War and the Cultural Construction of Identities in Britain


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The British have been involved in numerous wars since the Middle Ages. Many, if not all, of these wars have been re-constructed in historical accounts, in the media and in the arts, and have thus kept the nation's cultural memory of its wars alive. Wars have influenced the cultural construction and reconstruction not only of national identities in Britain; personal, communal, gender and ethnic identities have also been established, shaped, reinterpreted and questioned in times of war and through its representations. Coming from Literary, Film and Cultural Studies, History and Art History, the contributions in this multidisciplinary volume explore how different cultural communities in the British Isles have envisaged war and its significance for various aspects of identity-formation, from the Middle Ages through to the 20th century.

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”…a well-balanced though necessarily eclectic volume of articulate essays, which are all well-annotated and provide comprehensive bibliographies. […] insightful multidisciplinary collection…” in: Anglia, Band 122 (2004), Heft 2
BARBARA KORTE AND RALF SCHNEIDER: Introduction; BARBARA KORTE: Wars and ‘British’ Identities – From Norman Conquerors to Bosnian Warriors. An Overview of Cultural Representations; DIANA CONDELL: The History and Role of the Imperial War Museum; FRITZ KEMMLER: Facts and Fictions – The Norman Conquest; UTE ENGEL: The Bayeux Tapestry and All That – Images of War and Combat in the Arts of Medieval England; BERNHARD KLEIN: ‘Tales of Iron Wars’ – Shakespeare and the Uncommon Soldier; THOMAS ROMMEL: ‘Lines Suggested by the War in the Crimea’ – Florence Nightingale and the Role of the Individual Soldier; PAUL GOETSCH: The Fantastic in Poetry of the First World War; EVELINE KILIAN: “What does ‘our country’ mean to me an outsider?” – Virginia Woolf, War and Patriotism; JENNI CALDER: World War and Women – Advance and Retreat; CHRISTOPHER HARVIE: Men Who Pushed and Went – West Britain, War and Fiction, 1914-1926; CLAUDIA STERNBERG: The Tripod in the Trenches – Media Memories of the First World War; PAUL ADDISON: National Identity and the Battle of Britain; HELGE NOWAK: Britain, Britishness and the Blitz – Public Images, Attitudes and Visions in Times of War; SILVIA MERGENTHAL: England’s Finest – Battle Fields and Football Grounds in John King’s Football Novels; DOROTHEA FLOTHOW: ‘Britons’ at War – A Selective Chronology; INDEX; NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
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