Dr Emmanuelle Cronier PhD

Department of History
Marie Curie Fellow (2011-2013)

Contact details


  •  2005 : European doctorate in History – University of Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, France
  •  1994 : Agrégation of History
  •  1992-1994 : Fellow in History at Ecole Normale Supérieure of Fontenay Saint-Cloud


I am a former Fellow in History of Ecole Normale Supérieure of Fontenay Saint-Cloud (1992-1994), and I graduated Agrégation d’Histoire in 1994. I studied at the Centre for Social History (Centre d’Histoire Sociale) of University Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne where I did my PhD in History on 'Leave and Soldiers on leave in Paris during the First World War' under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Louis Robert (awarded in 2005 with «Mention très honorable avec les félicitations du jury à l’unanimité/ summa cum laude)

Prior to my arrival at Birmingham in 2011, I worked as a Junior Lecturer in Modern History at several French universities (Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris X-Nanterre, Orléans, Marne-la-Vallée, Versailles/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines). I was also a Visiting Lecturer at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, where I contributed to their undergraduate & postgraduate programme (2009-2010).

I am currently a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Centre for War Studies of University of Birmingham (2011-2013) for a project on  'Allied cultures during the First World War'.


My research to date has focused on a social and cultural approach of the issues of identity, contacts and transfers during the First World War through a long-term analysis involving sociological and anthropological approaches. I have also investigated the urban experience of the First World War in a social and cultural approach. I am currently working on Allied cultures and identities during the war, and on communitarianism as a support for troop morale. I am also doing research on wartime cooking, including the adaptation of recipes to wartime shortage, the taste and the food experience, and the cross-cultural issues of wartime rations (food importations and new products’ discovery, feeding the colonial troops).

Doctoral research

In my doctoral research on Leave and soldiers on leave in Paris during the First World War, I adopted a holistic approach to First World War societies, using a wide range of primary sources, such as Paris police records. This led to the creation of 2 databases including information about 6,000 soldiers on leave and 6,000 deserters. I have shown that the leave was a great support for the combatants’ and the civilians’ morale and was a key to maintain social and family bonds during the war. The issue of leave was also critical to the evolution of the links between the Army, the French Republic and citizenship. I have carried out a study of the military and logistic issues of the leave system showing how its improvisation annoyed the combatants, who were mobilized for the defence of their rights, which chimed in with a long-established cultural trait of the contentious people of Paris. In the Parisian space, social relations and identities were redefined as emerged wartime moral hierarchies in response to the war effort.

My analysis of soldiers’ disobedience and transgressive behaviours has criticized the notion of a “brutalization” of French combatants; a thesis which is still discussed in French historiography. I have also carried out a sociological and cultural study of desertion in France during the war, which led me to discuss the concept of “consent”, a central notion in the French historiography of the conflict. Lastly, I have written a cultural history of the soldier on leave in relation to the figure of the combatant in arms. To do so, I mobilized a wide array of sources, including postcards, novels or songs, and I have shown the limitations of another prevalent historiographical concept, that of the “War Culture”. I did indeed show that the wartime system of representation drew on nineteenth-century (or older) cultural codes and tropes and that the numerous links between the front and the rear involved cultural cross-fertilization.

Capital Cities at War project

From 2003 to 2007, I was an active member of  the research group Capital Cities at War. Paris, London, Berlin, 1914-1919, A Cultural History, coordinated by Prof. Jay Winter (Yale University) and Prof. J.L. Robert (University of Paris I). This comparative and international project produced a cultural history of the three capital cities through the analysis of the production, the dissemination and the appropriation of representations during the war. This project focused on the main sites of the capital cities and I was in charge of the supervision of the working party researching, 'the street'. I also played an active part  in three other  groups: 'Railway Stations : Gateways and Termini for the Metropolitan experience of war', 'Entertainments', and 'The Home and Family life'.

Our work on “the street” showed that the mobilization of specific spaces and communities within of the capital cities had an impact on their atmosphere and on all the images associated to them. The war affected the culture of the cities’ constituent places and wartime social and cultural identities were shaped on the streets through the mobilization in , support of the war effort. New figures appeared in the cities’ crowds : increasingly militarized and feminized, the crowds embodied the tensions, which, although inherent in the process of national mobilization, contrasted with the myths of national solidarity. The commitment to the war effort led to the emergence of new moral norms imposed upon the cities’ populations by the conflict. This project proved to be a most rewarding experience of international collaborative research.

