The Great War, Museums, and Memory in Britain, Canada, and Australia
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- Author: Jennifer Wellington, University College Dublin
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What does it mean to display war? Examining a range of different exhibitions in Britain, Canada and Australia, Jennifer Wellington reveals complex imperial dynamics in the ways these countries developed diverging understandings of the First World War, despite their cultural, political and institutional similarities. While in Britain a popular narrative developed of the conflict as a tragic rupture with the past, Australia and Canada came to see it as engendering national birth through violence. Narratives of the war's meaning were deliberately constructed by individuals and groups pursuing specific agendas: to win the war and immortalise it at the same time. Drawing on a range of documentary and visual material, this book analyses how narratives of mass violence changed over time. Emphasising the contingent development of national and imperial war museums, it illuminates the way they acted as spaces in which official, academic and popular representations of this violent past intersect.Read more
- Explores the process of creating historical narratives and forming popular memories from the aftermath of the First World War to the recent centenary
- Considers three related national cases to offer a new perspective on how war memory is constructed
- Proposes a new view of how individuals and states create popular understandings of mass violence which will enable readers to critically engage with the politics of war and violence
Reviews & endorsements
'Exhibiting War is an exhaustively researched and highly persuasive work. It synthesises a vast field of scholarship and successfully examines a formidable body of archives located in three different countries. The prose is engaging, the analysis sharp and … its content fresh and original.' Bruce Scates, Australian Historical Studies
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- Date Published: October 2017
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781108515290
- contains: 50 b/w illus.
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. In search of the 'authentic' experience of war, 1914–17
2. Exhibiting for victory: travelling war photography displays, 1917–20
3. Art exhibitions: a higher truth in aid of victory and for posterity
4. Taming the monsters of war: exhibiting weapons and war trophies 1917–20
5. Consolidations: creating national museums and narratives of war, 1920–35
6. Museums, monuments, and memory: exhibiting war as part of national and imperial commemorative projects since 1925.
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