CFP: Propaganda, Popular Culture and the Great War (UK) (9/8/05; 3/31/06-4/2/06)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

"How Art Wore Khaki and went into action":
Propaganda, Popular Culture and the Great War

Panel proposal for
The First World War and Popular Culture Conference
31 March - 2 April 2006 (3/31/6-4/2/6)
University of Newcastle (UK)

In September of 1914, the journalist and politician C.F.G. Masterman invited
Britain's leading novelists to a meeting at Wellington House in London to
discuss writing in support of the war. As the newly appointed head of the War
Propaganda Bureau, one of Masterman's first duties was to recruit major popular
authors of the time to help initiate the campaign to justify Britain's military
involvement in the war. Writers like Doyle even brought Sherlock Holmes out of
retirement to make him a witness to Hun savagery.

Critics of Masterman's propaganda called it too literary, too elite, and too
rational, and in 1917 the WPB became superseded by the newly formed Ministry of
Information. The new propaganda had to be more visual, aimed at the masses, and
unafraid to use outright fabrication when needed. When America broke its
neutrality and joined the Allied Cause, Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on
Public Information, later called "the world's greatest adventure in advertising"
by its Chairman George Creel, to justify America's entry into the war to the
American public. Wilson had won his 1916 election on a "He kept us out of the
war" ticket and it was crucial that he justify the government's change in
policy to the public. Exploring the evolving notions of propaganda during the
war means understanding, in the words of a poem by Wallace Irwin, "How Art put
on khaki and went into action" ("Thoughts Inspired by a Wartime Billboard").

This panel will accept papers on the British and American propaganda ministries,
their materials, their methods, their organisation, and their influence on
popular culture as well as the relationship between propaganda and advertising
after the war and the psychology of British and American propaganda during the
First World War.

All 300 word proposals should be emailed to Anurag Jain at
by September 8th, 2005 (9/8/5)

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Thu Jun 23 2005 - 16:34:52 EDT