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Research activity

Romain Fathi

Associated Researcher

Associated Researcher

I am a Graduate from Sciences Po (http://www.sciencespo.fr/en) where I completed an undergraduate degree and a master by research in history together with a professional master. I am now enrolled in a PhD program with the University of Queensland (UQ, see: http://www.uq.edu.au) as my primary institution and Sciences Po as my host institution within the framework of a Jointly-Awarded PhD agreement. My Principal Advisors are Associate Professor Martin Crotty (UQ) and Professor Guillaume Piketty (CHSP). My doctorate is funded through the UQI scholarship scheme. The title of my thesis is "On the other side of the mirror: Villers-Bretonneux and Australian national identity from the 25th of April 1918 to today". 

During the Fall Semester of 2014 I undertook a doctoral exchange at Yale University as a Visiting Assistant in Research under the advisorship of Charles J. Stille Professor Jay Winter. During this semester, I also took on a position of Teaching Fellow for Bird White Housum Professor Timothy Snyder’s course Eastern Europe to 1914. This exchange is supervised by the Centre for the Americas at Sciences Po and Yale University.


Publications:

Book
Représentations muséales du corps combattant de 14-18. L'Australian War Memorial de Canberra à travers le prisme de l'Historial de la Grande Guerre de Péronne, edited by L’Harmattan, Paris, 2013, 210 p. (See: http://chsp.sciences-po.fr/publication/representations-museales-du-corps...) Foreword of Professor Guillaume Piketty. This monograph was reviewed by Professor Antoine Prost in Le Mouvement Social. (See: http://www.lemouvementsocial.net/comptes-rendus/romain-fathi-representations-museales-du-corps-combattant-de-14-18-laustralian-war-memorial-de-canberra-au-prisme-de-lhistorial-de-la-grande-guerre-de-peronne/).

Abstract: Alternating the study of the Historial of the Great War of Péronne (France) and that of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, I propose a journey at the heart of cultural representations and perceptions of the Great War. One discovers the means through which a memory of the conflict was imposed in Australia and how the heroism of ancestors, supposed or proven, is mobilised to confer values and qualities on the whole nation. Through the prism that is each museum’s permanent exhibition, I decrypt the sense given to the first global conflict by these two institutions. History museums, on the condition that society valorises them as a place for knowledge or of cultural consumption, have in their hands an incredible power in that they can propose a vision of the past that is meticulously staged. It is this performative dimension of history museums that I invite to grasp so that visitors take a critical look at the version of history with which they are presented.

Book chapters:

Romain Fathi, “‘A piece of Australia in France’: Australian authorities and the commemoration of Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux in the last decade”, in Nation, Memory and Great War Commemoration. Mobilizing the Past in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Shanti Sumartojo and Ben Wellings (eds.), Oxford, Peter Lang, 2014, 273-290.

 Upcoming - Romain Fathi, “’Connecting Spirits’: comportements commémoratifs d’un groupe scolaire australien dans la Somme” in Penser la guerre autrement ? edited by Bérénice Zunino and Philipp Siegert, LIT-Verlag (Münster), 2015

Peer reviewed Journal Articles:

Romain Fathi, “‘Connecting Spirits’. The commemorative patterns of an Australian school group in Northern France”, Journal of Australian Studies, Volume 38, Issue 3, 2014, 345-359.

 Upcoming - Romain Fathi, “La Grande Guerre de l’identité nationale : mémoire, politique et politiques mémorielles en Australie des années 1980 à nos jours”, Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains, 2015.

 Upcoming - Romain Fathi, “La Grande Guerre à l’Australian War Memorial ou l’élaboration d’un mythe national”, Matériaux pour l’histoire de notre temps, 2015.

Book reviews:

 Peter Hart, The Great War, in Politique Etrangère, vol. 79; 1. 2014.

 Bruno Cabanes, The Great War and the Origins of Humanitarianism, 1918–1924 In History Australia, 2015.

Newspapers, magazines and internet publications

Romain Fathi, “Une commémoration très politique”, Les collections de l’Histoire, n°66, January 2015.

Romain Fathi, “L'Australian War Memorial : temple de la religion civile”, Les collections de l’Histoire, n°66, January 2015.

Romain Fathi, “Exposer la Grande Guerre au musée-mémorial national australien. Le refus de la modernité au service de la fondation d'origines sacrées”, Arts et Sociétés. La lettre du Séminaire, 2015.

