(Dis)figuring War: Literature and the Arts, 1918-2018 (Day 1)

Friday, November 9, 2018
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Stanford Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa Street
Stanford, CA 94305

At 11am on November 11, 1918, the armistice that effectively ended the First World War was signed. What came to be known as “The Great War” had a profound and lasting impact on the cultural fabric of the nations involved: as Paul Fussell wrote, “its dynamics and iconography proved crucial to the political, rhetorical, and artistic life of the years that followed; while relying on inherited myth, war was generating new myth.” Over the course of the 20th century, the concept of war evolved beyond historically traceable moments and events to include the consideration of war as site and influence shaping every aspect of lived experience. This conference seeks to examine ways in which literature and the arts have taken up and taken apart war and the myths surrounding it -- grappling with it both as subject and context while also considering the ways in which the experience of war molded, mutilated, and morphed artistic forms. Though the word “centennial” often rings of monolithic celebration, it is equally an opportunity to highlight the attempts of writers and artists to contain, contend, or survive war and to question and problematize preconceptions and existing views of war by investigating their inherently bipolar nature.

November 9, 2018 (Day 1)

  • 4 – 4.30pm – OPENING REMARKS
  • 4.30 - 7pm - 1st PANEL

Chair: Russell Berman (Stanford University, Professor)

  • Greg Chase (College of the Holy Cross, Lecturer)
  • ‘Death is not an event of life’: How Wittgenstein’s War Experience Re-Shaped His Philosophy
  • Victoria Zurita (Stanford University, PhD Student)
  • Ironic prospects: hope in Jean Giono’s To the Slaughterhouse
  • André Fischer (Auburn University, Assistant Professor)
  • Politics by other means: War photography in the work of Ernst Jünger
  • Nicholas Jenkins (Stanford University, Associate Professor)


For more info,  please email: massucco@stanford.edu

Sponsored by:  the Division of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures;  Stanford Department of Art and Art History; Theater and Performance Studies; Stanford Humanities Center; The Europe Center; Dept. of French and Italian; Dept. of History; Dept. of German Studies; and the Dean's Office of Humanities and Sciences.