Nov. 11, 2018 commemorated 100 years since the end of World War I. Generally referred to as the first “total war,” WWI blurred the boundaries between front and home front, forever changing the face of modern warfare. By its end, the “Great War” was one of the deadliest armed conflicts in history, with the toll of civilian and military casualties reaching 40 million. In its aftermath, the rise of social and political movements in many countries supported suffrage and political activism by minority groups, but also caused a radicalization of nationalist movements. This led to totalitarian regimes in several countries, as well as changes in political configurations on the world stage. Today, representations, reactions and responses to WWI are found in art, film, literature and theatre throughout the 20th century and all over the world.
University of Toledo brought scholars from various disciplines and institutions to discuss and critically examine cultural representations and memories of WWI.
Friederike Emonds is an associate professor of German, College of Arts and Letters. He spoke on “Gendered Memories.”
The catastrophe of World War I created a traumatic rupture between past and present in many European countries. In Germany, war memories continued to haunt its society long after the devastating defeat and framed the politically volatile years of the Weimar Republic. Ten years after the end of WWI, the memory discourse culminated in a sudden boom of war literature. After briefly indicating the context of a larger project on the history of the American Philosophical Association, his presentation considered the impact of World War One on the American academic situation, the work of philosophers, and the activities of the philosophical associations.
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