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CANZUK, the Anglosphere(s) and Transnational War Commemoration: The Centenary of the First World War

CANZUK, the Anglosphere(s) and Transnational War Commemoration: The Centenary of the First World War

Chapter:
(p.133) 8 CANZUK, the Anglosphere(s) and Transnational War Commemoration: The Centenary of the First World War
Source:
The Anglosphere
Author(s):
Andrew Mycock
Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266618.003.0008

This chapter examines commemoration across the Anglosphere of the centenary of the First World War, which has drawn attention to the critical ordering and articulation of shared transnational collective memories and historical narratives. Tensions between national and transnational manifestations of war commemoration reveal the legacies of the British Empire, revealing the intersections between post-imperial and post-colonial constructions of history and memory across the Anglosphere and Commonwealth. The chapter argues that although Anglospheric war commemoration is located in remembrance of past conflicts, it is intimately connected with the present and future, thus meaning its context and meaning are prone to periodic reinvention in response to contemporary geopolitical circumstances. Commemoration of the First World War across the Anglosphere highlights the layered, hybridised, porous, and contested boundaries of the so-called ‘CANZUK’ union of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK, the ‘core’ Anglosphere which includes the United States, a less well defined Anglosphere, and the Commonwealth. It concludes that a ‘politics of war commemoration’ both binds and divides the Anglosphere and other parts of the former British Empire, highlighting the contentious and contested nature of transnational historical narratives and memory cultures informing diverse national commemorations of the First World War centenary.

Keywords:   war commemoration, CANZUK, Anglosphere, Commonwealth, transnationalism

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