War and Art: A Visual History of Modern Conflict – Book Launch


Event Date: 8 November 2017

Room B01
Clore Management Centre
Birkbeck, University of London
Torrington Sq
London WC1E 7JL

 The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities presents:

War and Art: A Visual History of Modern Conflict – Book Launch

Introduced by the editor, eminent war historian Professor Joanna Bourke, and with short talks from some of the contributing authors, including Monica Bohm-Duchen, Clare Makepeace, Sue Malvern and Sarah Wilson, this event will launch the sumptuously illustrated volume, War and Art: A Visual History of Modern Conflict (Reaktion, 2017)

The book is a visual, cultural and historical analysis of the ways armed conflict has been represented in a range of artistic forms. Art and artists have played a central role in promoting war, protesting against it, and forging visual images through which war is understood and interpreted by the public. The volume engages with debates about the contribution of art to the practice, memory and commemoration of war.
As the first major academic collection of essays on art and war in global contexts from the nineteenth century to the present, it is an innovative project which aims to further knowledge in this developing field of scholarship in five key ways:

  • By exploring the war-art nexus from a global perspective and in the longue durée – an approach which is rare in the existing literature.
  • By putting social historians in dialogue with art historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and film studies scholars.
  • By embracing a broad definition of art – including painting, etchings, photography, film, digital art, comics, graffiti, and material culture – it abandons the common high/low culture divide and attempts to cover all types of artistic representation of combat and behind-the-lines wartime experiences.
  • By exploring forms of war representations that are overlooked, specifically art produced by children and prisoners of war as well as representations of sexual violence and animals at war.
  • By countering a simplistic gender perspective that tends to equate war with male activities. Female artists and representations of gender (masculinity as well as femininity) at war are prominent in all chapters.

Introduction by Professor Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck):

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Monica Bohm-Duchen (Birkbeck):
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Dr Clare Makepeace (Birkbeck):
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Dr Sarah Wilson (Courtauld):
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Dr Sue Malvern (Reading):
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Questions:
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