RAF Museum Conference 2020

Published on: 8 October 2019

RAF Museum Conference 2020: Call for Papers.


RAF Museum, London.

London, 28 September 2020.

The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce a call for papers for its conference on ‘THE RAF in a WORLD TRANSFORMED, 1945-1949’ which will be held on 28 September 2020.

Dawn of a New Era — Meteor Mk. 1s in Fly Past over central London, Frank Woot

This conference will explore the RAF’s transition from war to peace. At the start of 1945 the RAF remained heavily engaged against Germany, and faced global commitments. When the Second World War ended the RAF was faced with the need to demobilise what had become a very diverse force. The RAF helped create or resurrect several air forces and engaged in international co-operation supported by a Labour government which recognised that a larger air force, and smaller army, was the most economical means of meeting its ongoing military commitments. As the RAF slowly released personnel, they returned individuals with newly learnt skills and experience into society, industry and in some case politics. Cutting edge scientific and technological developments emerged, supported by the RAF, and infrastructure created on which modern British civil aviation rests. The RAF was also involved in the process of shaping the official history and public memory of its operations during the post-war period as well as attempting to absorb the lessons of the war and convert these into subsequent strategic doctrine.

The Keynote address will be given by Martin Francis, author of The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945 and Ideas and Policies Under Labour, 1945-1951: Building a New Britain.

The Museum invites proposals for papers, short and long, and poster presentations, that examine the Royal Air Force in the period of 1945–49. It would particularly welcome proposals for papers on the RAF and subjects including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Conscription, demobilisation, personnel policy, and National Service;
  • The official histories of the war, memorialisation, memory and cultural representations;
  • Science and technology;
  • International relations, diplomacy and co-operation;
  • The Labour government, the new parliament and the role of RAF veterans in post-war politics;
  • Class, gender and ethnicity in the RAF;
  • Air operations in 1945 and the development of air power doctrine
  • British nuclear culture and the move towards an independent nuclear deterrent.

Submissions are welcomed from all sectors and disciplines, and we would particularly encourage postgraduate students and early career researchers to apply.

  • Short papers — Individual papers of 15 minutes’ length;
  • Long papers — Individual papers of 30 minutes’ length;
  • Poster presentations — with accompanying 5 minute lightning talks.

All proposals should include an abstract of no more than 500 words and a one-page CV. All proposals must be submitted by 31 January 2020.

Submissions, queries and expression of interest to attend should be addressed to Dr Harry Raffal at Harry.Raffal@RAFMuseum.org.

A PDF of this call for Papers is available to download.

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