Matters of Conflict looks at the definitive invention of the twentieth century - industrialised war - and its vast and varied material legacy. From trench art and postcards through avant-garde art, museum collections and prosthetic limbs to battlefield landscapes, the book examines the First World War and its significance through the things it left behind. The contributions come from a multidisciplinary perspective, uniting previously compartmentalized disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, cultural history, museology and art history in their focus on material culture. This innovative, hybrid approach investigates the 'social life' of objects in order to understand them as they move through time and space and intersect the lives of all who came in contact with them.
The resulting survey sets a new agenda for study of the First World War, and ultimately of all twentieth-century conflict.
Table of Contents
1. Materialities of Conflict: The Great War, 1914-2003 2. Art, Material Life and Disaster: Civilian and Military Prisoners of War 3. 'Sacred Relics': Objects in the Imperial War Museum 1917-1939 4. Prostheses and Propaganda: Materiality and the Human Body in the Great War 5. 'Nagelfiguren': Nailing Patriotism in Germany 1914-18 6. Shattered Experiences - Recycled Relics: Strategies of Representation and the Legacy of the Great War 7. The Great War Re-remembered: The Fragmentation of the World's Largest Painting 8. Death and Material Culture: The Case of Pictures during the First World War 9. A Material Link Between War and Peace: World War One Silk Postcards 10. Thanks for the Memory: War Memorials, Spectatorship and the Trajectories of Commemoration 1919-2001 11. The Lion, the Angel and the War Memorial: Some French sites re-visited 12. The Internet and the Great War: The impact on the making and meaning of Great War history 13. The Ocean Villas Project: Archaeology in the Service of European Remembrance 14. Aftermath: Materiality on the Home Front, 1914-2001
Nicholas J Saunders was formerly British Academy Senior Research Fellow investigating the anthropology of the First World War. He is currently Lecturer in Material Culture at the Department of Anthropology, University College London.