Women and the Great War: A Reexamination

deadline for submissions: 
September 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Richard Schumaker/Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Typically, scholarly reflection on the Great War focuses on military activity and masculine performance; in contrast, this NeMLA 2023 seminar examines the importance of women as fictional characters, authors, and purveyors of legacies associated with the Great War of 1914-1918. By privileging the role of women, it is hoped that we can bring a fresh critical light to this pivotal moment in world history. Please note the very wide range of perspectives in this seminar: authors, characters, and context.

Our reconsideration of the works, authors, and legacies of the Great War includes three directions: first, the examination of women appearing as fictional characters in this normally male-oriented thematic area; second, reflection on women writers, artists, and filmmakers engaged in representing the Great War; finally, establishing historical continuities deriving from the relationship between women and the Great War.

The flexible methodology of this session includes the examination of novels, poems, paintings, photography, film, documentaries, memoirs, and memorials.

A few suggestions for interpretative directions:

· Non-European, global writing on the Great War

· Themes of colonialism, migration, class, public health, punition, sexual violence, and race

· The inclusion of documentary, archival, and any relevant internet materials

· Presentations on “Women, New York State/City, and the Great War”

· The involvement of women in medical and public health issues during the Great War

Women in the Great War as represented in museums, local, national, and global.