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Race, Empire and First World War Writing


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Table of Contents

Introduction Santanu Das; Part I. Voices and Experiences: 1. 'An army of workers': Chinese indentured labour in First World War France Paul J. Bailey; 2. Sacrifices, sex, race: Vietnamese experiences in the First World War Kimloan Hill; 3. Indians at home, Mesopotamia and France, 1914-18: towards an intimate history Santanu Das; 4. 'We don't want to die for nothing': Askari at war in German East Africa, 1914-18 Michelle Moyd; 5. France's legacy to Demba Mboup? A Senegalese Griot (and his descendants) remember his military service during the First World War Joe Lunn; Part II. Perceptions and Proximities: 6. Representing Otherness: African, Indian, and European soldiers' letters and memoirs Christian Koller; 7. Living apart together: Belgian civilians and non-European troops and workers in wartime Flanders Dominiek Dendooven; 8. Nursing the Other: the representation of colonial troops in French and British First World War nursing memoirs Alison S. Fell; 9. Imperial captivities: colonial prisoners of war in Germany and the Ottoman Empire, 1914-18 Heather Jones; 10. Images of Te Hokowhitu A Tu in the First World War Christopher Pugsley; Part III. Nationalism, Memory and Literature: 11. 'He was black, he was a white man, and a dinkum Aussie': race and empire in revisiting the Anzac legend Peter Stanley; 12. The quiet Western Front: the First World War and New Zealand memory Jock Phillips; 13. 'Writing out of opinions': Irish experience and the theatre of the First World War Keith Jeffery; 14. 'Heaven grant you strength to fight the battle for your race': nationalism, Pan-Africanism and the First World War in Jamaican memory Richard Smith; 15. Not only war: the First World War and African American literature Mark Whalan; Afterword: death and the afterlife: Britain's colonies and dominions Michele Barrett.

Promotional Information

Drawing upon fresh archival material this book recovers the experience of different ethnic groups during the First World War conflict.

About the Author

Santanu Das is Senior Lecturer in English at Queen Mary, University of London and is author of Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2006).


'This new volume of essays provides a wonderfully comprehensive account of its subject ... The result is a stunningly fresh perspective on an event which continues to open new dimensions of understanding just as it maintains its signal importance in modern history.' Vincent Sherry, Washington University, St Louis
'Santanu Das has presented a collection of scholarly essays which powerfully re-centres the history of the Great War in its full imperial character ... Here is a major contribution to the cultural history of the 1914-1918 war.' Jay Winter, Yale University
'Engaging voices recovered from diaries, censored letters and oral histories resurrect the soldiers and workers whose experiences provide diverse narratives of 'The old lie: Dulce et decorum est/Pro patria mori'.' The Times Literary Supplement
'Das's edited volume is an exemplary study of global First World War encounters that implicitly suggests how some of the 'new' new imperial historiography might continue to unfold ... Das's volume is a seminal contribution to this.' History Workshop Journal
'A compelling, scholarly, and highly nuanced portrayal of 'the combatants and non-combatants from the former colonies and dominions' ... Das's insightful introduction expresses the exemplary degree of nuance evident in the volume's composition.' Journal of British Studies
'A wide-ranging, accessible, powerful and highly nuanced study of the all too often marginalized racial and colonial aspects of the First World War. The volume's cast of international scholars has effectively decentred the hitherto Eurocentric 'Great War and Modern Memory'.' Textual Practice
'The achievement of this wide-ranging and revelatory collection of essays is to bring these suppressed aspects of the First World War experience back into the light of day. ... Together, the essays in Race, Empire and First World War Writing cast a vivid and long-overdue spotlight on the complex intersections between war, race, and the colonial experience.' Edmund G. C. King, Wasafiri

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