From the early modern period through to the present day, both combatants and non-combatants who lived through war have written about their experiences in autobiographical works. Sometimes published, but often not, such memoirs entail not only authors recalling their wartime lives but recasting, re-imagining and reprocessing their experiences. The popularity of war memoirs in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries in particular raises questions about why, when and the manner in which conflicts are recalled and remembered, how these texts contribute to or conflict with collective memories, and how they can be read and interpreted by the reading public and scholars alike. The highly specific nature of war memoirs means that comparative work is rare. The aim of this symposium is to compare different aspects and or approaches to war memoirs and, by so doing, lay the foundations for new potential interdisciplinary collaborations. It will also contribute to a broader discussion on the experience of war across cultural boundaries.
The Keynote speaker is Jay Winter (Yale University). Other speakers include Leonard Smith (Oberlin College), M. G. Sheftall (Shizuoka University), and Andreas Renner (University of Cologne).
Proposals for papers of thirty minutes are invited from scholars from across the disciplines working on any aspect of the war memoir from the early modern period to the present day, from European, Central and South American, African, Middle Eastern, and Asian conflicts.
Proposals should be between 300 and 500 words long. Offers of papers (as well a brief C.V.) should be submitted to the conference organizers:
Philip Dwyer ― Philip.Dwyer@newcastle.edu.au or
Roger Markwick ― Roger.Markwick@newcastle.edu.au
The symposium will be limited to no more than twenty participants. The program of the conference will be published in September 2010. Papers will be circulated before the symposium. The conference fee, payable by all speakers and attendees, will be $50 for one day and $150 for three days. The symposium is being held as part of an Australian Research Council research project on Veteran Culture and War Memoirs. The organizers intend on publishing the proceedings.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Newcastle
Callaghan, NSW, 2308
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