Great War/Global War: The Literary and Cultural Aftermath, 1914-1939; ACLA, Providence, RI, 3/29 -4/1, 2012; Deadline: Nov. 15

full name / name of organization: 
Maureen Gallagher; American Comparative Literature Association

Great War/Global War: The Literary and Cultural Aftermath, 1914-1939

Seminar Organizer(s):
Maureen O. Gallagher (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Emily
Heilker (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

With the First World War's 100th anniversary fast approaching, there has been an increased interest in new approaches to the conflict. This panel seeks to reevaluate its literary and cultural aftermath using comparative, global, and transnational methodologies.

Though a conflict short in duration, the First War provoked a prolonged cultural crisis and rebirth and fundamentally altered global relations. Within Europe, the great number of men who lost life or limb changed family structures, birth and marriage rates, and gender roles. The encounter with the death and trauma of the war kindled an interest in the afterlife and resulted in new forms of memorialization and monumentalization worldwide. A sense of epistemological failure left further traces in the eruption of avant-gardes—with their "convulsive" (to use Breton's term) beauty—and in modernism's urge to re-write the self in its wake. Within areas colonized by Europe, the "collapse" of the colonizers coincided with increased vocalization of non-colonial identities and created opportunities to assert them. Furthermore, the presence of colonial soldiers and racial others within continental Europe highlighted shifts in racial, ethnic, and national relations.

This panel invites proposals on literary and cultural texts from WWI and the interwar period that engage with these and other trends, including but not limited to:
WWI literature
Harlem Renaissance, "Lost Generation" and other postwar literary movements
colonization and independence struggles
participation of the colonized in WWI
Spiritualism, theosophy, and revolutionary politics
international socialist movement
international avant-gardes, modernist rebuildings
memory and memorialization

The 2012 ACLA Annual Meeting will be held at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island from March 29th to April 1st, 2012. To submit a paper to this seminar, use the following link: Be sure to select our seminar title "Great War/Global War: The Literary and Cultural Aftermath,1914-1939" from the drop-down menu. Deadline is November 15, 2011.