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Making the Stones Speak: First World War Memorials

War memorials, whether elegiac or heroic, attempt to give physical form to aspects of national character and memory forged by war. However, they also embody tensions between private grief and public commemoration, the silence of loss and the necessity of public speech and symbolism that can assign meaning to that loss. Moreover, because war memorials must answer to varied demands—those of a nation or city, veterans, mourners, artists, planning commissions, and communities—they are very often sites of social and aesthetic contestation.

This panel aims to explore WWI memorialization in the form of statues, monuments, buildings, cemeteries and installations, both in the immediate aftermath of the war and more recently. Papers might consider the tensions within war memorials between permanence and impermanence, stone and flesh, presence and absence, abstraction and figuration, or the interplay of silent stone with the “speaking” of inscriptions, dedicatory speeches or poems, or literary or cinematic representations of memorials. Papers that consider the exclusion of certain groups from commemoration, memorial structures as sites of protest or mourning, or centenary installations or structures are also welcome. Papers may take any of various disciplinary perspectives—art historical, architectural, historical, literary, cinematic--and focus on any national or transnational context.

Please send a 250-word abstract and brief bio to Stacy Hubbard at sch1@buffalo.edu by March 1st.


Conference Location: Toronto, CA
Conference Starts: October 17, 2019
Conference Ends: October 20, 2019

CFP Submission Deadline: March 01, 2019

For more information, contact: Stacy Hubbard

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