The Cultural Veteran: the Returning Soldier in Art, Literature and Media

29th-30th June 2020

Manchester Metropolitan University

Registration now open:


Monday 29th June


9.00-9.30  Registration. Tea and Coffee.

9.30-11.00  Welcome and Session One: Art and Architecture

‘Unionist Taste and the ’45: James Murray’s Refurbishment of Blair Castle, Perthshire’, Dr Peter N. Lindfield (Manchester Metropolitan University)

‘Making Sense of It All’: Veterans as Artists and Models in Shaping the Cultural Memory of the First World War’, Dr Jonathan Black (Kingston University)

‘Representations of the Returning Soldier in the First World War Art of C.R.W. Nevinson’, Dr Stacy Clapperton (Independent Scholar)


11.00-11.30  Tea and Coffee

11.30-1.00  Session Two: Press and Photography

‘Visualizing the Red Army’s Demobilization: Photography, Reconstructing Community and Creating Post-War Memory’, Dr Robert Dale (Newcastle University)

‘The Cultural Veteran and the Urban Politics of Space: Clubbing and Pubbing in Interwar Glasgow, 1919-1939’, Dr Eleanor O’Keeffe (Historic Royal Palaces)

‘Races and Aces: veteran airmen and the Air Ministry’s post-war public relations strategy’, Dr Sophy Antrobus (University of Exeter)

1.00-2.00    Buffet Lunch

2.00-3.30  Session Three: Trauma and the Fictional Veteran

‘Once your sacrifices are made, is there no end?’: trauma and the returned soldier through a Gothic lens’, Lauren Nixon (University of Sheffield)

‘The World Wavered’: Traumatic Returns in the fiction of Virginia Woolf’, Joe Howsin (Manchester Metropolitan University)

‘Salvador Dali’s Returning Soldier’, Dr Rachel Franklin (Sheffield Hallam University)


3.30-4.00  Tea and Coffee


4.00-5.00  Keynote Speaker:  Prof Kate McLoughlin (Oxford University), author of Veteran Poetics: British Literature in the Age of Mass Warfare, 1790-2015 (2018)

Tuesday 30th June


9.15-11.00  Session Five: Mobilising Creativity: Twentieth-Century Veterans and Arts in Britain, The

United States, and China

‘The Cultural Naval Veteran: Nicholas Monsarrat and the Creation of a Post-War Textual Community of Ex-

Soldiers’, Dr Frances Houghton (University of Manchester)

‘The Art of Resilience: Mobilizing the Avant-Garde at the Veterans Art Centre in the Museum of Modern Art’s (MOMA, NY) in World War Two’, Prof Ana Carden-Coyne (University of Manchester)

‘Bodily Agency, emotional articulacy and the disabled veteran’s voice in Operation Lost Patrol’, Georgia Vesma (University of Manchester)

‘The Search for National Heroes in Contemporary China: citizen volunteers, silent veterans and cultural memories of the Resistance War’, Yang Zhao (University of Manchester)


11.00-11.30  Break


11.30-1.00   Session Six: Forgotten Veterans? Conscripts and Women

‘Regional Homecoming: Florence Nightingale’s Return from the Crimean War as Cultural Event in Mid-Victorian Derbyshire’, Dr Jonathan Memel (Bishop Grosseteste University)

‘Isolation and Alienation: Female Veterans of the First World War’, Anna Elisabeth Gehl (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

‘Slackers’ Returning: British Conscripts and the construction of post-war masculine identities, 1919-23’, Josh Bilton (King’s College London)


1.00-2.00   Lunch


2.00-3.30   Session Seven: Popular Literatures

‘The War Books Boom and Changing Views of the First World War Veteran’, Dr Andrew Frayn and Dr Fiona Houston (Edinburgh Napier University).

‘The Veteran as Detective: Gender and the Changing Representation of the First World War Veteran in Detective Fiction’, Dr Jessica Meyer (University of Leeds)

‘Two military veterans in the popular crime fiction of Deon Meyer’, Dr Neil van Heerden (University of South Africa)


3.30-4.00  Break


4.00-5.30  Session Eight: Masculinity, Society, and Ethics in Television and Film

‘I heard all that in the last war’: The Veteran in Wartime Cinema, 1939-45’, Dr David Budgen (Canterbury Christchurch University)

‘When ships were made of wood, men were made of steel’ Mutiny, Channel 4’, Dr Nicola Bishop (Manchester Metropolitan University)

You Were Never Really Here from Novella to Film’, Thomas Britt (George Mason University, Virginia)

The Returning Soldier and The War, Conflict and Society Group, History Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University


Veteran Politics in Europe Workshop


17th June 2019, Manchester Metropolitan University

Council Chamber, Ormond Building


10.00 Registration, Tea & Coffee


Welcome: Kathryn Hurlock and Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrio


10.30-11.30 Session One

Owen Rees (Manchester Metropolitan University) ‘Veterans as a Political Force in Ancient Greece.’


