International conference THINKING SEX AFTER THE GREAT WAR Brussels, Royal Library, 17-19 October 2018

The conference will reflect on the impact of the Great War on gender from the angle of learned discourses. Intellectuals, social scientists, physiologists, psychologists… witnessed and experienced the war personally. Some of them were integrated in the military war machine (either as ‘common’ soldiers, officers or experts), while others stayed at home and continued their jobs, or registered themselves as ‘conscientious objectors’ and explicitly opposed the war. Like other citizens, they lost family members and friends, experienced love and desire, excitement and disillusionment. These experiences inevitably impacted upon their view of society, human nature and the role of the sexes and sexuality. The conference focuses on their discourses, during and after the war, on the ‘gender impact’ of the conflict and on how the war reinforced, challenged or changed research agendas, paradigms and knowledge about gender and sexuality.

On October 17, Jean-Yves Le Naour will give the introductury lecture (in French): Faites des enfants, pas de politique! Natalisme, suffrage universel et retour à l’ordre dans la France de l’après-guerre. The two following days, historians from all over the world will discuss the conference topics in sessions on Intimacies (front and beyond), Sexual violence, Men (real, queer, and impersonated), Love & peace, and Womanhood & motherhood. Ana Carden-Coyne (Manchester University) and Heike Bauer (Birkbeck, University of London) will deliver the key-note conferences at the start of each day.

The full programme and practical information can be found here.