Barcelona, 12 March 2020.

Dear colleagues,

With great regret, although this is now entirely inevitable, we wish to inform you that the Barcelona 2020 conference Rewriting War and Peace in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries cannot take place this coming April.

Since writing to you all only last week, circumstances around the world have changed so rapidly that what once seemed only a remote possibility is now an absolute certainty, and the coronavirus is, as we all know, now pandemic.

Travel for many of you is now no longer permitted (whether by government or institution) and many others very rightly feel that to do so would be irresponsible. A further risk is that, if you were to come to Barcelona and get infected here, you would almost certainly be required to be in quarantine in Catalonia, with the consequent difficulties that this would entail. And today, the Catalan government issued orders to cease all school and university teaching activity; a complete shut-down is very likely to follow soon.

However, in the midst of this disappointment, we are very happy to announce that we are not cancelling; rather, we are postponing the conference to 2021 (March 25 and 26). Furthermore, we are delighted to confirm that our three plenary speakers, Professor Kate McLoughlin, Professor Jay Winter and Rachel Seiffert have most generously agreed to stay with us. We would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of them; their presence and participation has been a key element to this conference from the outset; being able to count on them for 2021 is a huge boost to us in these difficult moments.

As much as possible, we aim to keep the conference structure exactly as planned for this year; the papers, panels and timetables agreed for 2020 will form the basis (and, we hope, rather more than that) for 2021; the venue is the same and all other aspects that were ready for this April, will—we hope—be available next March.

Clearly, this is a sad outcome and—whilst this is entirely outside anyone’s ability to control or even adequately foresee—we regret the many inconveniences that this decision will cause. Force majeure is the new buzz term, but it accurately describes what has befallen us all here. Nevertheless, we look forward to welcoming you next year to the UAB for what will certainly be a wonderful conference.

Best regards,
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The UAB Rewriting War Conference