Events

(Dis)figuring War: Literature and the Arts, 1918-2018

Friday-Saturday 9-10 November 2018
Stanford University

Keynote Speaker:

JAY WINTER
Charles J. Stille Professor Emeritus of History, Yale University

CALL FOR PAPERS 

At 11am on November 11, 1918, the armistice that effectively ended the First World War was signed. What came to be known as “The Great War” had a profound and lasting impact on the cultural fabric of the nations involved: as Paul Fussell wrote, “its dynamics and iconography proved crucial to the political, rhetorical, and artistic life of the years that followed; while relying on inherited myth, war was generating new myth.” Over the course of the 20th century, the concept of war evolved beyond historically traceable moments and events to include the consideration of war as site and influence shaping every aspect of lived experience. This conference seeks to examine ways in which literature and the arts have taken up and taken apart war and the myths surrounding it — grappling with it both as subject and context while also considering the ways in which the experience of war molded, mutilated, and morphed artistic forms. Though the word “centennial” often rings of monolithic celebration, it is equally an opportunity to highlight the attempts of writers and artists to contain, contend, or survive war and to question and problematize preconceptions and existing views of war by investigating their inherently bipolar nature.

We welcome proposals from scholars working in a variety of disciplines including literature, film, art, history, philosophy, anthropology, and health humanities. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Perspectives: Civilians and Soldiers; Victims and Aggressors;   Minorities, Women, and Children
  • Constructions: Memory and History; Nostalgia and Critique; Erasures and Monuments
  • Ideologies: National, Political, Technological, Scientific, Artistic
  • (Dis)Figuring: Trauma and Heroism; Silence and Narrative; Violence and Aesthetics

Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes and should be given in English. Please send abstracts of 300 words to disfiguringwar@gmail.com by 15 August 2018. The title of the paper, presenter’s name, affiliation, e-mail address, and a brief bio should appear on a cover sheet, as well as any requests for technical equipment. The conference will cover accommodations and travel.

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