The Great War of 1914-1918 was fought on the battlefield, on the sea and in the air, and in the heart. Museums Victoria’s exhibition World War I: Love and Sorrow exposed not just the nature of that war, but its depth and duration in personal and familial lives. Hailed by eminent scholar Jay Winter as "one of the best which the centenary of the Great War has occasioned", the exhibition delved into the war’s continuing emotional claims on descendants and on those who encounter the war through museums today. Contributors to this volume, drawn largely from the exhibition’s curators and advisory panel, grapple with the complexities of recovering and presenting difficult histories of the war. In eleven essays the book presents a new, more sensitive and nuanced narrative of the Great War, in which families and individuals take centre stage. Together they uncover private reckonings with the costs of that experience, not only in the years immediately after the war, but in the century since.
Table of Contents
War, Emotion and the Museum
Joy Damousi, Deborah Tout-Smith and Bart Ziino
Emotions in Conflict: On the Battlefield and at Home
1. Emotions and Memory in the Soundscapes of World War I
2. Pompey Elliott, Australia’s Emotional General
3. For the Duration: Surviving World War I at Home
Bearing the Wounds of War
4. A Familiar Face: Wartime Facial Wounds and William Kearsey
5. War Disability and the Centenary of Family Caregiving
Emotions in Histories of World War I
6. Searching for Hector Thomson: Telling Difficult Family War Histories
7. "Gonzo" Historians and the Emotional Turn in Australian Military History
8. Distance, Intimacy and Identification: Reflections on Writing a History of Trauma
World War I in the Museum: Love and Sorrow at Museums Victoria
9. After One Hundred Years: Exhibiting World War I
10. "Sticky" Objects, Faces and Voices in the Museum: Love and Sorrow’s use of Affective Interpretation Strategies to Challenge Masculinist Commemorations of World War I
11. "The Stories are like Magnets": Love and Sorrow and the Engagement of On-Line Learning
Bruce Scates and Margaret Harris
Joy Damousi is Professor of History at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia (1999) and co-editor (with Paula Hamilton) of A Cultural History of Sound, Memory and the Senses (2017).
Deborah Tout-Smith is Senior Curator, Home & Community, in the Society & Technology Department of Museums Victoria. She has curated major exhibitions including World War I: Love & Sorrow (2014), and curates Museum Victoria’s Military History, Home & Community and Childhood collections. Deborah is Vice-chair of the Board of ICOM Australia.
Bart Ziino is Senior Lecturer in History at Deakin University. He has published widely on the politics of memory and commemoration. He is the author of A Distant Grief: Australians, War Graves and the Great War (2007), and editor of Remembering the First World War (2015).