Call for book chapters: Proximity and distance: space, time and the First World War.

Emily Robertson's picture
Call for Publications
April 30, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, European History / Studies, Military History, Modern European History / Studies, Social Sciences


This edited volume will investigate the impact of proximity and distance in relation to the battlefront during and after the First World War. International in scope, this book will be an important contribution towards engaging with the various challenges that different nations faced during the war through an investigation of how physical and temporal proximity or distance to the battlefront impacted upon belligerent and non-belligerent countries and peoples.

Avenues of investigation

Proximity and distance are important categories through which participating countries and individuals experienced the war, both in terms of geography and in terms of time. For example, an official war artist who has experienced a battle will have a different engagement with the topic than an artist who is reconstructing the scene months or years later. The same may be said for military historians. Political proximity too, is a theme, in the sense that a country can be geographically distant to the war but politically entwined through the mechanisms of imperialism and colonialism.

The themes of proximity and distance provide broad areas in which individual contributors can discuss a wide array of topics including but not limited to:

Operational history - Medical history - Colonialism and Empire - Recruiting - Propaganda - Transport and communication - The home front - Occupation and migration - Deconstruction and reconstruction - Nationalism - History of emotions - War commemorations. 

A reflection on proximity and/or distance in their spatiality and temporality in all contributing chapters will highlight their impact on a selected topic or case study or how such categories invite us to think anew about the conflict.


This edited volume takes the paradoxes about time and space raised in Mary Favret’s 2010 book, War at a Distance as its inspiration. Favret analysed the making of modern wartime as a process in which the distant violence of war was made more proximate to those on the home front through mass media and culture. We will further extend this analysis by investigating how proximity as well as distance from the battle front impacted upon how the First World War was experienced by individuals and large political polities, from nations to Empires. 


Submission of completed chapters is expected by 30 November 2017. More details will be provided to selected authors by mid-May. Chapters must be original work (not published or submitted elsewhere) and will be a maximum of 7000 words (including referencing).

Interested authors are invited to submit a short resume and a 400-word proposal to the editors, Dr. Emily Robertson ( and Dr. Romain Fathi ( by 30 April 2017. At this stage, a Series Editor from an academic publishing house has expressed interest in publishing our edited volume.

About the editors 

Dr. Emily Robertson is a Lecturer at the University of Canberra in Communication and a Visiting Fellow in History at the University of New South Wales. She specialises in the relationship between war, mobilisation and propaganda in Great Britain and Australia during the First World War.

Dr. Romain Fathi is a Lecturer in Australian History at the School of History and International Relations at Flinders University (Adelaide) and an Affiliated Researcher at Sciences Po’s (Paris) Centre for History. Romain’s research interests are concerned with war commemorations, Australia in the First World War, and Australian war memorialisation in Northern France.





Contact Info: 

Dr. Emily Robertson ( and Dr. Romain Fathi (