Marie Curie Fellowship (2011-2013)

This project aims to investigate the operations of the Triple Entente in the First World War as a multicultural military alliance, exploring the intercultural contacts and exchanges between and within the forces which made up the Entente, as the First World War proved to be an extraordinary opportunity for millions of Entente soldiers to come into contact with fellow combatants who had come from all parts of the allied empires to fight a common enemy.

The project will describe and analyse the policies devised by the Allied nations to regulate contacts between – and in some cases enforce segregation of – Allied troops and/or home front populations, but also investigate the cultural issues of uprooted soldiers (European, Colonial & North American) sent to European battlefields, who had numerous opportunities to mingle on the Western front. Communal and national sociabilities are then challenged with the melting-pots of the emerging Allied cultures. The project will pay particular attention to the moments and sites of interaction to stress the diversity of circumstances in which benevolent or tense interactions took place. The project will also contrast the emergence of the Allied identity with the steps taken to maintain communal identities during and after the conflict. Military historians have stressed the importance of national and communal identities in combat operations, when the cohesion and discipline of troops is critical to their efficiency in the field, and the role that sport, civilian popular culture, and regimental traditions and identities played in this process within the British and American armies. The research will develop these matters exploring in particular food traditions as a support for morale among uprooted soldiers, and cross-cultural food issues.  

The project will eventually investigate the construction of an Allied identity that was meant to ensure the cohesion of a multinational Allied coalition and sustain the mobilization of public opinions. The research will go beyond official discourses, steeped in the language of high-politics and military operations, to analyze how the press, literature, and the popular culture of the allied nations also contributed to the definition of this allied identity.

Other activities

Grants and awards

  • 2011-2013 EU FP7 Marie Curie Programme, Intra European Fellowship: Inter-Allied Cultures and Identities during World War I (97.1/100), University of Birmingham, Centre for War Studies.
  • 2006 Selected in the Final Selection of Prix du Monde de la Recherche for PhD’s, co-presided by Edgar Morin, for the PhD 'L’échappée belle : permissions et permissionnaires du front à Paris pendant la Première Guerre mondiale'.
  • 1996-2005 Research Scholarship, Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne (France)
  • 1996-1999 Research Scholarship, University of Orléans (France)
  • 1992-1996 Fellow in History at Ecole Normale Supérieure of Fontenay-Saint Cloud


Workshop convenor

Co-convenor of the Transdisciplinary Research Workshop on War and Peace Studies, Institut des Etudes sur la Guerre et la Paix, University of Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, (from 2012)


Research groups

  • Member of the Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham
  • Member of Institut des Etudes sur la Guerre et la Paix, University of Paris 1- Panthéon Sorbonne.
  • Member of the International Society for First World War Studies.
  • Associate researcher at Centre d’Histoire Sociale, University of Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne
  • Member of the Editorial Board/Strategic Partner, 1914-1918 Online International Encyclopedia of the First World War, coordinated by Professor Oliver Janz (Freie Universität Berlin) and Professor Alan Kramer (Trinity College, Dublin)
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Research Centre of the Historial de la Grande Guerre (France)
  • Member of the Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation (IEHCA), Tours, France
  • Member of the“Capital cities at war. Paris, London, Berlin. 1914-1919” research group, coordinated by Prof. Jay Winter, Yale University, and Prof. Jean-Louis Robert, University of Paris I – Sorbonne. 2002-2007


Editorial experience 

Educational adviser for Belin Publishing (Paris), department of History textbooks for secondary schools (2007-2008) ; author of the First World War chapter in the A-level handbook by Belin Publishers (2010-2011)




  • L’échappée belle : permissions et permissionnaires du front à Paris pendant la Première Guerre mondiale / [A Narrow Escape : Leave and Soldiers on Leave in Paris during the First World War], Paris, Belin, 2012, in preparation
  • La France pendant la Première Guerre mondiale, Armand Colin, Cursus, in preparation (2013)