Romain Fathi, “Commémorer Gallipoli”, Les journaux de guerre, n°13, July 2014

Romain Fathi, “On the Importance of the Commemoration of the Centenary in Australia”, http://centenaire.org/en/espace-scientifique/importance-commemoration-centenary-australia

Romain Fathi, “A few ways for researching the First World War in Australia”, http://centenaire.org/en/espace-scientifique/few-ways-researching-first-world-war-australia


Conferences:

 October 2014, Paper “Pratiques et discours commémoratifs australiens à Villers-Bretonneux des années 1990 à nos jours” for the conference Den Krieg Neu Denken? Neue quellen und methoden zur geschichtsschreibung des ersten Weltkriegs at, Goethe-Universität and organised by the Institut Français d’Histoire en Allemagne in Frankfurt.

 October 2014, co-convenor of the workshop “Mobility and displacement during the First World War (1914-1923)”, Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris.

 October 2014, Paper “Exposer la Grande Guerre au musée-mémorial national australien. Le refus de la modernité au service de la fondation d'origines sacrées” at Séminaire Arts et SociétésGuerres et Paix, Sciences Po, Fondation de France, Paris.

 July 2014, Paper “A School Or Nothing: Victoria’s Department Of Education And Post-war Aid To Villers-Bretonneux”, at the Australian Historical Association’s 33rd annual conference, Brisbane.

 July 2014, chair for the panel “reading the war” at the Australian Historical Association’s 33rd annual conference, Brisbane.

 July 2014, convenor of the public conference “Somewhere in France, Somewhere in Australia” at the Queensland Museum, Brisbane.

 July 2014, Paper “Frederick Wecker’s Bayonet: an obsolete weapon in an industrialised war”, at Somewhere in France, Somewhere in Australia, The Queensland Museum, Brisbane.

 December 2013: Presentation for German and Macedonian curators with regards to Australian collective memory and remembrance practices related to the Great War for the OFAJ (French German Youth Council) Held at the Mission du Centenaire (France’s official board for WW1 centenary commemorations), Paris.

 January 2013: Paper for the seminar “the Great War Today” organised by Anne Hertzog and Nicolas Offenstadt under the aegis of the DMPA, Ministry for Defence, Paris.

 July 2012: Paper “‘Connecting Spirits’. The commemorative patterns of an Australian school group in Northern France”, 31st Annual conference of the Australian Historical Association (AHA) held in Adelaide.

 April 2012: Invited to deliver a communication for an international symposium at the ANU organised by the Centre for European Studies of the ANU (Canberra) entitled ‘Politics of the Past’.


Teaching experience and training

2014: Fall Semester, Yale University, Teaching Fellow for Professor Timothy Snyder’s course, HIST 263, Eastern Europe to 1914.

2013-2014: Autumn Semester, Sciences Po (Paris campus), teaching “A Global History of the Great War” (DHIS 1980A), a course that I designed myself (course, teaching, grading, excursions.)

August 2013: Sciences Po, (Reims campus) intensive week-long program for methodology class for first-year students.

2013: Semester 1, tutor for HIST1201 (Australian History: Current Issues in Historical Perspective) at The University of Queensland. I taught three classes and was assigned most of the marking for the course.

2013: Tutor for the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS), an Australia-wide program designed to tutor Indigenous Australians at university and funded by the Australian Government.

2013 – Completion of UQ’s Tutor Training Program. Prior to being able to tutor, UQ’s staff must attend workshops dedicated to the acquisition of teaching strategies. Managed by teaching academics in the field of teaching and communication, the training is made of several workshops that simulate teaching situations.

2013 – Completion, on a voluntary basis, of the Certificate of University Teaching Practice (CUTP) program run by the Teaching and Educational Development Institute (TEDI), at The University of Queensland. The CUTP program aims to improve academic staffs’ teaching skills through workshops, professional activities and engaging with the academic literature concerned with teaching and learning so as to approach our own teaching in a more reflective way to come up with stronger strategies to ensure high student intake of knowledge and involvement in the course.

2012: Tutor in History and French at St Leo College (The University of Queensland), Semester 1 and Semester 2, 2012.


Peripheral academic activities:

I am part of a research network, taking the form of a website, dedicated to the study of the commemoration of the Great War. See the International Research Network for War Commemoration’s website where I have made several contributions: http://irnwc.hypotheses.org/author/fathi.

Invited by radio ABC (Canberra), I briefly spoke about my research and the paper I was presenting at the conference at the ANU. See http://irnwc.hypotheses.org/95 or http://hapi.uq.edu.au/radio.

2014: Scientific Coordinator for the event entitled “Somewhere in France, Somewhere in Australia”. The event explored the personal stories and experiences of Australians who served in France during the Great War and featured talks from historians and curators from France and Australia based on objects that belonged to these soldiers and that were brought to us by members of the public. For this event, I raised funding the Institut Français, the French Embassy to Australia, UQ’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and The Mission du Centenaire (France’s official board for the commemoration of the centenary of the Great War). The event was held at the Queensland Museum in July 2014. For more information please refer to an interview on radio ABC (Brisbane): http://hapi.uq.edu.au/radio.