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Call for Articles “The Great War and Twenty-First-Century Memory”, a special issue of “Forum for Modern Language Studies”, edited by Nicholas Martin (University of Birmingham).


From a variety of (trans)national, cultural and disciplinary perspectives, the Special Issue focuses on the evolution of constructions and contestations of memory of the First World War since 1918, primarily in the context of artistic/cultural production within and across national boundaries – including the extent to which these constructions and contestations have been altered, inflected or confirmed by the First World War centenary commemorations of 2014 to 2018.

Despite the wealth of material published on ‘memory’ of the First World War, particularly during the centenary of the conflict (2014‒18), understanding of what constitutes ‘memory’ in the cultural context of the Great War – collective memory, national memory, communicative memory, cultural memory, postmemory ‒ often remains ill-defined. Moreover, work on Great War memory has concentrated overwhelmingly on its presence and mutations in the Anglosphere.

The Special Issue seeks to highlight and address conceptual imprecision and geographical imbalance in this field by focusing on types of memory reflected in cultural artefacts and cultural production since 1918 in a variety of other national and cultural contexts, including those of Russia, France, Italy, Turkey, and Germany.

The Special Issue’s focus on constructions, evolutions and contestations of memory of the First World War in these contexts will offer new perspectives on the place of Great War memory within the very active field of memory studies, and related fields such as literary and cultural studies, history, and political science.

Contributions will illuminate one or more of the following related issues: 1) the definition and applicability of various categories of ‘memory’ ‒ collective memory, national memory, communicative memory, cultural memory, postmemory ‒ to the character of First World War memory within and across specific national contexts; 2) the metamorphoses of First World War memory over the past century, as reflected in, and shaped by, cultural/discursive agendas and practices; 3) the relationship between the object(s) remembered and those expressing memory of it; 4) who is doing the remembering in these contexts, why, and for whom?

These broader questions will be embedded in discussions of cultural articulations of the First World War in specific national or transnational contexts, which will illuminate larger questions of how, why, and by whom the conflict is remembered in the twenty-first century.


Interested scholars are invited to submit an abstract of up to 300 words by Monday 3rd June 2019 to Nicholas Martin (

Complete articles of 7,000 words (maximum), in English and prepared in accordance with the journal’s style guidelines, will be due by Monday 2nd September 2019.

Articles will be published in April 2020 as a special issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies, Volume 56, Issue 2.

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