James Wallis


27th August 2014:

RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London

With Dr David Harvey, I co-organised, spoke at and chaired a series of three interdisciplinary sessions exploring geography and the First World War. Coinciding with the start of the conflict's centenary commemorations, I co-ordinated a research trip to IWM London for delegates to meet with curators and view the new First World War Galleries. This event was a partnership between the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Imperial War Museums.

1st August 2014:

‘Perspectives on the Great War, World War One International Conference’ – Queen Mary University of London

I presented a thirty minute paper titled ‘Displaying the ‘War to end all Wars’ – The Imperial War Museum and the First World War, 1964-2014’ at this interdisciplinary conference. This was followed by a sixty minute discussion.

10th January 2014:

'Making Connections: Collaboration in Research and Practice', Kings College London

I co-organised this national one day conference with my fellow Collaborative Doctoral Award students at Imperial War Museums London. The event was held at Kings College London and was funded by the AHRC Collaborative Skills Development Scheme. I chaired two sessions of this conference, which aimed to critically explore the benefits, challenges and impact of collaborative research. For further details and the conference programme, please see:






13th November 2013:

'Representing and Historicising Les Gueules cassées', University of Exeter

I attended this one day conference event, which was part of the EU-funded international '1914 FACES 2014' project. This is examining the impact of facial disfigurement on soldiers during the First World War. 

7th October 2013:

Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships Student Launch Event, British Museum

At the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships Student Launch Event, I was a panellist for the session titled 'What is it like to be a CDA Student?'


As a current Collaborative Doctoral Award holder, I shared some of my experiences to the new intake of CDP students by answering questions from a facilitator, and then from members of the audience.

13th September 2013:

'Making Military History in Museums', National Army Museum, London.

I attended this one day event, which was organised by the National Army Museum and the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. The theme of the conference was to consider the challenges involved in displaying military stories, memories and objects in museums.

6th September 2013:

'Conflict and the Senses - Materialities and Cultural Memory of 20th Century Conflict' Conference, Imperial War Museums London

I attended this two-day conference, which was organised by Imperial War Museums and the University of Bristol.


28th August 2013:

RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London

I co-organised two themed sessions, titled 'Connection, Engagement and Negotiation - When Geographers and Museums Collaborate', at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Annual Conference. This brought together PhD researchers working 'behind the scenes' in museums. I chaired the first of these sessions, and sat as a panellist for the concluding Roundtable Discussion.


Details for Session 1 - http://conference.rgs.org/conference/sessions/View.aspx?heading=Y&session=6d23face-b0c1-4706-b518-a5a4c2b190ed.


Details for Session 2 - http://conference.rgs.org/conference/sessions/View.aspx?heading=Y&session=a9034631-ac24-4e7d-9919-5c1b1c5f077b.


17th July 2013:

'Challenging Memories: Silence and Empathy in Heritage Interpretation', Buckfast Abbey

I attended this three day conference, which brought together museum practitioners and academics. It was organised by the network 'Silence, Memory and Empathy in Museums and at Historic Sites'.

10th July 2013:

'Memory, Conflict, Space', Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies, Liverpool Hope University

I presented a paper titled ''The Exhibition to End All Exhibitions?' - The Imperial War Museum's First World War Galleries, 1990-2012' at this three day conference. This discussed some of the initial findings of my research into the IWM's former permanent First World War galleries. These displays were opened in 1990 and removed in late 2012.

2nd March 2013:

'Between Art and Information: Collecting Photographs', De Montfort University, Leicester

I attended this one day event, organised by the Museums and Galleries History Group and the Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University.

5th February 2013:

London Group of Historical Geographers Seminar, Senate House

I presented a fifty minute version of my paper ‘‘Oh! What A Lovely Exhibition!’ Exploring the Imperial War Museum’s First World War 50th Anniversary Displays, 1964-1968’ at the Geography, Museums and Collections themed series of the LGHG. This examined the production and circulation of the First World War official photographs in the illustrated press both during and after the conflict, and how this impacted upon their display as 'Then and Now' comparative photographic pairs in the IWM during the 1960s.

