Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End: Modernism and the First World War

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Institute of English Studies, University of London

CALL FOR PAPERS: Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End

Institute of English Studies, University of London
27–29 September 2012

'There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them.' W. H. Auden

Proposals are invited for an international conference on Ford Madox Ford's First World War tetralogy, Parade's End. First published as Some Do Not . . . (1924), No More Parades (1925), A Man Could Stand Up– (1926) and Last Post (1928), Parade's End has been described by Anthony Burgess as 'the finest novel about the First World War', by Samuel Hynes as 'the greatest war novel ever written by an Englishman', and by Malcolm Bradbury as 'a central Modernist novel of the 1920s, in which it is exemplary'. In 2010–11, Carcanet published the volumes as major critical editions, providing for the first time reliable texts, detailed annotations and discussions of the textual histories. Also in 2011, the BBC and HBO embarked on a five-part adaptation, scripted by Sir Tom Stoppard. As we approach the centenary of the start of the Great War, this conference will examine and celebrate Ford's First World War modernist masterpiece.

Keynote Address:
Adam Piette, author of Imagination at War: British Fiction and Poetry 1939-1945 (1995) and The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam (2009)

The conference aims to examine Parade's End from a wide a range of critical, historical, and theoretical perspectives. Possible topics might include:
Parade's End and modernism (including comparisons with other modernist novels).
Parade's End and the literature of the First World War (fiction, poetry, memoirs).
Parade's End and Ford's other fictional and non-fictional war prose (such as No Enemy, The Marsden Case, When Blood Is Their Argument, Between St. Dennis and St. George, and the material collected in War Prose).
Parade's End and Ford's War poetry.
• The contexts of Parade's End: class; women; marriage; family; bureaucracy; politics (radical toryism, communism, and the suffrage movement); music hall; cinema.
• The techniques of Parade's End: style; narrative; point of view; time; memory; stream of consciousness; character; humour; fairytale and romance; Literary Impressionism.
• Influences on, and the influence of, Parade's End.

We are keen to receive proposals from graduate students as well as established scholars, and we especially welcome papers discussing Parade's End in relation to other writers' works, including (but not limited to): Richard Aldington; Henri Barbusse; Vera Brittain; Edmund Blunden; H.D.; John Dos Passos; T. S. Eliot; Robert Graves; Graham Greene; Ernest Hemingway; David Jones; James Joyce; D. H. Lawrence; Wyndham Lewis; Frederic Manning; R. H. Mottram; Marcel Proust; Erich Maria Remarque; Siegfried Sassoon; May Sinclair; Rebecca West; Virginia Woolf. Speakers will be invited to submit papers for publication in International Ford Madox Ford Studies vol. 13, which will be published in 2014 to mark the centenary of the outbreak of WWI.

Please send proposals of up to 300 words for 20-minute papers to the conference organisers Rob Hawkes and Ashley Chantler ( by 1 May 2012.