Call for Papers: Objections to War: pacifism, anti-interventionism and conscientious objection in literature, theatre and art 1830-1918

20 November 2013

University of Hull, Centre for Nineteenth–Century Studies
7-9 September 2014

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Martin Ceadel, University of Oxford
  • Professor Sandi Cooper, City University of New York
  • Dr Grace Brockington, University of Bristol

Marking the centenary of the start of World War I (or the ‘Great War’ as it came to be known), this conference will consider the content, form and cultural significance of protest against war and military intervention in the years leading up to 1918.

Jacques Rancière argues in The Politics of Aesthetics that "the arts only ever lend to projects of domination or emancipation what they are able to lend to them, that is to say, quite simply, what they have in common with them: bodily positions and movements, functions of speech, the parcelling out of the visible and the invisible".

This conference will explore the relationship between the arts and social protest movements, asking how literature, song, theatre and the visual arts have been put to use to shape a politics and poetics of dissent against war and domination, as well as how far political and communal cultures have shaped the forms of conscientious objection, anti-war, anti-intervention and peace protest.

Papers are welcome from across the Humanities, considering anti-war or pro-peace protest in Britain, Europe and beyond. We also welcome considerations of the ways in which the protests of the past, and their effects, have shaped contemporary representations of war and peace.

Topics might include:

  • the language of peace protest
  • the aesthetics of anti-war poetry and song
  • metaphors of war in anti-war literature, song and drama
  • images and metaphors of peace and war in social protest literature
  • feminist and socialist anti-war protest
  • the visual arts and peace
  • conscientious objection and anti-conscription movements
  • anti-war journalism
  • imperialism, military intervention and antiwar protest
  • quaker testimony and peace protest
  • the representation of animals in anti-war literature
  • contemporary legacies of peace and anti-war protest
  • individual anti-war writers or poets such as G. B. Shaw, Vernon Lee, Romain Rolland, Bertha von Suttner, Emily Hobhouse, W. T. Stead, Olive Schreiner, Siegfried Sassoon, Thomas Hardy and H.G. Wells.

Please send abstracts of 200-250 words to Ingrid Hanson and Jane Thomas at objectionstowar@hull.ac.uk by 12 April 2014.


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