The Intellectual Response to the First World War

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More About This Title The Intellectual Response to the First World War


The First World War changed the dynamics of the European intellectual landscape in terms of international collaboration, the development of disciplines and new institutional visions. The conflict not only destroyed much of Europe’s material cultural heritage, it also damaged the 19th-century humanist conception of the function of thought and problematized the position of the thinker in society. What is the intellectual’s task in a time of destruction and death? This book spotlights the ways in which the war redrew the map of knowledge production and changed traditional paradigms, fundamentally altering the approach to intellectual work. Revisiting the early 20th-century intellectual situation not only enriches our understanding of the dynamics of the Great War, it also assists in repositioning the role of the intellectual in the 21st century.


Marysa Demoor, full Professor of English Literature at Ghent University, has published widely on nineteenth-century culture and journalism. Her current research focuses on the cross-fertilization between Belgium and Britain in the long nineteenth century.