Représenter la Grande Guerre: les écrivains et les artistes face à l’épreuve (1914-1920)

3 June 2013


Call for papers

Essays in French Literature and Culture (EFLaC), General Editor: Hélène Jaccomard, The University of Western Australia

Issue on the Great War – «Représenter la Grande Guerre: les écrivains et les artistes face à l’épreuve (1914-1920)»

Guest Editor: Gary D. Mole, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

2014 will mark the centenary of the events that led to the beginning of the First World War. The journal Essays in French Literature and Culture would like to be part of the commemorations that France is planning for the event by publishing a special issue on the literary, artistic, and cultural production contemporaneous with the war. While not underestimating the importance of recent literary texts and films and the impact they have had on the collective imagination of the conflict, we would like to revisit the varied forms of artistic and cultural creation that actually accompanied the war (limiting ourselves to any creative work produced between 1914 and 1920). In the specific French context, this production, by both civilians and combatants, has often been confined to rigid categories (patriotism, war propaganda, pacifism, the reality of combat) or divided formally into extremes: on the one hand works framed within literary and artistic tradition, mainly inherited from the 19th century, and on the other works employing techniques and artistic forms linked to general trends in modernism, experimentation, and the avant-garde. The truth is that the four long years of conflict saw a vast production in the artistic field irreducible to such dualistic visions of the creation inspired by the war.

Following on from recent research (amongst others: Nancy Sloan Goldberg on women’s writing, Nicolas Beaupré on writings by French and German combatants, Pierre Schoentjes on fiction, Laurence Campa on poetry, Philippe Dagen on painting, Laurent Veray on film), we would like to invite contributions which stray from beaten critical paths (Barbusse, Dorgelès, Apollinaire, Cendrars, Dadaism…) and avoid historiographical polarizations such as those concerning «war culture» and «peace culture» which have marked the sometimes heated debates between the cultural historians linked to the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne and the sociological historians from the CRID (Collectif de Recherche International et de Débat sur la Guerre de 1914-1918). We will therefore be open to all genres, all literary or plastic forms, all methodological or theoretical approaches. We will, however, be particularly interested in studies on the following subjects (as long as they deal with the representation of the war or its impact):

  • eye-witness accounts (either unpublished, unusual or critically neglected) from the front or the homefront
  • fiction and poetry neglected by literary historiography
  • theatre, spectacle, performance
  • writings by French soldiers other than on the Western Front
  • writing by women, children, Jews, Muslims
  • writing from any of the French colonies mobilized in the war
  • any creative production contesting «official» versions of the war
  • the visual and plastic field in its widest sense (painting, drawing, sculpture, documentaries, films)

    Please send proposals (300 words maximum) as well as a short bio-bibliographical sketch (including name, affiliation, and e-mail address) in a Word document, to the Guest Editor for the issue, Gary D. Mole: [email protected] before 31 December 2012. Proposals will be assessed by members of the editorial board and decisions communicated to authors before 31 March 2013. Selected articles (in French or in English) should be no longer that 5,000 words (including notes and bibliography), should follow the house style of the journal, and should reach the Guest Editor by 30 September 2013 for publication to coincide with the beginning of the centenary of the war in November 2014.

    A short section Varia is also envisaged for any creative written work concerning the commemoration of the Great War.

    EFLaC is an international peer-reviewed journal cited in Ulrecht and the Thomson Reuters Index. The journal is also available on-line through e-Informit.

    For further information on the journal EFLaC, please visit: «»


    Prof. Gary D. Mole

    Département de Français

    Université Bar-Ilan

    52900 Ramat-Gan


    Courriel : [email protected]

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