Stapleford Granary

Course description

Saturday 3 November

14.00-17.30 / £50 / £45 students

Remembering the First World War


Two lectures and a round-table discussion with leading scholars.


Kate Kennedy, Ivor Gurney and Wilfred Owen: War Poetry, War Music
This lecture looks closely at two of the greatest poets of the First World War: Wilfred Owen and Ivor Gurney.
We will study Owen's iconic war poetry to ask what purpose the war poets served. We will explore how strongly Owen's poetry has shaped our understanding of what war poetry should be, and of how we should view the First World War itself.
We will also study Ivor Gurney, war poet and composer. When all the other war poets were saying 'Goodbye to all that', Gurney, abandoned and alone in a mental asylum, remained a war poet well into the 1920s. Gurney wrote his trench experiences into his music as well as his poetry. We will explore Gurney's poetry and song to understand his unique sense of war and mental illness.


Trudi Tate, The Shock of War

How did civilians bear witness to the trauma of the First World War? Did civilians suffer from shell shock? This lecture explores the war writings of Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, and others.  



Kate Kennedy is Associate Director of the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing and author of a forthcoming biography of Ivor Gurney. 

Trudi Tate is a Fellow of Clare Hall and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of English, Cambridge.

Both speakers have published widely on the First World War.


Further information:

T 01223 324960

Photo Credit: Shokoofeh Pooreza, Unsplash.