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Veterans, globalized: veterans and their societies in international perspective.

26-28 March 2018

Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center 

Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Abstracts of research

Beyond stereotype: World War I, warriors, and the creative arts

Panel 7

Tuesday, 3:30-4:45.  Wilson Room

Throughout the world the Great War elicited a wide range of artistic responses.  Artists and writers conveyed the traumas of war, and the war wounded benefited from government and social service sponsored therapeutic arts and crafts and vocational training programs. 

Witness to war: British artists and their transitions

Michael D. Fay

The Joe Bonham Project

CW02. USMC (ret)

The Great War elicited a wide range of artistic responses, including those of a generation of Slade School trained British artists – many who served with the Army regiment the Artists Rifles and who experienced combat in the trenches of Flanders.  The before and after stories of such artists as Slade teacher Henry Tonks, and such students of his as Paul and John Nash, C.R.W. Nevinson, and Stanley Spencer are revelatory for the influence of war on production, subject matter, and artistic focus.. 


Themes of war in the writings of Robert Emmet Sherwood (1896-1955)

Mary Lou Reker

Library of Congress

Following the Great War writers conveyed the traumas of war through a wide range of literary, Broadway, and motion picture productions.  Robert Emmet Sherwood was an American writer, shell shock survivor, and member of the Algonquin Round Table who spent his professional life writing award winning plays, films, and political speeches that demonstrate his attempt to resolve paradoxical anti- and pro-war views. He came closest with his Academy Award winning script The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) that focuses on three WWII veterans who still found themselves at war when home in their peacetime community. 


Arts and crafts and the military

Tara Leigh Tappert

Independent scholar

During and after the Great War wounded service members benefited from government and social service sponsored therapeutic arts and crafts and vocational training programs offered as occupational therapy at military hospitals, private sanatoriums, and re-training centers throughout the world. As a new profession, occupational therapy blossomed within the military healthcare system, and was complemented by vocational training for the disabled by such service organizations as the Red Cross.  Three American doughboys – William Waldo Dodge, Jr., Ralph Grimm, and Horace Pippin – suggest various ways in which art making served as an outlet for the wounds of war.


This Veterans in Society Conference is based at
in collaboration with 
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