Research Forum Visiting Professor programme Lecture


The Face of War in the Twentieth Century and Beyond

Friday, 28 February 2014

18.00, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

animal-cum-bird-like configuration of an angel or human
Paul Klee (1897–1940), Angelus Novus, 1920. India ink, coloured chalk, and brown wash on paper, 318 x 242 mm. Gift of Fania and Gershom Scholem, Jerusalem, John Herring, Marlene and Paul Herring, Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder, New York. Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Speaker(s): Jay Winter (Charles J. Stille Professor of History, Yale University)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission. First-come-first-served.

Organised by: Dr Maria Mileeva

In painting, sculpture and installation art in many parts of the world today, war is no longer con-figured through the human face. In part this is a reflection of internal changes in the arts, but in part it is a reflection of the changing nature of war. In 1914, war had a human face – the face of the generation of soldiers who fought and died on the battlefields of the Great War. But over time, the faces of those who have fought war and at times of those who have become its victims have faded slowly from view. The way many of us see war today, believes Jay Winter, is very different from the way the men and women of 1914-18 saw it. And since what we see matters much more than what we read, it is of some importance to trace the nature and consequences of this flight from figuration, this occlusion of the human face and form, in representations of war in the twentieth century and beyond.


Jay Winter is the Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University. He was a Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and Lecturer, then Reader in Modern History at Cambridge from 1979-2001. He won an Emmy award as co-producer and historian of the 8-hour television series shown on the BBC and the American PBS in 1996, entitled The Great War and the shaping of the twentieth century. He is the author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (1995), published in French in 2007.  With Antoine Prost, he is author of The Great War in History (2004) and René Cassin and the Rights of Man. From the Great War to the Universal Declaration (2013).  He is editor-in-chief of the three-volume Cambridge History of the First World War, published in French in 2013 and in English in 2014.  He is a founder of the Historial de la grande guerre, the museum of the Great War at Péronne, Somme, France.



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