The First World War was the first ‘total war’. Its industrial weaponry damaged millions of men, and drove whole armies underground into dangerously unhealthy trenches. Many were killed. Others suffered from massive, life-threatening injuries; wound infections such as gas gangrene and tetanus; exposure to extremes of temperature; emotional trauma; and systemic disease. Tens of thousands of women volunteered to serve as nurses to alleviate their suffering. Some were fully-trained professionals; others had minimal preparation, and served as volunteer-nurses. Their motivations were a combination of compassion, patriotism, professional pride and a desire for engagement in the ‘great enterprise’ of war. The war led to an outpouring of war-memoirs, produced mostly by soldier-writers whose works came to be seen as a ‘literary canon’ of war-writing. But nurses had offered immediate and long-term care, life-saving expertise, and comfort to the war’s wounded, and their experiences had given them a perspective on industrial warfare which was unique. Until recently, their contributions, both to the saving of lives and to our understanding of warfare have remained largely hidden from view. ‘Nurse Writers of the Great War’ examines these nurses’ memoirs and explores the insights they offer into the nature of nursing and the impact of warfare. The book combines close biographical research with textual analysis, in order to offer an understanding of both nurses’ wartime experiences and the ways in which their lives and backgrounds contributed to the style and content of their writing.

Open Access (free)
Birgit Lang, Joy Damousi and Alison Lewis

genre are especially discernible in the writing about sickness and disability that takes the form of self-help books  targeted at a popular audience, reflecting a trend that began ∙ 217 ∙ A HISTORY OF THE CASE STUDY to flourish during the 1960s. Path­ography and autopathography are new forms of popular, empirically based writing (termed ‘life-writing’) about sickness, often written from the perspective of the affected victim or sufferer.5 Today, these first-person case studies fill row upon row of bookshop shelves, meeting a strong public desire – a desire not that

in A history of the case study
Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

densities of rhetorical, literary, ethical, political, and cultural dimensions’.39 In some ways they appear to argue that the value of autobiography – certainly its ‘truth value’ – goes beyond that of other historical sources. However, they also identify numerous threats to historical accuracy in life writing. Memoirists often present their accounts as histories witnessed from particular perspectives, but their writings go way beyond the mere describing of a remembered past; they also perform ‘rhetorical acts’.40 In their war memoirs, nurses are giving voice to their own

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Grassroots exceptionalism in humanitarian memoir
Emily Bauman

outside the systems of state sovereignty and global capital. Unlike other forms of humanitarian narrative, which are focused on humanitarian crises and projects or on the work of a particular organisation, humanitarian life-writing tells a story of individual education and empowerment. As a result the genre’s emphasis is not the typical one of compassion and pathos, though images of human

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

of thanks she had quite forgotten how furious they were with their driver, who rushed them away too early.) hH Alessandra Comini is one of a growing number of women academics writing memoirs. Some of the books, like hers, are accounts of an intellectual or political life, told in personal terms. Other writers have told stories of their lives as Holocaust survivors, or as children of survivors. For some, the nature of memoir and autobiography is the point of the work, which both contributes to the academic study of life-writing and at the same time tells the reader

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Michael Lawrence and Rachel Tavernor

exceptional project founder or entrepreneur as the ‘sovereign irrational’ or even ‘fool’. Bauman illustrates the significance of naivety in narratives presenting first-hand accounts of personality-driven enterprises in an increasingly institutionalised humanitarian sector. Bauman argues that popular humanitarian life-writing exploits the genre’s association with confessional authenticity to offer a reassuringly ‘human’ image of

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
Open Access (free)
Christine E. Hallett

’s Tale: Bearing Witness to a Modern War (London: Penguin, 1998).  3 Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson have observed that life-writing is, in itself, a ‘performative act’: Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson, Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010): 61. See also their Chapter 3: 63–102.  4 See, for example:  Henry Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines (New  York:  Longmans, Green, 1901 [1885]); Henry Rider Haggard, She (London: Harper and Bros, 1886). G. A. Henty wrote over 100 adventure stories, with

in Nurse Writers of the Great War
Open Access (free)
Sibylle Lacan’s Un père: puzzle
Elizabeth Fallaize

allow a father to authenticate his descendants.) In sum, for Roudinesco, Lacan’s theory recounts in her words ‘ses affaires de famille’ (Roudinesco, p. ) (his family affairs). Theory and biography are turned on their heads. Instead of Lacanian theory being used as a reductive tool on Sibylle’s life writing, Lacan’s family life becomes an explanation of his theory. Sibylle is not so much the prisoner of Lacanian discourse as part of one of its sources. In both cases we have discourses of paternity which mask other discourses that lie beneath them or are entangled

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
Open Access (free)
Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves as a reparative fantasy
Anu Koivunen

, turning of shame into pride –​as well as the nation, provided that ‘we all wipe each other’s tears without gloves’. This temporal structure, featuring a time of affect, an empty time of nation, and a futurity in an afterlife, confirms the overall re-​narrativisation of the HIV/​ AIDS epidemic: while focusing on dying and death, such a history concludes and invests in life. Writing history as something that enables futurity is a familiar move in recent queer politics, as described by Jasbir Puar in her discussion of homonationalism –​the role of gay-​friendliness in the

in The power of vulnerability
Justin Champion

earliest moment in his career in the 1690s. This was the point of his involvement in politics. Indeed one of the intentions of this work has been to underscore the practical and public dimension of his polemic. Unlike some accounts of ‘Enlightenment’ ideas that have emphasised the philosophical and intellectual achievements of authors (detached from their milieu or context), this study has established how entrenched Toland’s project was in the everyday conflicts of political life. Writing in the late 1690s, Toland asserted that ‘To employ one’s thoughts on what he

in Republican learning