Approaching War is an international research project which aims to contribute to understanding of the complex relationship between the figure of the child, childhood cultures and war. Led by scholars in the fields of First World War Studies, Childhood Studies and Children's Literature from Newcastle University (UK), Brock University (Canada), and University of Technology Sydney (Australia), the project is investigating the position of the child in the years leading up to and including the First World War.
In addition to supporting international scholarship on the topic, it aims to facilitate access to original material relating to childhood and war cultures, including the significant collections held by the Imperial War Museum (UK), the Osborne Collection (Canada), and the Dromkeen Museum (Australia).
This project pays particular attention to the years leading up to the war and the way in which events and attitudes were disseminated to children in Anglophone countries, such as Canada and Australia, which were involved by virtue of being part of the British Empire, and in Great Britain, and countries like the US which joined the war at a later date but which were also involved in broader discussions about war in the years leading up to the conflict. It will also provide an international perspective on children's culture and war.
Three international conferences will take place during the course of the project, at the University of Technology, Sydney (2011), Brock University (2012) and Newcastle University (2013). Submissions are welcomed for all three conferences. Conference papers from scholars in countries which have been under-represented in First World War studies are particularly welcome, and some bursaries are available for those working in countries where support for international conference attendance has traditionally been low. Some bursaries are also available for postgraduate speakers from any institution.