1918 and After: Brave or Bad New World?
Sunday, 7th October 2018
An illustrated talk by Professor Norman Vance
It was the best of times and the worst of times. The war had ended and new initiatives were in the air: a league of nations, a new understanding of psychosis and psychiatric medicine, new technologies, new ways of seeing and writing. New opportunities were dawning for women, with a realistic prospect, at last, of better professional and political recognition.
On the other hand, faith in God and faith in human nature would never be the same again: millions lay dead and more were still to die in Ireland, eastern Europe and elsewhere; millions who had survived were maimed in mind and body.
Drawing on research from some of those who were there, the talk will attempt to survey the confusions and contradictions of 1918 and the implications for art and letters.
Norman Vance is Emeritus Professor (English), based at the Centre for Intellectual History at the University of Sussex.