Narrating Defeat After World War I
This panel addresses narrative responses to the end of World War I from the perspective of the vanquished and explores how experiences of defeat affected the potential to give an account of the past – and to imagine the future. The rupture of the defeat of 1918 yielded a wide range of reactions from across the political spectrum in the Weimar Republic: from a radical rewriting of the personal stories of the vanquished to integrating the defeat into teleological accounts, from aesthetic engagements with the topic up to the blunt denial of the defeat (“Dolchstoßlegende”). Encouraging contributions from disciplines such as history, literary studies, anthropology, art history, sociology, and political science, this panel aims to illuminate responses to defeat in different national, political, social, and aesthetic contexts. Potential questions and topics to be addressed include, but are not limited to:
- In what ways did the reverberations of defeat shape the imagined futures of the vanquished?
- How were the relations between the end of the war, defeat and the transformations from one political system to another conceptualized?
- “The epistemological potential of the experience of being vanquished” (Reinhart Koselleck) in historiography, literature, and politics.
- How did the dialectics of the defeat of 1918 unfold in the works of writers, historians, or politicians with different political orientations?
- Cultures of defeat (Wolfgang Schivelbusch)
- Defeat and revolution
- National defeat and auto/biographical perspectives
Please send inquiries and abstracts to Matthias Müller (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 25, 2018.
Please include a short bio and AV requests, if applicable. All applicants will be informed by early February. Please note that all panel participants including the moderator and the commentator must be registered GSA members.