CfS: Painting, Memory and the Great War

Call for Submissions for a volume on ‘Painting, Memory and the Great War’, edited by Margaret Hutchinson and Steven Trout.

Over the past century, paintings of the Great War have played an important role in shaping and expressing public memory of the conflict. Indeed, many canvases—think, for example, of the Panthéon de la Guerre or John Singer Sargent’s iconic Gassed—have enjoyed just as much cultural prominence as photographs or works of cinema. The Great War represents a “last hurrah” for painting as a significant form of cultural war remembrance. This volume will examine paintings as sites of memory, highlighting the dynamic exchange between artists and their patrons, both of whom were responsible for determining what was remembered in, and what was absent from, the
canvas.

This volume seeks to draw together essays addressing individual paintings from a range of belligerent nations, including (but not limited to) Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, and the United States. Each chapter will focus on the history of a single work and its role in the construction, consolidation, or perpetuation of memory. The paintings themselves may come from a wide variety of genres and styles. We are open to essays that explore the complexity of works produced during the conflict or afterwards, whether by independent painters or by members of official wartime art programs or post-war commemoration projects.

The University of Alabama Press has agreed to consider this collection as part of its new book series War, Memory and Culture. Publication is contingent upon successful external review. Please submit an abstract of 300 words outlining your proposed chapter to Margaret Hutchison margaret.hutchison@anu.edu.au and Steven Trout strout@southalabama.edu by 1 March 2016. Essays of 7, 000 words inclusive of footnotes in current Chicago Style format are to be submitted no later than 30 November 2016. Inquiries are welcome.

Lecture: Futurism, Fascism, and the Art of War

Futurism, Fascism, and the Art of War
Michael Subialka, Powys Roberts Research Fellow in European Literature
St Hugh’s College, Oxford

29 April 2015, 5 pm, Taylor Institution Library, St Giles’, Oxford

The Italian entry into World War I was rooted in a complex mix of secret diplomacy, longstanding nationalist sentiments, and popular cultural provocation. One of the features of that mix is that it made for strange bedfellows and stranger combinations of beliefs even within single groups or movements. The Italian Futurists are no exception, and their years of provocation on behalf of intervention against Austria-Hungary (and in Africa) can be traced to a series of conflicting impulses that emerge out of the 19th century. In their thought, the basic irredentist cause of “completing” the Risorgimento’s unification of Italy is combined with the 19th-century discourse on vitalism, Darwinian visions of race theory and natural selection, and also an impulse toward the abstract, mysterious, and metaphysical, transposed from the realm of religion to human action and artistic creation. This blend of impulses makes the Futurist provocation emblematic both of the late 19th century and of the coming era of Fascism. It is in this light that we should approach the shift of alliances achieved by the Patto di Londra (Treaty of London), signed secretly 26 April 1915, nearly a month before Italy’s entry into the war.

All welcome. Lecture followed by Futurist book display and reception.

Poster: 2015-03-FuturismFascismAndTheArtOfWar-Poster-1