Revisiting the Great War: From Text to Context
World War I marked one of the great turning points in the political, social, and cultural history of Europe and the world. This panel explores the lived, daily experience of this war by looking at five different forms. Presenters can address these forms in isolation or show the relationships between them.
First, presenters may analyze and evaluate the experience of the Great War through its literary texts, diaries, or journals. Presenters are encouraged to choose a single passage or two in order to explore the concrete experience of the war. The texts may focus on soldiers, civilians or both. Any text—on the fronts or at home—are suitable for this panel.
Second, one might explore various arts—painting, cinema, graphic arts—and show how they represent the experience of the war.
Third, one might analyze memorials to better understand their focus, intentions, and/or limitations. An excellent example of this is the recently redesigned Battle of Verdun memorials.
Fourth, presenters might look at the contemporary centennial commemorations themselves and/or the Web sites created to honor those who experienced the Great War.
There are no period restrictions for this panel. One may focus on works created during, right after, or long after the Great War. All perspectives are welcome.