Date: 5-7 April 2014
Venue: University of Sunderland, St Peter's Campus
A three-day international conference will explore the impact of this first truly global war on the history, culture, philosophy, language and politics of the 100 years following it. Papers are invited from the international scholar’s community in English in a wide a range of disciplines – history, politics, world literatures, philosophy, sociology, human geography, media, critical and cultural studies, international law, linguistics, colonial and postcolonial studies.
The conference will focus upon the legacies of this First World War, its impact on literary, critical, cultural and philosophical imaginaries in the west and abroad as well as politics, international diplomacy and attitudes towards conflict. Unlike The Second World War, the transformative power of the event remains vague in the minds of many contemporary observers. Whereas the poetry of British war poets such as Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen continue as canonical in Britain, few films, apart from the pacifist classic – All Quiet on the Western Front – explore the War’s global impact.
How has the Great War been represented, for example, in the literature and film of the former colonies such as Kenya and India, and in the Middle East. What is the place and of the Great War in different collective memories? In what ways did it stimulate both the principle of nationality and the processes of globalisation? Also, how is the Great War ‘taught’ in schools?
We hope to attract scholars from a wide range of disciplines as we seek to explore the many cultural, historical, political and theoretical contexts of the Great War of 1914-1918. A selection of papers will be published.
We will be interested in paper proposals that address the following themes but invite any relevant to the subject of the legacies of the Great War:
Filmic and literary representation of World War I
The importance of the Great War in triggering the acceleration of the processes of globalisation.
The changing status of women in Britain and abroad in the 100 year aftermath of the Great War
The First World War as race war
The Communist challenge in the interwar period
The triumph of ‘the principle of nationality’
The Great War, the Middle East and Islam.
The Great War, sovereignty and transboundary networks.
Modern warfare since the Great War
The changing role of the Great War in the British imagination in its 100 year aftermath.
The role of technology in the Great War and its aftermath.
The Great War, decolonisation and postcolonialism.
The philosophy of war since the Great War
Teaching the Great War in Britain over the past 100 years
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