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Modernism\'s \"Little Wars\", 1919-1939

In October 1922, the British government was on the brink of entering the Graeco-Turkish War out of an emotional responsibility to safeguard British war graves in Gallipoli. E.M. Forster wrote three pieces criticizing the government in the newspaper press, including “Another Little War.” T.S. Eliot, too, wrote a letter to the Daily Mail, while Hemingway reported from Smyrna for the Toronto Star. References to the fighting would later find their way into both The Waste Land and In Our Time. After the centenary of the armistice, the aim of this panel is to bring authors’ responses to the “little wars” of the Interbellum into the limelight. By “little,” I mean not insignificant but underexplored, and not implicating the whole world (in the way the Great War had). Still, for modernists across the globe, these lesser-known conflicts provided opportunities for both action and reflection—on the legacies of the Great War after 1918, on authorship and civic engagement, on the forms and themes of their writing, on imperial politics. For, much of the upheaval of the 1920s and 30s took place in the collapsing colonial world, where the frontier had become the new front.

Contributions on modernism’s “little wars” may address (but are certainly not limited to) the following topics: modernism and the conflicts of the Interbellum (e.g. Döblin on the November Revolution, Anand on the Amritsar Massacre, Chang on the Sino-Japanese War); conflict in modernist writing (war, revolution, crisis, protest, riot, disagreement); modernism as violence; modernism and conflict resolution; modernism and decolonisation; modernism and Greater War (Gerwarth 2016) or Perpetual Interwar (Saint-Amour 2015); modernism and the memory of the Boer War; modernism and the news of war (radio, press, reporting); Spanish Civil War; Rif War; Irish Civil War; Abyssinian War; Egyptian Revolution; May Fourth Movement; the partition of the Ottoman Empire; the Arab Revolt in Palestine (etc.).

Abstracts (with short bio) are invited by March 4: cedric.vandijck@ugent.be


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

CFP Submission Deadline: March 04, 2019

For more information, contact: Cedric Van Dijck

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