Book chapters


  • 'Les liens familiaux, un ressort de l’endurance civile et combattante pendant la Première Guerre mondiale' (Family bonds during the First World War, a support for civilian and combattant endurance) (with Manon Pignot), in N. Beaupré et A. Rasmussen (ed.), Accepter, endurer, refuser, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2012, in preparation
  • "Permissions et permissionnaires pendant la Première Guerre mondiale", (Leave and soldiers on leave during the First World War) in Jean-Jacques Becker et Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau(Dir.), Encyclopédie de la Grande Guerre 1914-1918, new edition 2012, in préparation (first edition, Bayard, 2004, pp. 591-599)
  • 'Les Poilus' in M.-F. Auzepy & J. Cornette (dir.), Histoire du Poil, Paris, Belin, 2011.
  • 'Le rôle des permissionnaires parisiens dans la révolte de 1917 : un front contaminé par Paris ?', (The involvement of Soldiers on leave in Paris in the 1917 mutinies : the front infected by Paris ?) in A. Loez et N. Mariot (dir.), Obéir/désobéir : les mutineries de 1917 en perspective, La Découverte, 2008, pp. 125-138.A. Loez et N. Mariot (dir.), , La Découverte, 2008, pp. 125-138.
  • "Les déserteurs à Paris pendant la Première Guerre mondiale", (Deserters in Paris during the First World War) in S. Aprile et E. Retaillaud-Bajac (dir.), Clandestinités urbaines. Les citadins et les territoires du secret (XVIe-XXe s.), PU de Rennes, 2008, pp. 183-195.
  • Articles : 'arrière' (Homefront), 'bombardements aériens' (air raids), 'cafard', 'correspondance', 'démobilisation', 'économie de guerre' (War Economy), 'embusqués', 'Insoumission/désertion', 'œuvres de guerre' (war charities), 'ouvriers coloniaux' (Colonial workers), 'permission' (Soldiers on Leave), 'profiteurs' (war profiteers), 'rationnement' (rationing), in J-Y Le Naour (ed.), Dictionnaire de la Première Guerre mondiale, Larousse, 2008.
  • A. Gregory, E. Cronier, J. Verhey, P. Purseigle, “Railway Stations: Gateways and Termini for the Metropolitan experience of war” in J.-L. Robert, J. Winter, eds., Capital Cities at War. Paris, London, Berlin, 1914-1919, Vol. II, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 23-56., Vol. II, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 23-56.
  • E. Cronier, B. Davis, J. Rüger and A. Triebel, “The Street”, in Capital Cities at War. Paris, London, Berlin, 1914-1919, Vol. , Vol. II, op.cit. (E. Cronier convenor), pp. 57-104.
  • J. Rüger, E. Cronier, M. Baumeister, 'Entertainments', in Capital Cities at War. Paris, London, Berlin, 1914-1919, Vol. II, op.cit., pp. 105-140, Vol. II, , pp. 105-140
  • C. Rollet, E. Cronier, E. Demm, "The Home and Family life", in Capital Cities at War. Paris, London, Berlin, 1914-1919, Vol. , Vol. II, op.cit., pp. 315-353
  • "Les permissions (anticipation, expérience et remémoration), un ressort du moral combattant français", (Anticipation, experience and recall of leave, a support for the soldier’s morale) in Rémy Cazals, Emmanuelle Picard, Denis Rolland (Dir.), La Grande Guerre. Pratiques et expériences, Privat, 2005, pp. 301-310.
  • "La schizophrénie des permissionnaires parisiens pendant la Première Guerre mondiale", in Jenny MacLeod et Pierre Purseigle (Ed.), Uncovered fields. Perspectives in First World War studies, Brill, 2004, p.143-158

Journal articles

  • "Les permissionnaires du front face aux cheminots pendant la Première Guerre mondiale" (Soldiers on leave confronting Railwaymen during the First World War), in Christian Chevandier (Dir.), "Images de cheminots. Entre représentations et identités", Revue d'histoire des chemins de fer, printemps 2007, n°36
  • "La presse du front en 1918, une littérature de crise", (Trench newspapers in 1918 : a literature of crisis) in J. Girault et B. Lecherbonnier (dir.), 1918 et Apollinaire, L'Harmattan, "Itinéraires et contacts de cultures", volume 28, 1999, pp. 23-31.