Annette Becker is a Professor of Contemporary History at Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. She has written extensively on the Two World Wars and the extreme violence they nurture, with an emphasis on military occupations and the two genocides, against the Armenians and the Holocaust. She has devoted research to humanitarian politics, trauma and memories, particularly among intellectuals and artists.
Annette Becker focuses her attention on the contemporary intellects of the Great War, such as Maurice Halbwachs, Marc Bloche or Guillaume Apollinaire. She wrote a war biography of Guillaume Apollinaire that particularly emphasizes the studies on the impact and trauma the World War I had upon the art. For this work, Annette Becker was awarded in 2010 the Prix de la Biographie by the French Academy. The premise never changed: focus on great contemporary figures of the Great War to demonstrate their ordinariness in the illustration of the agony of the conflict, may they be soldiers or civilians. But she is also interested in witnesses, in order to understand how the war did disrupt and traumatize –intellectually, culturally and artistically– our societies.