Matilda Greig, (Sciences Po, Paris) ‘The Politics of Napoleonic War Memoirs, 1814-1914’, 


11.30-11.45 Comfort Break


11.45-12.45 Session Two

Marcus Morris (Manchester Metropolitan University): ‘‘Vote for the man who fought with you’: returning soldiers and British politics in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.’  


Ángel Alcalde Fernandez (University of Melbourne) ‘Italy 1919: Returning soldiers and Fascism.’


12.45-1.30 Lunch


1.30-2.30 Session Three


Ana Carden-Coyne (University of Manchester): ‘The Politics of Wounds.’


Enrico Acciai (University of Copenhagen): ‘Veterans of the IB after the Spanish Civil War.’


2.30-2.45 Comfort Break


2.45-4.15 Session Four


Robert Dale (Newcastle University): ‘Red Army Veterans of the Great Patriotic War: Loyalties, Mobilization and Political Education.’


Frances Houghton (University of Manchester): 'The Veterans' Tale: Controlling Histories and Memories of the Second World War through British Military Memoir'


Sam Edwards (Manchester Metropolitan  University): ‘US Veterans of World War II and the Politics of Battlefield Pilgrimage, c. 1970-1999.’


4.15-4.30 Tea & Coffee


4.30-5.00 Round Table Discussion


Follow on the day: @thereturningso1 #rs19  

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Veterans in Europe

Manchester Metropolitan University, June 2019

More details of this event, generously funded by the Jean Monnet Centre for Excellence and the War, Conflict and Society Research Group (MMU), which will take place at Manceseter Met in June 2019.

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Combat Stress and the Pre-Modern World

Manchester Metropolitan University
7th December 2018

Location: All Saints Theatre, All Saints Building, Manchester Metropolitan University

This workshop is free to attend, with food and beverages provided. Space is limited, so if you would like to attend please email Owen Rees (

9.00 – 9.30 Registration and coffee

9.30 – 11.30 – Ancient I


Melissa Gardner (Durham University):   “PTSD and the Study of the Ancient World”


Constantine Christoforou (University of Roehampton): “Combat Trauma in Sophocles’ Ajax.”


Jeffrey J Howard (Memorial University of Newfoundland): “Vectors Leading to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder among Roman Soldiers in the Republic”

Andy Fear (University of Manchester Manchester): “Marius’s Dreams and other phantoms of Roman PTSD”


11.30 – 11.45 Tea/Coffee


11.45 – 13.15 -  Ancient II


Bernd Steinbock (Western University, Ontario): “Combat Trauma in Ancient Greece: The Case of the Athenians’ Sicilian Expedition”


Giorgia Proietti (Universit of Trento): “A ‘collective war trauma’ in Classical Athens? Coping with war deaths in Aeschylus’ Persians”


Jamie Young (University of Glasgow): “The Psychological Impact of Slavery; Mental Illness and Stockholm Syndrome in Slaves of the Roman Republic.”


13.15 – 13.45 Lunch


13.45-14.45 – Medieval and Early Modern


Kathryn Hurlock (Manchester Metropolitan University): “Was there combat trauma in the middle ages?”


Chelsea Grosskopf (University of Iceland, Reykjavik): “Combat Trauma and Eyrbyggja Saga” 


Ismini Pells (University of Leicester): “Adventure or adversity? Child soldiers, childhood experience and trauma during the British Civil Wars”


14.45 – 15.00 Tea/Coffee


15.00 – 17.00 – Round Table and Closing Remarks


The Returning Soldier Symposium

Thursday 6th September 2018, MMU Council Chamber, Ormond Building, Manchester Metropolitan University


10.30 Registration, Tea & Coffee

Welcome: Kathryn Hurlock and Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrio


10.45-11.45 Session One: Chair, Emma Liggins


Moral Injury, Criticism of Crusading and Returning Crusaders, c.1100-1200

Kathryn Hurlock, Manchester Metropolitan University


Conflict, Welfare and Memory during and after the British Civil Wars, 1642-1710

Andrew Hopper, University of Leicester


11.45-12.00 Comfort Break


12.00-1.00 Session Two: Chair: Kathryn Hurlock


The Justicier: the military officer in eighteenth-century domestic tragedy

Karen Lacey, Birkbeck College, University of London


Judging heroes: magistrates’ approaches to wife battery, military service and marital duty in English Police Courts in the shadow of the First World War.                                          

Rebecca Crites, Warwick University


1.00-2.00 Lunch


2.00-3.30 Session Three: Chair, Mercedes Peñalba-Sotorrio


‘Rest you, charger, rust you, bridle’: Animals from the Wars Returning?

Gervase Phillips, Manchester Metropolitan University


Who Dares Wins: veteran SAS on contemporary television’

Nicola Bishop, Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University


Disabled War Veterans in Tito´s Yugoslavia, 1945-1961

John Paul Newman, National University of Ireland, Maynooth


3.30-4.00 Tea & Coffee

4.00-5.00 Round Table Discussion: The Returning Soldier

6.00 Dinner



Tel 123-456-7890

Fax 123-456-7890