Romain Fathi

Romain Fathi
Flinders University · College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

PhD (UQ/Sciences Po), Double Masters Degree (Sciences Po)

About

53
Publications
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Introduction
Dr Romain Fathi is a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University and a Chercheur Associé at the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po in Paris. He is an award-winning cultural historian who focuses on the transnational dimension of war and its aftermath, in both the European and Australian contexts. The First World War, war commemorations, human remains and Australian identity are his primary research interests. His latest book, Our Corner of the Somme, was published with Cambridge University Press.

Publications

Publications (53)
Book
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Exiting war explores a particular 1918-20 'moment' in the British Empire's history, between the First World War's armistices of 1918, and the peace treaties of 1919 and 1920. That moment, we argue, was a challenging and transformative time for the Empire. While British authorities successfully answered some of the post-war tests they faced, such as...
Article
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Recent historiography pertaining to the International Red Cross has generally emphasised the transnational scale as best suited for analysing this global movement. Using the French Red Cross as a case study, this article suggests that focusing on the national scale, or even on the national-imperial scale, does not exclude transnational approaches b...
Article
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Si la création de la nouvelle alliance AUKUS-Australie, Grande-Bretagne, États-Unis-représente un « coup dans le dos » porté à la France, une « trahison » impensable « entre alliés », l'annulation unilatérale par l'Australie du contrat d'achat de sous-marins français constitue, quant à elle, un camouflet pour la diplomatie française. Mais cette ann...
Article
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Editorial for the special issue "Australia and the ‘End’ of World War I" for Australian Historical Studies This special issue of Australian Historical Studies shifts the spotlight beyond Australians’ wartime experiences onto the enduring effects and aftermaths of the conflict. World War I cast a long shadow and its legacies were many and varied....
Article
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The centenary of the First World War has been a catalyst for battlefield tourism. The creation of new museums, memorials, statues, commemorative trails and the like has strengthened the Great War's profile in the cultural landscape of the countries that marked its centenary. As a result, there has been a clearly identifiable "centenary effect" on b...
Article
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Full article available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07075332.2020.1810100 The League of Red Cross Societies (LRCS) – known as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) since 1991 – has received little historical attention despite representing the world’s largest volunteer network and being an...
Book
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This edited book explores how participants and observers in World War I negotiated the temporal and spatial challenges of the conflict. International in scope, it investigates how technology, mass media, elite diplomacy and imperial networks interacted in conjunction with proximity and distance. The authors canvass a range of approaches to the conf...
Research
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On behalf of the AHA Executive, Dr Romain Fathi and Dr Lyndon Megarrity conducted a survey on the experiences of casual academics in the History discipline regarding the nature of their employment, and its impact upon their career path and personal life. The initiative was designed to facilitate discussion about casualisation in the History discipl...
Chapter
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Proofs of "Remembrance Day: The Poor Cousin of Australian War Commemoration" - final version and pagination available in the book
Article
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This article considers the evolution of Australia’s official commemoration of the First World War through the prism of its most ambitious memorial project, designed for the conflict’s centennial: the Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux in France. This article historicises the origins of this new interpretation centre, offers an overview of...
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Article
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Cet article est une étude de l’évolution de la mémoire d’État australienne de la Grande Guerre au prisme de son projet commémoratif le plus ambitieux du centenaire du conflit : le Centre John Monash à Villers-Bretonneux, dans la Somme. Il propose d’historiciser les origines de ce nouveau centre d’interprétation, d’en offrir une courte visite et d’a...
Article
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http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/fathi-romain-look-at-me-look-at-me-the-sir-john-monash-centre-at-villers-bretonneux-a-frenchmans-reflection-on-his-visit/
Book
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First 2 chapters (as authorised by publisher) - Our Corner of the Somme - by Romain Fathi
Article
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This article considers the homecomings of Australian servicemen and women. Homecoming was not a singular or linear event that came to close the First World War chapter in Australia’s history; homecoming was a lengthy, costly and demanding process both for those who returned and for those who had stayed. Our aim is to reposition Australia’s passage...
Article
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Best We Forget is a remarkable piece of scholarship which brings much to the existing historiography. It is one of the best books on Australia’s First World War to have been published during the centenary, and a highly readable one at that. It is a work of pedagogy which I hope will find its place in classrooms and libraries across the country.
Article
Full-text available
https://theconversation.com/100-years-since-the-ww1-armistice-remembrance-day-remains-a-powerful-reminder-of-the-cost-of-war-103232
Preprint
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Le dernier livre que nous offre Jay Winter est à la fois une synthèse de ses travaux sur la mémoire et la guerre au vingtième siècle, un développement et un renouveau de ces derniers. Le livre est articulé en deux parties. La première traite des vecteurs de mémoire tels que la peinture, les arts graphiques, la photographie, le cinéma, la littératur...
Article
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This is the first in a series of explainers on key moments in the past 100 years of world political history. In it, our authors examine how and why an event unfolded, its impact at the time, and its relevance to politics today.
Article
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The Australian Graves Detachment, a unit over 11 hundred men, was formed in March 1919 on the Western Front. Its mission was to exhume and re-bury the war dead in a small area of Northern France where the Australian Imperial Force had fought. While war memorialization and grief are significant fields of research in First World War studies, much rem...
Article
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The Honest History Book will likely prove very useful in challenging undergraduate or year-12 students, encouraging engaged and nourished tutorial exchanges. It is evidence based, critical and at times provocative, accessible and unafraid of polemics. It mobilises the latest works on the themes it approaches and many of its contributors are leading...