9th November 2012:

'War and Life-Writing' - Wolfson College, University of Oxford

I presented a collaborative paper with Alys Cundy (Bristol University/IWM Collaborative Doctoral Award Student) titled 'From Private Lives to Public History: Donation Letters to the Imperial War Museum'. This explored letters of donation received by the IWM during the 1920-1930s and the 1960s, in looking at the perceptions of donors and their relationship with the institution. This one day interdisciplinary conference was organized by the War and Representation Network and the Oxford Centre for Life Writing.

7th November 2012:

'Practising Historical Geography' - University of Hull

I attended this one day workshop, organized by the Historical Geography Research Group.  

10th August 2012:

XV. International Conference of Historical Geographers - Charles University, Prague

I presented my paper ''Oh! What A Lovely Exhibition!' Exploring the Imperial War Museum's First World War 50th Anniversary Displays, 1964-1968' at this five day conference.

12th July 2012:

'Cultures of Curating' Museums & Galleries History Group Conference - University of Lincoln

I presented my paper ‘‘Oh! What A Lovely Exhibition!’ Exploring the Imperial War Museum’s First World War 50th Anniversary Displays, 1964-1968’ at this two day conference.

2nd May 2012:

'History of the Imperial War Museum' Seminar

I presented a paper titled ‘‘Oh! What A Lovely Exhibition!’ Exploring the Imperial War Museum’s First World War 50th Anniversary Displays, 1964-1968’ at this IWM event. This examined the Museum's 'Special Photographic Displays', which took place to commemorate the First World War's fiftieth anniversaries during the 1960s.

21st April 2012:

RGS IBG Postgraduate Mid-Term Conference - Nottingham

I presented a shortened version of my paper ‘‘Oh! What A Lovely Exhibition!’ Exploring the Imperial War Museum’s First World War 50th Anniversary Displays, 1964-1968’ at this postgraduate event.

10th February 2012:

'Fromelles and Beyond: History, Heritage, Archaeology and Memory of the Great War: A Research Symposium'

I attended this one-off event, hosted by IWM London, and wrote up a summary of the day's events; http://blogs.iwm.org.uk/research/2012/03/reviewing-first-world-war-studies-with-australian-colleagues/.

12th November 2011:

'Scales of Remembrance: Amateur Family History and the First World War', 'The Great War: From Memory to History', University of Western Ontario, London, Canada

I presented a 20 minute paper at this inter-disciplinary international conference. This engaged with issues surrounding the practices of online family history and its implications, the subsequent undertaking of battlefield tourism, and how the Imperial War Museum plans to harness the power of amateur family history for its 2014 Redevelopment programme.  

Professional Meetings

4th March 2014:

AHRC Postgraduate Careers Showcase, Manchester

I attended this one day AHRC event, which was put on for final year PhD students to explore potential career options outside of academia.

9th September 2013:

'Collaborations' - Networking Event for Collaborative PhD Students, Tate Modern

I attended this networking event for Collaborative Doctoral Award Students, which discussed the nature of collaborative research. It was organised by the current cohort of Tate CDA students.


18th October 2011:

'The First World War - Memory to History' - 'Gown Meets Town' programme, Global Centre in Exeter

I presented a 40 minute talk to a public audience, which consisted of a broad overview of some topical issues contained within my PhD. Concepts such as the politics of national remembrance and commemoration, and the challenges facing the Imperial War Museum in their 2014 Redevelopment were put forward, which promoted a rich discussion session.      

Graduate School Skills Workshops

23rd March 2011:

'Exploring Theory - Developed for students in the Colleges of Humanities and Social Sciences and International Studies' - Effective Researcher Development Programme

Half day workshop about the application of differing theoretical approaches to research.

22nd March 2011:

'Finding and Using Archives in Research' - Effective Researcher Development Programme

Half day workshop about using archival material for research.

21st February 2011:

'Smartstart: A PhD Introduction' - Effective Researcher Development Programme

An all-day induction event for new Postgraduate Researchers