The Fourth Veterans in Society Conference takes issues raised by the First World War as its point of departure to encourage research and generate scholarly conversations across disciplines that consider the interplay of veterans and their societies in transnational or international perspective. To that end, we foresee juxtaposing explicitly comparative work with scholarship that delves into specific national, cultural, or historical contexts.
In consequence of the “Great War,” regimes fell and national identities were transformed — among colonized peoples as well as Europeans and Americans. Distinctions between experiences on the battle front and on the home front blurred in the face of mobilization for total war and the advent of aerial and submarine warfare. Casualties numbered in the millions, presenting new kinds of injuries, new diagnoses, new modes of treatment and long-term care, and new ideas about physical, psychological, and social normality. From poetry to cinema to architecture, creative works flourished to make meaning out of the war and the social and intellectual systems in which it had been embedded.