies as a visual representation of it? Human conflict and the visual arts have perhaps never remained completely separate from each other. Given war’s omnipresence throughout human history and its interconnectedness with politics and propaganda, the content of its imagery projects certain facets of warfare while concealing others. What is revealed through agency and to what extent is it permitted to prevail? Whose viewpoint is represented? How politicized or personal is an image of war? How does imagery produced by war participants compare with officially sanctioned works? How is such imagery digested and understood in our own age?

This conference will bring together multiple perspectives on representations of war in visual culture. It is intended that the conference will lead to the formation of a multidisciplinary, international scholarly community with its own calendar of events and digital presence.  The publication of conference papers is planned.

Panels topics will include: the classical world, print culture of WWI and WWII, home front, women and war, memory, colonial encounters, commemoration and the built environment, bodies, senses and spaces of war; propaganda; art during the rise of fascism, the soldier’s body, resistance, battlefield imagery in Renaissance Italy, artist as witness (including official war artists), photography, film, identity, internment, soldier-artists, responses to contemporary conflicts, trauma, perspectives of curators and archivists.

Prof Brendan Dooley (University College Cork)
Prof Paul Gough (University of the West of England)
Dr Laura Brandon (Canadian War Museum)
Dr Paul Fox (University College London)
Dr Sabine Kriebel (University College Cork)

We acknowledge the support of the Dept of History of Art, the Dept of Politics and the School of History, University College Cork and Fáilte Ireland in funding this event, and the generosity of the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork in hosting the event on Day 3 in their historic building.WVA-webportraits

Ireland as a conference venue: visit the Meet in Ireland website:




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