Cfp – AfterShock: Post-traumatic cultures since the Great War

Excerpt of one of the founding articles on shell shock by Myers published in 1915

This cross-disciplinary conference focuses on genres of post-traumatic stress as identified and studied in military and civilian psychology, social and cultural history, film studies as well as literary and art criticism. Post-trauma’s elusive, psycho-social, inter-relational complexity requires such an interdisciplinary approach to place the after-effects of recent conflicts, for instance in Iraq and Afghanistan, within the complex narratives of war-related stress from 1914 onwards. Body, mind and emotion inflected by time and locality should be explored together with the interconnected histories of individual (combat) and collective (civilian) aftershock.

The organizers hope to compare varieties of post-traumatic stress as well as its expressions across societies and cultures in film, literature or visual arts. The interactions between returnees and the traumatized society which they re-enter creates communal, political and media conceptualizations that deserve more extensive study. While military psychology research on returnees thrives, other areas, for instance the dysfunction of post-war family relations, await more comprehensive examination.

To create a forum for exchange and cooperation across the human, social and medical sciences the organisers seek contributions willing to engage with other disciplines. Scholars interested in addressing the inter-connectedness of individual and collective mentalities – for example, in families, medical and political policy, representations of post-trauma, and conflicts over memories of trauma – are welcome to submit proposals for a paper or a panel. Contributors are invited to identify common themes for future cross-disciplinary study that will enable comparison and contrast between post-war nation states, communities and individuals. The organizers intend to establish a network for further research.

Submission guidelines: Panels and papers

The organizers encourage contributors to propose their own cross-disciplinary/ comparative panels. Apart from suggested panels, there will be panels formed by the organizing committee: individual presenters will be grouped according to topic rather than academic discipline. Such panels will be led by nominated Chairs. The organizing committee kindly asks contributors to accept nominations.

Each Chair will coordinate the exchange of papers among the panellists at least a month before the conference to inspire responses and facilitate discussion during the conference. Papers should be up to 2000 words. Panels will last 90 minutes – each panellist will have no more than 20 minutes to present their main points; the remaining time should be devoted to discussion moderated by the Chair, who will also incorporate questions from the audience.

Contributors are invited to submit an abstract (up to 300 words) accompanied by six keywords. The abstracts should indicate affinities with other themes and disciplines in order to suggest recommendations for the organization of panels.

Contributors who want to propose panels are asked to send in a panel title, a brief description (300 words) of its themes and all the abstracts.

Keynote speakers

Professor Jay Winter, Department of History, Yale University

Dr Mette Bertelsen, Danish Veteran Centre, Copenhagen Denmark

Professor Michael Roper, Department of Sociology, University of Essex

Professor Simon Wessely, Professor of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London and Director, Kings Centre for Military Health Research Institute of Psychiatry

Professor E. Ann Kaplan, Distinguished Professor of English and Cultural Analysis and Theory at Stony Brook University, NY

Dr Sophie Delaporte, Faculty of Philosophy and Human and Social Sciences, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens.

 

Conference format

The conference is hosted by the University of Copenhagen together with the Veterans Centre of the Danish Military Academy. The proceedings will be held on the Humanities Faculty campus at 128 Njalsgade, 2300 Copenhagen.

Some sections of the conference will be streamed.

The conference language is English.

Conference dates

The conference will take place from 22 to 24 May 2013 in Copenhagen.

Deadline for proposals: December 15, 2012.

Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered unless an extension has been granted by the organising committee. Selected papers will be published in a collection of essays.

For more information, click here.

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