Sveučilište Jurja Dobrile u Puli

Filozofski fakultet

Past, Present, Future 2017

Victory or Defeat? Societies between Warfare and Post-War Turmoil

Second biennial conference in the series Past, Present, Future
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Pula, Croatia, May 25-27, 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS (July 12, 2016)
SECOND CALL (December 1, 2016)
Deadline: January 1, 2017

Following the successful first conference in the series entitled Identity in Flux (May 2015) the Department of History is organizing the second in the series of conferences to tackle issues that challenge contemporary Europe by providing a historical context for their emergence and explaining the patterns of behavior that are common to different historical periods and are still relevant today.  

War has always had a profound impact on society.  From the beginning of recorded history, wars have forged, expanded and destroyed kingdoms and empires, helped give rise to religions and ideologies, given impulse to technological advancement and steered the course of history.  Great battles and wars have attracted scholarly attention since the dawn of historiography and they frequently feature prominently in national narratives and origin myths of peoples all over the world. Political history tends to focus on the causes of wars as well as the peace treaties that put an end to warfare, whereas military history looks at the strategies, tactics and technologies employed during wars. Social history tries to determine how societies cope with the onset of military activities, loss of manpower, economic downturns or booms, destruction of infrastructure, pandemic outbreaks and so on. The European Union has been created in order to end wars on a continent that has a long history of violence. 

The aim of this conference is to look at the aftermath of wars in history and the changes in society in the final phases of war and its aftermath. Can we speak of sudden transformations in the Greek world after the Peloponnesian war and the conquests of Alexander? How did Romans deal with their numerous veterans after the civil wars during the final decades of the Republic and what effect did it have on Roman society? How did Roman citizens react after the defeats of the empire at the hands of the barbarian conquerors? How did societies change in the wake of Carolingian conquests, the Crusades, the Mongol and Turkic invasions? The religious wars in Germany lasted for decades and the Ottoman Wars in the Balkans for centuries. How did this affect the population that may have grown completely unaccustomed to peace times? Napoleon shattered ancient empires and republics. How did their inhabitants deal with the sudden death of polities that lasted for centuries?  The two world wars are the defining moments of the twentieth century with consequences that stretch to this day. How did winners and losers in the great conflicts deal with immense losses of the most productive part of the population or with the need to provide for the millions of wounded and disabled, the widows and orphans? What were the consequences on the mental health of soldiers and civilians? Can one even speak of clear winners and losers in wars? Were there attempts to heal the rifts between yesterday’s mortal enemies? Who were the heroes and villains in post war narratives? 

These are just a few of the myriad questions regarding the end and aftermaths of wars. In the Europe without borders and without wars, the answers from our past may help to better understand the present as well as to prepare us for the challenges in the future.

We invite historians and scholars of related disciplines to apply by submitting a proposal for papers (up to 1500 characters) with an accompanying brief biographical note to rkurelic[at] (or past.present.future.pula[at] by January 1, 2017. Submissions from PhD students are also welcome. The papers should be approximately 15 minutes in length and sessions will include ample time for discussion. The working language of the conference is English.

The registration fee is 60 Euros (30 Euros for PhD students).  Meals (lunches and dinners throughout the conference) will be provided by the Organizer.

Keynote speakers
1. Prof. Dr. Peter Heather (King’s College, London)
2. Prof. Dr. Drago Roksandić (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb)
3. Prof. Dr. Dubravka Stojanović (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade)

Round table Defeats in Europe in the 19-20th Centuries with Prof. Dr. Catherine Horel, Prof. Dr. Dubravka Stojanović, Dr. Ivan Čolović and Prof. Dr. Drago Roksandić

Conference programme
Final Programme Download PDF

Book of abstracts
Past, Present, Future 2017: Victory or Defeat?
Book of Abstracts
ISBN 978-953-7320-55-3
Download PDF

Sveučilište Jurja Dobrile u Puli / Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Filozofski fakultet / Faculty of Humanities
Odsjek za povijest / Department of History

Organization Committee
Dr. Robert Kurelić, Senior Assist., Head of the Organizing Committee
Dr. Davor Bulić, Post-doctoral Fellow
Dr. Danijela Doblanović, Senior Assist.
Dr. Igor Duda, Assoc. Prof., Head of the Department of History
Prof. Dr. Robert Matijašić
Dr. Iva Milovan Delić, Senior Assist.


Conference venue
Sveučilište Jurja Dobrile u Puli / Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Filozofski fakultet/ Faculty of Humanities
Ivana Matetića Ronjgova 1, Pula

Prikaz veće karte

Photo Album Past, Present, Future 2017

We thank for the support
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Faculty of Humanities

Previous conference
Past, Present, Future 2015: Identity in Flux