Wartime Attachments: pain, care, retreat and treatment in the First World War

Foregoing the impulse to read the manifest imperial and nationalist politics of the First World War, this podcast series chooses to consider the institutional, technological, and emotional attachments of the War-period that latently charged, and ultimately transformed, our understanding of modern society. Among the attachments we shall be considering are those of psychiatric care and pharmacological innovation, the configurations of class solidarity and labour power, and the startling dependencies of soldiers and non-combatants on drugs, alcohol and anesthesia. We will also be determining the ways in which these conflicted scenes of care and self-care were captured in the emerging theoretical landscapes of psychoanalysis, ecology, and public health. Over the course of these talks with leading scholars from a variety of academic disciplines, we shall come closer to understanding how, through the interpenetration of ideology and intimacy, the First World War gave shape to our shared modernity.

Wartime Attachments is organised by Dr Barry Sheils (Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College, Dublin). The speakers this semester are:

Dr Andrew Frayn

Edinburgh Napier University

Friday, 29 April 2016 at 4pm, Humanities Institute Seminar Room

'Attachments and Coping towards the end of the First World War: D. H. Lawrence's Bay (1919)'

D. H. Lawrence described his poetry collection Bay, published in a limited edition 1919 by Cyril Beaumont having been in press for over a year, as 'more or less about the war'.  It is a document of the dying days of the conflict, largely conceived and written in early 1918 as Lawrence struggled to live by the pen following the suppression of The Rainbow (1915) and his ejection from Cornwall in 1917.  In this paper, I examine the attachments that sustained Lawrence as his parlous personal situation coincided with the fraught final year of the war.

Andrew Frayn is a Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University. He is the author of Writing Disenchantment: British First World War Prose 1914-30 (Manchester UP, 2014).

Dr Rachel Duffett

Essex University

Thursday, 12 May 2016 at 4pm, Humanities Institute Seminar Room
‘”As good as Mother makes?”: Food, Family and the Western Front.’
Rachel Duffett teaches at Essex University and the OU, and also works as a researcher on the AHRC funded ‘Everyday Lives at War’ First World War commemoration centre. She is the author of The Stomach for Fighting: Food and the Soldiers of the Great War (MUP, 2012) and joint-editor of Food and War in Twentieth Century Europe (Ashgate, 2011). She has written extensively on the significance of food in the war and has contributed to numerous radio, TV and magazine features. Her latest research project is on the legacy of the war in children’s play and toys and ‘Playing Soldiers?’ has just been published in Children’s Literature and Culture of the First World War (Routledge, 2016).