The Warfare and society workshop

This interdisciplinary workshop was created in May 2013 by Laurent Douzou (Political Science Institute, Lyon/Institut universitaire de France), Sylvène Edouard (Lyon 3 University) and Stéphane Gal (Grenoble University). The workshop aims to move beyond a traditional, narrow conception of military history, and bring together LARHRA researchers, whatever their background, interested in the broader field of “War Studies”.


The research conducted by the members of the workshop examines the socio-economic and cultural dimensions and repercussions of war, in different periods, and in highly contrasting contexts. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, the group organised six workshop sessions each year, bringing together faculty staff, doctoral students and other researchers, offering opportunities for wide-ranging debate on many different themes, places and periods. The themes covered have included: commitment; suffering and sacrifice; thinking and representing war; borders; everyday life in wartime; heroism and memory; testimony; war and injury; and historians and war.


In May 2015, the Warfare and society workshop organised a conference in Lyon on War, transgression and society. The conference organisers deliberately encouraged an inter-disciplinary approach over the longue durée; with papers covering subjects ranging from sepulchres in Ancient Greece to the experience of the French Army during the Rwandan genocide.


For the period 2016-2020, the workshop aims to continue to provide a forum for collaboration and exchange between researchers studying different periods (currently the modern and contemporary periods), adopting different perspectives (political, economic, social, religious, cultural and gender history; the history of art; sociology, anthropology, and political science), and working on varying geographical territories, both within and outside Europe. The focus is on war and society, and on history from below; seeking out what James C. Scott has called the “hidden transcripts” of human experience in the extreme conditions of tension and violence generated by war and conflicts of all kinds.