War and Memory in the Twentieth Century

By Martin Evans; Ken Lunn | Go to book overview

the existence of contrasting and challenging memories of war, but to note the complex workings whereby this particular national myth becomes the dominant discourse. In recognizing such processes this book is concerned with how memory is a battlefield, an arena of contestation where conflicting social groups assert conflicting memories. What are the dominant memories associated with war? What images and symbols do these dominant images draw upon? Why do certain memories remain central within the arena of public representations whilst those of others, such as women or working-class people, are often marginalized? Moreover what are the differing political, cultural and historical determinants which go together to compose what James E. Young has imaginatively termed the 'texture of memory'?

As a collective venture the initial conference could not have been achieved without the financial backing of the School of Social and Historical Studies at the University of Portsmouth, as well as the support of the Oral History Society and the Parkes Library at the University of Southampton. In terms of the final volume the editors would like to thank the British Academy, which financed the research leave necessary to complete the project. We would also like to acknowledge the patience and tact of Kathryn Earle at Berg Publishers. Importantly, too, we would like to thank friends and colleagues at the University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth benefits from a lively research culture and we are particularly grateful for the energy invested in this project by Tacey Hurd, as well as the intellectual and financial support provided by the Nation and Identity and the Francophone research groups, collaborative projects which work on contemporary nationalism and French colonial and post-colonial relations respectively. Donna Loftus, who provided the index, also deserves our grateful acknowledgement. Finally, and most importantly, we wish to acknowledge the efforts made by all the contributors to both the conference and the book. We thank you for your time, your expertise and, above all, the shared sense of intellectual discovery which you all brought to this collective venture.


Notes
1.
Ian Buruma, Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan ( London: Cape, 1994).
2.
Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975).

-xviii-

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