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The Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies

Conflict, Healing and the Arts

Conflict, Healing, and the Arts in the Long Nineteenth Century

Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies

One-Day Conference

27 May 2017

Durham University, UK

CFP Deadline: 31 January 2017

We are absolutely delighted to be hosting this conference on the 27th May in the Senate Suite at University College, Durham.

Registration for the conference closed on May 14th. Travel and Accommodation information can be found here and the programme here

If you have any questions about the conference please do not hesitate to contact the event organiser at

Questions about travel, accomodation and registration should be addressed to Enya Doyle, CNCS Administrator at

May 16th 2017

Please note there are only 45 spaces available so registration is on a first come first served basis. 

Evolution and Victorian Musical Culture
Research Conversation, 5.30–7.00 pm Book Launch and wine reception, 7.00–7.30 pm

e.g. Durham University


Keynote Address: John Morgan O’Connell (Cardiff University)

Call for Papers:

The ‘long nineteenth century’—from Hobsbawm’s ‘Age of Revolution’ beginning in 1774, through the ‘Age of Empire’ and end of the First World War in 1918—witnessed a multitude of military conflicts and wars that shaped and reshaped identities, communities, nations, and empires. While individuals’ and nations’ artistic responses to these wars have been well documented by those working in art history, musicology, ethnomusicology, and literature, such work tends to operate exclusive of each other. Often it focuses on the specifics of artistic activities and outputs of individuals and groups rather than seeking out theoretical principles by which to conceptualise artistic practices, responses, and discourses during war. As this conference seeks to explore, healing is one such conceptual model for arts and conflict whichcan bridge regional and disciplinary foci within the arts and humanities, while simultaneously engaging with medical humanities, social science, and the history of medicine.

This conference will investigate the ways in which the arts—materially, sonically, and aesthetically—promoted, transformed, and negated experiences of healing for soldiers, civilians, and communities between 1774 and 1918 across European Empires, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. We consider ‘healing’ in a broad sense, including both physical and psychological healing, occurring at personal and inter- and intra-cultural levels. Participants from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives are welcome.

Suggested topics related to the healing role of the arts during conflict and war, 1774-1918:

  • Written word: letters, diary-keeping, memoirs, fiction, poetry, hospital and battalion magazines
  • Oral cultures: storytelling, preaching, singing
  • Performance cultures: theatre, film, musical performance, musical composition, musical improvisation, dance
  • Visual arts: painting, sketching, trench art, photography, sheet music covers, propaganda posters
  • Memory-keeping and commemoration: gardens, memorials, architecture, religious services, scrapbooking, collecting, musical composition and performance
  • The origins of the disciplines of art and music therapies
  • Application of arts therapy models (psychoanalytic, social-art, person-centred, group-interactive, feminist, Gestalt, social art therapy, etc.) to past artistic practices, discourses, and processes during conflict and war
  • Artistic practices, discourses, products, and processes in spaces of healing, training, and combat
  • The role of the arts in fostering, reifying, and negating healing practices and rituals in communities, ethnic and religious groups, and nations

Abstract Submission Information

Abstracts are invited from academic staff, postgraduates, and other researchers for 20-minute individual papers and panels of three papers (90 minutes).

All abstracts should be no longer than 300 words. Please also include your name, institutional affiliation or city, and a bio of up to 100 words.

Papers accepted will be considered for inclusion in a future edited collection.

Please send abstracts by 31 January 2017 to Michelle Meinhart at Acceptance decisions will be made by 1 March 2017.

This conference is supported by Durham University’s Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Centre for Visual Arts and Culture, Centre for Medical Humanities, and Centre for Death and Life Studies, along with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.


Registration/ Coffee and Tea

10:00-10:15 Introduction

Michelle Meinhart (Durham University) and Bennett Zon (Durham University)


Session 1A: British and French Patients During the First World War

Chair: Karol Mullaney-Dignam (University of Limerick)

Laura Boyd, (University of Leeds), ‘Caring through Music: Bandsmen and the Defence of Masculinity During the First World War’

Alexia Moncrieff (University of Leeds), ‘“A Pleasant Dose of Medicine”: Arts, Crafts and Care in the First Australian Auxiliary Hospital in the First World War’

Rachelle Barlow (Cardiff University), ‘“Music for Fighting Men”: A “Novello” Welsh Approach to Healing Soldiers in the First World War’

Session 1B: National Discourses and Healing in Central and Eastern Europe

Chair: John Morgan O’Connell (Cardiff University)

Maciej Jarzewicz, (Institute of Art, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw), ‘Stanislaw Wyspianski’s Therapy of the Nation’

Meglena Apostolova, (Shumen University “Bishop Konstantin Preslavski”, Bulgaria), ‘The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8 and Its Impact on the Development of the Musical Culture of Bulgaria’

Elizabeth Frierson (University of Cincinnati), ‘Public Health in the Ottomans' WWI: Bureaucratese and Public Discourse’

11:45-12:00 Coffee and Tea


Session 2: Keynote Address

Chair: Michelle Meinhart (Durham University)

John Morgan O’Connell (Cardiff University), ‘Heal the Pain: The Arts in the Dardanelles (1915)'

1:00-2:00 Lunch (provided on site)


Session 3A: British Soldiers’ Writing

Chair: Peter Garratt (Durham University)

Michelle Meinhart (Durham University), ‘Music and Healing in British Hospital Magazines

During the First World War’

Emily Turner (University of Sussex), ‘The Hydra: Art as Politicized Tool of Healing’

Jake Phipps (Durham University), ‘Writ In Water: Soldiers’ Responses To Trauma at Craiglockhart During The First World War’

Session 3B: The Americas

Chair: Jillian Rogers (University College, Cork)

Elizabeth Morgan (Saint Joseph’s University), ‘Parlour Music, Trauma Recovery, and the American Civil War’

Douglas Davies (Durham University), ‘Personal Trauma, Cultural Conflict, and Ritual Resolution: from Childhood Blood to Kinship Unity’

Alya El Hosseiny (New York University), ‘The Plague of Tyranny: Existentialism in Carpentier's The Kingdom of This World’

3:15-3:30 Coffee and Tea


Session 4A: Visual Depictions of Healing

Chair: Ludmilla Jordanova (Durham University)

Jana Jankuliaková (University of Glasgow and Glasgow Museums), ‘Healing the Nerves: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Self-Portraits from the “Neurosis Stations” in Germany and Switzerland (1914-1920)’

Corinna Gannon (Goethe Institute), ‘Evelyn De Morgan’s Art of Healing – Paintings Curing the Soul’

Session 4B: Mourning and Memorials in France

Chair: Bennett Zon (Durham University)

Jillian Rogers (University College Cork), ‘Embodied Musical Remembrance: Modernist Music Making as Corporeal Mourning in Interwar France’

Valerie Mendelson (The New School, NYC), ‘Art History as Healing: Etienne Moreau-Nélaton’


Session 5: Impact and Education Roundtable

Chair: Michelle Meinhart (Music/ Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Durham


Douglas Davies (Religion and Theology/ Centre for Life and Death Studies, Durham

University), ‘Joseph Smith’s Pain, Grief, and Visionary Transcedence’

Elizabeth Frierson (History, University of Cincinnati), ‘Incorporating Healing Arts in WWI


John Morgan O’Connell (Music, Cardiff University), 'Sound after Silence: The Irish Famine

and the Armenian Genocide in Music Curricula'

Peter Garratt (English/ Centre of Medical Humanities, Durham University) ‘Hearing Voices,

Literary Perspectives’

5:45-6:30 Wine Reception

6:30 Conference Dinner