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Languages and the First World War

Fri 20 Jun 2014, 09.00-17.30

Conference Centre, British Library

£40, (£32 Over 60s) and £28

Examples of written language in the First World War

Book now for 20 Jun 2014

In this conference to be hosted by the University of Antwerp and the British Library, World War One is discussed in terms of its influence on language: what changes were there within individual languages, and how did the languages of combatant nations influence each other? Was schoolboy French of any use to British soldiers, how did the profession of interpretation develop, and how did soldiers use parables and poetry in letters home? The conference will examine the linguistic experience of the war through a wide range of subjects covering 10 languages used during the conflict.

The British Library day will present 19 papers on the collecting of ‘war words’, English, French and German trench slang, propaganda in a soldiers’ newspaper, and the language of remembering, the language of espionage, censorship of soldiers’ letters, and more.

Speakers in London include Lynda Mugglestone, Professor the History of English, University of Oxford; Ivor ap Glyn, Poet and Creative Director of Cwmni Da productions;  Rachel Cowgill, Professor and Head of the School of Music, University of Cardiff;  Krista Cowman, Professor of History at the University of Lincoln; Hilary Footitt, Professor of Modern Languages and European Studies, University of Reading; Robert Hampson, Professor of Modern Literature, Royal Holloway and Julie Wheelwright, author and Director of MA Creative Writing at City University.  We are delighted that speakers from the United States, Canada, Australia and across Europe will also speak in London.  For the full programme for speakers in London please visit the Languages and First World War tumblr page  Here you will also find the programme for speakers in Antwerp and details of how to book and pay for the Antwerp day of the conference.

The conference has been recognised as creating an innovative forum for a new way of looking at the conflict. Book now to see how World War One changed the way we speak today.

If you have any questions about the conference please email the organisers:

Ticket prices for London include lunch and refreshments.

The conference is supported by Flanders House London and FWO.