Article
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Beyond Gallipoli. New Perspectives on Anzac. Edited by Raelene Frances and Bruce Scates (Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, 2016), pp.xxii + 259, 17 illustrations. AU$34.95 (pb).
Chapter
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Based on French primary material, this chapter tells the history of the Moroccan Division at Second Villers-Bretonneux, where to the south of the town the division regained ground that the troops of the 13th (Australian) Brigade and 7th (British) Bedfordshire had failed to capture or hold during their costly attack the previous night. It demonstrat...
Article
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Armenia, Australia and the Great War. By Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley (Sydney: New South Publishing, 2016), pp. xii + 323. Two maps. AU$34.99 (pb).
Research
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Australia lost 60 000 soldiers to the Great War; France lost 1 400 000. If you do the maths, by January 2016 Australia had already committed $A9363 for each of these soldiers. France, for the duration of the centenary, may spend up to 86 euros (about $A125) per dead French soldier, according to the highest estimate of its commemorative spending. In...
Chapter
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Les visites de groupes scolaires australiens sur l’ancien front occidental sont un phénomène en pleine expansion. L’un d’entre eux, appelé Connecting Spirits, mérite une attention particulière d’une part parce qu’il met à jour des traits de comportements commémoratifs contemporains et, d’autres part, parce que ses organisateurs et ses participants...
Thesis
This thesis examines the process of assembly, projecting and performing an aspect of Australian national identity – Anzac and its central role in the national narrative – through the prism of war memorialisation at Villers-Bretonneux. It scrutinises the tangible ties between this town and Australia – including, amongst other forms of commemoration...
Article
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A centenary effect is bringing the First World War back into the public sphere in France, even though state authorities have struggled to generate momentum around its national commemorations. First, this article synthesises France's memory of the First World War, comparing it with Australian commemoration, arguing that it is generally consensual an...
Article
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Australia is about to spend more than any other country in commemorating the centenary of the First World War. This article examines the reasons behind the attachment of the Australian Government and part of the Australian people to commemorative celebrations. The author describes the background to this rediscovery of Australia’s engagement on the...
Research
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Fathi, Romain. - Bruno Cabanes, “The Humanitatian Moment”, History Australia 12, no.1 (2015): 265-267.
Article
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Les collections de l’Histoire, no. 66
Article
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Australian school tours on the Western Front are a fast-growing phenomenon. One school tour—called Connecting Spirits—is deserving of particular attention both because it sheds light on contemporary patterns of commemoration and because its organisers and participants created several records of its commemorative activities. This article analyses th...
Chapter
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This book chapter looks at Australian First World War commemorations in northern France through the lens of French locals and French sources, transnationalising Australian commemorative practices. It fills a void in our understanding of Australian extraterritorial commemorations and how they re-shape local communities and contribute to villages’ li...
Research
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Fathi, Romain. - Peter Hart, “The Great War”, Politique Etrangère 79, no.1, (2014): 234-235
Book
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En alternant l'étude de l'Historial de la Grande Guerre de Péronne et du Mémorial australien de la guerre de Canberra, l'auteur propose un voyage au cœur des représentations et perceptions culturelles de la Grande Guerre. Voici décrypté le sens donné au premier conflit mondial dans ces institutions. Les musées d'histoire ont un pouvoir incroyable e...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This project aims to advance the concept of resilient humanitarianism through a historical investigation of one humanitarian body, the League of Red Cross Societies, from its inception to the end of the Cold War. Global humanitarian crises abound due to ongoing conflict and natural disasters but nation states, bodies such as the United Nations and humanitarian organisations seem incapable of offering lasting solutions to intractable situations. This project will use rarely accessed archives and an interdisciplinary approach to investigate the evolution of humanitarianism, voluntary action and global civil society during the 20th century. This historical analysis can inform humanitarian policy, debates and practice of the present and future.
Project
Demobilising from total war was as much a psychological as a military and economic process. The extraordinary mobilisation of people, finance, images, emotions and sentiments that occurred between 1914 and 1918 could not simply be put into reverse, but required what John Horne has called ‘cultural demobilisation’. Here, the mindset of total war and its attendant will to violence had to be reconfigured, enemies rehabilitated, and the meaning of sacrifice negotiated. This was a contested project of coming to terms with the experience of war for civilians and soldiers alike. No less than in Europe, Australians were also obliged to confront that process. This special issue of History Australia examines the difficult and often lengthy processes of demobilisation in their military and civil contexts. Tens of thousands of Australian soldiers and nurses had been absent from distant homes for up to five years. The return and reintegration of service personnel was laden with personal, familial and communal efforts to negotiate not only the transition to peace, but the shape and meaning of ‘peace-time’. Demobilisation required an effort at readjustment, of recognising and evaluating the experience through which Australians had passed. How did soldiers and nurses prepare to make the transition from active military service? How successful were Australians at dismantling wartime mentalities? How did the war persist into private and public life? This special issue, co edited with Dr. Bart Ziino, offers an opportunity to re-examine the shifting processes not just of return and resumption, but of reformulation, as Australians – in common with all belligerents – negotiated their way out of total war. The special issue will be published in February 2019.
Project
The project was a community-oriented public event, which aimed to recognise South Australian-French connections forged during the First World War through the interpretation of objects currently held by South Australian families but which previously belonged to their ancestors in the First Australian Imperial Force. It can be understood as an academic form of the popular television Antiques Roadshow that aimed to explore South Australians enduring connections to the Western Front and France. The purpose was to create new knowledge about South Australians involvement in WWI, and to use existing knowledge in a new and creative way to generate a public understanding of South Australians’ experiences in the First World War, in France. In addition, the project was designed to feed into Dr Fathi’s research which focuses on the transnational dimension of war and its aftermath in both the Australian and European contexts.