We are delighted to share the details of the keynote address taking place at ‘The First World War: Past, Present, and Future’. Dr Jane Potter, Oxford Brookes University, will draw upon her expertise to consider the special place that our conference location occupies within the cultural memory of the First World War. An abstract for Dr Potter’s address, entitled ‘Strange Meeting(s): Craiglockhart, Poetry and the Cultural Memory of the Great War’, is as follows:
Siegfried Sassoon arrived at Craiglockhart War Hospital on 23 July 1917, having been sent to ‘Dottyville’, as he called it, to avoid a court-martial in the wake of his outspoken public statement against the War. He was soon visited by an admirer of his poetry, a neurasthenic second lieutenant who had arrived a few weeks earlier fresh from the horrors of the Western Front: Wilfred Owen. Under the care of Captain Arthur Brock RAMC, and his ergotherapy or work-cure, and with Sassoon’s advice, Owen learned to channel his experiences and memories of battle into poems that have come to define the Great War experience. This talk reflects on the legacy of these ‘strange meetings’ at Craiglockhart and the ways in which the poetry of Owen and Sassoon not only remains central to the cultural memory of 1914-18, but has become the archetype for the representation of war itself.
Limited tickets for the conference are still available. For further details, to view the full programme, and to book your place, please visit the link below: