Experiencing 11 November 2018 : Commemoration and the First World War Centenary book cover
1st Edition

Experiencing 11 November 2018
Commemoration and the First World War Centenary

Edited By

Shanti Sumartojo

ISBN 9781350155312
Published November 11, 2020 by Routledge
234 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In a unique collection of international and interdisciplinary research, this book focuses on commemorative events around the world on the same day: 11 November 2018, the centenary of Armistice Day, the end of the First World War.

It argues that we need to move beyond discourse, narrative and how historical events are represented to fully understand what commemoration does, socially, politically and culturally. Adopting an experiential reframing treats sensory, affective and emotional feelings as fundamental to how we collectively understand shared histories, and through them, shared identities. The volume features 15 case studies from ten countries, covering a variety of settings and national contexts specific to the First World War.

Together the chapters demonstrate that a new conceptualisation of commemoration is needed: one that attends to how it feels.

Table of Contents


  1. Reframing commemoration at the end of the First World War centenary: new approaches and case studies
  2. Shanti Sumartojo

    PART I: Cities

  3. 11 November 2018: Liège, Mons and Brussels commemorate the Great War
  4. Chantal Kesteloot and Laurence van Ypersele 

  5. 2018 Armistice Day in Flanders Fields: how complex is commemoration at the end of an era?
  6. Dominique Vanneste and Gregory Ramshaw 

  7. Vienna, November 7-10, 2018: A four-day journey into public commemorations of November 1918 in the Austrian republic
  8. Olivier Luminet  

  9. The role of a politics of memory and the digital, in reframing the commemoration of Polish Independence
  10. Danielle Drozdzewski

    PART II: Sites

  11. Remembrance, participation, (re)emergence: Washington’s National Cathedral, 11 November 2018
  12. Jeremy Foster

  13. Pozières: The never-ending war on the Somme
  14. Caroline Winter 

  15. The sound of the cow: observing Remembrance Day in New Delhi

Peter Stanley

9.Observing Silence: Experiential Reflections on the 11 November 2018 Armistice Day Commemorations in London

James Wallis

Part III: Art

  1. Pages of the Sea: A UK Case Study
  2. Emma Hanna 

  3. Memorial Chairs and Transitory Fictive Kinship in the Centenary Commemoration of the End of the First World War

Kingsley Baird

12 Flowers of War: 11 November 2018 at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance

Shanti Sumartojo 

  1. Just like being there: technologies of reconstructed experience and First World War commemoration
  2. Katherine Smits 

    Part IV: Multiplicities

  3. To be or not to be Danish? Commemorating the First World War in Denmark on 11 November 2018
  4. David C. Harvey  

  5. The 10 November 2018 Indian commemoration in Villers-Guislains in the north of France: Atmosphere and the experience of alterity
  6. Anne Hertzog and Rafiq Pirzada

  7. What is still known about 11 November 1918 by German-speaking Belgians?

Christin Camia, Clara Falys, Jelena Scheider and Olivier Luminet

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Shanti Sumartojo is Associate Professor of Design Research and a member of the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


"The proposed collection offers an impressive comparative approach to the study of war commemoration... I would recommend this to anyone doing research on war memory, and commemorative activities in particular."- Geoffrey White, University of Hawai‘i, USA

"A refreshing anthropology of a moment of commemoration... it should reach across several disciplinary areas." - Andrew Hoskins, University of Glasgow, UK