Clearing 2021
Research Project

Reflections on the Centenary: Learning and Legacies for the future

Principal Investigator
Professor Lucy Noakes

This research project, Reflections on the Centenary: Learning and Legacies for the Future, is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2017-2020).

Professor Lucy Noakes is the Principal Investigator on this major project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Working with colleagues at the Universities of Exeter, Glasgow and Kent, and with Dr James Wallis, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of History at Essex, Professor Noakes is investigating the impact and legacies of a range of projects which took place between 2014 and 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in Britain.

There have been hundreds of commemorative activities and events in Britain, ranging from the national and international, such as events to mark significant moments like the declaration of war (Lights Out, 2014) and the Battle of the Somme Centenary (We’re Here Because We’re Here, 2016) and popular artworks, installations and events, most notably Bloodswept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014. Around the country local history groups, school children, arts groups, museums and many others have come together to research, explore and publicise some of the hitherto ‘hidden’ local histories of the war years.

The Reflections project asks a range of questions with resonance beyond the centenary commemorations: How have the new projects and new areas of research that have been created shaped our knowledge of the war years? Are there wider legacies of this widespread engagement with the centenary that we need to reflect on and learn from? Have people developed new skills based on their involvement in centenary activities and commemorative events? Will the legacies of the centenary, as well as the legacies of the war, shape people’s lives in future decades?

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