The Meaning of 1914: A Free Conference

St. Antony’s College, Oxford
The New York Review of Books Foundation
The Dan David Prize

A Conference to Mark the Centenary of the Outbreak of The Great War
Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony’s College, Oxford

With Vernon Bogdanor, Christopher Clark, Elitza Dulguerova, Max Egremont, Christa Ehrmann-Hämmerle, Robert Evans, Robert Gerwarth, Simon Head, Michael Howard, Jörn Leonhard, Neil MacGregor, Margaret MacMillan, Avner Offer, Peter Pulzer, Iris Rachamimov, Adam Ridley, Eugene Rogan, Hew Strachan, and Marc Trachtenberg

Free and open to all; registration required at


Saturday, September 27

  • 10:45 am
    Welcoming remarks
  • 11:00 am
    The Economics and Technology of War: Mass Production, the Arms Race, and the Shifting Balance of Power
    Michael Howard, Oxford; Jörn Leonhard, University of Freiburg; Hew Strachan, Oxford
  • 12:30 pm
  • 1:30 pm
    Intimations of Apocalypse: European Modernism Before and After 1914
    Elitza Dulguerova, University of Paris; Neil MacGregor, Director, British Museum; Margaret MacMillan, Oxford
  • 3:00 pm
    Coffee break
  • 3:30 pm
    Odd Man Out? Britain as Offshore and Global Power
    Vernon Bogdanor, Kings College, London; Max Egremont, independent scholar; Avner Offer, Oxford

Sunday, September 28

  • 10:00 am
    An Avoidable War? Pre-1914 Diplomacy in Historical Perspective
    Christopher Clark, Cambridge; Robert Gerwarth, University College, Dublin; Marc Trachtenberg, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 11:30 am
    Coffee break
  • 12:00 pm
    Diplomacy in a Nuclear Accelerator: The Nationalisms of 1914
    Robert Evans, Oxford; Christa Ehrmann-Hämmerle, University of Vienna; Eugene Rogan, Oxford
  • 1:30 pm
  • 2:30 pm
    Beyond 1914: Witnesses to Europe’s Second Thirty Years War
    Peter Pulzer, Oxford.; Iris Rachamimov, University of Tel Aviv


Vernon Bogdanor is Professor at the Institute of Contemporary British History at Kings College, London. He is Author of The Coalition and The Constitution, and is currently writing a history of Britain from 1895 to 1914.

Christopher Clark is Professor of Modern European History at Cambridge, and author of The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.

Elitza Dulguerova is Mâitre de Conférences at the University of Paris I ~ Pantheon Sorbonne. She is the author of Usages et Utopies: L’Exposition Dans l’Avant-Garde Russie Pre-Révolutionnaire (forthcoming)

Max Egremont is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Chairman of the Friends of the National Libraries. He is the author of Some Desperate Glory: The First World War The Poets Knew.

Christa Ehrmann-Hämmerle is Profesor of History at the University of Vienna, and editor, with Owsald Uberegger and Birgitta Bader-Zaar, of Gender and The First World War.

Robert Evans is Regius Professor of History Emeritus at Oxford. He is the author of Austria, Hungary and the Habsburgs: Central Europe 1683–1867.

Robert Gerwarth is Professor of Modern History at University College, Dublin and author of Krieg im Frieden: Paramilitarische Gewalt Nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg.

Simon Head (Chair) is Director of Programmes at the New York Review of Books Foundation. He is the author of Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans.

Michael Howard is Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Regius Professor Emeritus of History at Oxford. He is the author of The Franco Prussian War: The German Invasion of France 1870–1871. He was knighted in 1986.

Jörn Leonhard is Professor of History at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Freiburg. He is the author of Europaische Krise und Globaler Konflikt: Eine Geschichte des Ersten Weltkriegs.

Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since 2002, and was Director of the National Gallery in London 1987–2004. He is the author of A History of The World in 100 Objects.

Margaret MacMillan, is Professor of History at Oxford, Warden of St Antony’s College, Oxford and author of The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.

Avner Offer is Emeritus Fellow at All Souls College, and Senior Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Economic History at Oxford. He is the author of The First World War: An Agrarian Interpretation.

Peter Pulzer, is Professor Emeritus of Politics at Oxford, and Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College. He is the author of Germany 1870–1945: Politics, State Formation, and War.

Iris Rachamimov is Professor of History at the University of Tel Aviv. She is the author of Military Captivity in Two World Wars: Legal Frameworks and Camp Regimes, in The Cambridge History of Modern War, Vol IV.

Adam Ridley (Chair) was Director General of the London Investment banking Association 2000–2005, and Special Adviser to Sir Geoffrey Howe and Nigel Lawson as UK Chancellors of the Exchequer. He was knighted in 1985.

Eugene Rogan is Associate Professor of the Modern History of the Middle East at Oxford, and a Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford. He is the author of The Arabs: A History.

Hew Strachan, is Chichele Professor of War at Oxford and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is the author of The First World War. He was knighted in 2013.

Marc Trachtenberg is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, author of Reparations in World Politics: France and European Diplomacy, 1916–1923.

The Bill Graham Center for Contemporary International History, Toronto
Europeaum, Oxford
The German Historical Institute, London
Maison Française d’Oxford
Mission Centenaire 14-18
Remarque Institiute, New York University
Zeit Siftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius

THE DAN DAVID PRIZE is a joint international enterprise endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University. The prize has an annual value of $3 million which is divided equally each year between recipients for outstanding achievements with a scientific, technological, cultural, or social impact. Each year fields are chosen within the three time dimensions, Past, Present and Future. Recipients donate ten percent of their prize money to graduate students doing research in their fields.

The Prize encourages research that cuts across established disciplinary boundaries. It fosters universal values of excellence, creativity, justice, democracy, and progress and without reference to gender, race, ethnicity, color, religion, language, nationality, disability or political affiliation. Recipients of the Prize have included Margaret Atwood, Saul Friedlander, Robert Langer, Goenwan Mohamad, Adam Michnik, Amoz Oz, Pierre Nora, Tom Stoppard and Leon Wieseltier.

For more information on the Dan David Prize visit

St. Antony’s College, Oxford
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Oxford, United Kingdom