The Forgotten Soldiers
Wed 16 Jul 2014, 18.30-20.00
£8, (£6 Over 60s) and £5
When the great powers went to war in 1914, they didn’t start a European war, but a world war. In battlefields of Asia, Africa and the Middle East and from Gallipoli to the Western Front, over a million non-white people died in the conflict. Many from Britain’s colonies were mobilised for service, while black Americans and men from the Caribbean, Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other parts of the globe joined Western armies in both combat and non-combat roles. Historian and broadcaster David Olusoga, presenter of the BBC documentary The World’s War, is joined by distinguished historians in this panel conversation to explore the legacy of these often forgotten soldiers.
Santanu Das grew up in Kolkata and read English at Presidency College, Kolkata and St. John’s College, Cambridge. He was a Research Fellow at St. John’s (2001-2004) and moved to Queen Mary, University of London in 2005 with a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. Later that year, he joined the department as a lecturer. Santanu’s work, so far, has focussed largely on First World War literature and culture. In 2009, he received a Philip Leverhulme Prize for his research and in 2010 he gave the British Academy Chatterton lecture on D.H. Lawrence’s poetry. In 2012, he joined King’s College London.
David Killingrayis Emeritus Professor of Modern History at Goldsmiths, a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and an Honorary Professor of History at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He has written books and articles on aspects of African, Caribbean, Imperial and English local history, and also the black diaspora. Several of his recent studies deal with the two World Wars in Africa.
David Olusoga (chair) is a historian and award winning film-maker. Co-author of The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism, he was also a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Black British History. David has also worked in radio and television, producing historical documentaries that have explored empire, military-history, race, slavery, and contemporary culture in the UK and USA. He currently works for the BBC. His latest TV project, The World’s War, explores the great panorama of peoples who fought and laboured across the world during the 1914-18 conflict.
Jennifer Wellington is a postdoctoral researcher at King's College London. After completing honours degrees in Law and English at the Australian National University, she pursued her doctorate in history at Yale University. Her dissertation, "War and the Imperial Imaginary: museums, exhibitions and visual displays of the First World War in Britain, Canada and Australia, 1914-42" was awarded the 2013 Hans Gatzke Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in a Field of European History.