The First World War 

Literature * Music * Memory

C o n f e r e n c e

11 and 12 July 2009
King's College, University of Cambridge



Registration form is now available to download:
booking form (doc)
booking form (pdf)


Call for Papers is now closed.
CFP (word doc)
CFP (pdf)


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Kate Kennedy

Trudi Tate



Notes for delegates now available here.


The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars working on both the music and the literature concerned with and arising from the First World War. By presenting both together, we hope to explore how each art form mourns, expresses trauma and works as a testimony of war experience.

The genres of song and poetry interrelate in a multiplicity of ways. By focussing on writers such as Ivor Gurney, Siegfried Sassoon
, Virginia Woolf, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, EM Forster and DH Lawrence, alongside composers such as Arthur Bliss, Ernest Moeran, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge and John Foulds we hope that models for analysing literature and music alongside each other will emerge, allowing us to ask new questions of the work that the war inspired.

There will be a CD and book stall of related works and recordings, and an exhibition of photographs of unpublished manuscripts from the Ivor Gurney, Arthur Bliss and W. Denis Browne archives.

The Saturday night recital will be based on a CD entitled The Dark Pastoral, that was designed by Kate Kennedy, and performed by Simon Russell Beale, Andrew Kennedy and Julius Drake, and will be released on the Altara Label in April 2008. It features a combination of unpublished orlittle-known song and poetry from the early twentieth century. Attendance will be free to conference delegates, and the event will be open to the general public.

Trudi Tate and Kate Kennedy previously organised a two-day conference in September 2007, focusing on the poetry and music of Ivor Gurney, and including a poetry reading and recital of his work. The papers from the conference were published in the Gurney Society Journal 2007, with Tate and Kennedy as guest editors.


R e c i t a l 

Saturday 11 July  
at 8pm