Registration is now open for a one-day conference exploring the legacy and influence of Pat Barker’s seminal First World War novel, Regeneration, and the representation of the War in literature generally. The symposium itself will take place on 15th October in Durham.
In 1991 Regeneration focused readers’ attention onto a lesser-visited space of war, the psychiatric hospital, onto challenging narratives of trauma and sexuality, and onto the ideologies of a society struggling to negotiate the effects of a global and industrialised conflict.
This symposium will centre on discussion of how Barker’s novel, followed by The Eye in the Door (1993) and The Ghost Road (1995), has tested and shaped perceptions of the First World War. Particularly relevant during the current centenary period are the trilogy’s themes of memory and haunting, which resonate with questions of why the war remains such a prominent part of our culture, and how our views of it have been re-processed and revised.
Papers at the symposium will cover topics such as medicine, trauma and psychology; the ethics of depicting the First World War; and issues of memory and the representation of conflict experience. A full programme will be released soon.
The conference will take place from 10.00 to 17.00 in the Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham. The night before sees a public Durham Book Festival event in Durham Cathedral on fiction and World War One, featuring Michael Morpurgo and Pat Barker.