The Great War in Narrative Perspective(s)

Term: Spring 2009

Subject Code: GLIB

Course Number: 5531

The legacies of World War I continue to be felt nearly a century later. Because it was a �total war,� it drew virtually all aspects of human life into its orbit. Yet these legacies have been understood differently by different kinds of authors writing in different times, in different genres and within different historiographical frameworks. This course expores the various resonances and interpretations of the �Great War� by asking: How did eye-witness accounts shape the war story? How did the understanding of the war�s legacies change in light of subsequent conflicts? What role did novelists and filmmakers play in telling the war story? And how have more popular accounts intersected with those of professional historians? What are the important differences of interpretation that have emerged from different analytic frameworks? In addressing these questions, the course uses primary and secondary documents, novels, and films to explore the creation and transformation of historical knowledge.

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