CFP: Making Telecommunications in the First World War, Oxford, 24 January 2014

CFP: Making Telecommunications in the First World War

Oxford, 24 January 2014

Supported by the AHRC-funded project:

Innovating in Combat: telecommunications and intellectual property in the First World War

The First World War was one of the defining events of the twentieth century and telecommunications was a key strategic feature of the conflict. The war was the first multinational conflict to engage with electrical communications – telephone, telegraph, and wireless – as well as more traditional and well-established modes of communication such as visual signalling, despatch messengers, and carrier pigeons. At this conference, we wish to consider the development of telecommunications and how this was impacted by military demands and civilian innovations. World War One also marked the genesis of “Signals Intelligence” (SIGINT), while concerns about secrecy, privacy, reliability and interception were key features of wartime communications.

Making Telecommunications in the First World War will take place in Oxford on Friday 24 January 2014. Confirmed speakers include Professor Graeme Gooday (University of Leeds) and Phil Judkins (University of Buckingham). The conference will be preceded by an evening lecture and reception at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford on Thursday 23 January.

Our conference will be of interest to academic historians, military historians, museum curators, archivists, and others involved in First World War centenary activities. We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers, or panels of three papers, on the subject of World War One telecommunications.

Proposals of no more than 250 words, together with the name and institutional affiliation of the speaker, should be sent to Elizabeth Bruton at E.M.Bruton@leeds.ac.uk. Proposals for panels should include a separate proposal for each paper. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday 4 December 2013.

Accommodation: Please note that those attending the conference will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation. Information about local accommodation options will be made available soon via the our project events page at

Conference Fee: The conference fee will be £30 with a discount rate of £25 available for unwaged, retired, and students. The fee covers conference attendance, lunch, and refreshments. Support for speakers is available and please note in your proposal if you would like to be considered.

For all enquiries about the conference, please contact Elizabeth Bruton at E.M.Bruton@leeds.ac.uk.

About the project: Innovating in Combat is a collaborative project between University of Leeds and the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Further details about the project and partners can be found on our project website: http://blogs.mhs.ox.ac.uk/innovatingincombat/

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