5th May, University of York: ‘Representing War Trauma in the Nineteenth Century’.


image1-11.JPGThroughout history, war trauma has remained an abstract and often silent phenomenon. This panel brought together three academics whose research draws on the literature and culture of nineteenth-century warfare, discussing the presence and treatment of war trauma in the arts and society at large. There was an invigorating discussion after, covering themes such as gender, health, landscape and childhood, followed by a wine reception.

The following day, our speakers regrouped at York Army Museum for a private tour of the collections. Much of the paper material housed in the museum is of interest to this project, and details the personal lives of soldiers from 1640 until the present day.

The panel consisted of:

image2-2.JPGHolly Furneaux (University of Cardiff)

Holly’s research is in Victorian literature and culture, and Victorian legacies, with an emphasis on gender, forms of family, sexuality, touch and emotion. Holly is currently building on an AHRC funded project Military Men of Feeling, in partnership with the National Army Museum. Holly is now exploring a longer cultural history of military masculinity from the eighteenth century to the First World War, and working with Compton Verney and the National Army Museum to develop a Soldier Art exhibition.

Holly’s paper was titled: The Red Pawn: Traces of Trauma in Late Nineteenth Century Imperial Narratives.

Alastair Massie (National Army Museum)

Alastair is the Director of Research and Academic Access at the National Army Museum and has authored a number of books on war, including ‘The Crimean War: The Untold Stories’.

Alastair’s paper was titled: ‘Cast down with disgust at their fate’: The Traumatised Soldier of the Crimean War.

Catherine Wynne (University of Hull)

Catherine is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Hull. She is author of the Bram Stoker, Dracula and the Victorian Gothic Stage (2013) and The Colonial Conan Doyle (2002). She is editor of Bram Stoker and the Gothic: Formations to Transformations (in press). She is currently completing the first biography of the British war artist and traveller, Lady Butler.

Catherine’s paper was titled: ‘Lady Butler and War Trauma

This was an interesting and thought provoking launch of our network, which was well received by students, academics and the general public. Our next event will be announced shortly.



Image: Searle Collection