Geographies of Affection?: Emotional Responses to the Gallipoli Peninsula in Ireland and Australia

5 March 2014, 17:00 - 19:00

CRASSH Seminar room SG2, Ground floor

Dr Stuart Ward (Centre for Australian Studies, University of Copenhagen) 
 

Abstract

The Gallipoli Peninsula in Western Turkey is one of the most memorialized landscapes of the Great War, the site of many a pilgrimage by Australians and New Zealanders for whom the site marks the mythologized birth of their nationhood. The pilgrimage has become something of a rite of passage, an opportunity to find communion with the suffering of the nation's forebears, and to experience the emotional release that is said to be "charged" within the landscape itself. Solemn, evocative, and deeply moving. These reflections are common currency among Gallipoli travelers' tales, and are enhanced by the overwhelming media fascination with the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings of 25 April 1915. This lecture compares Australian affective responses to the Gallipoli peninsula with the descendants of their fellow combatants from Ireland, where a culture of forgetting has virtually obliterated any sense of that country's participation in the same battle, the same war. Despite broadly similar casualties and strikingly similar meanings attached to the peninsula at the time of the campaign, subsequent generations in Ireland and Australia have made very different emotional sense of the memory of Gallipoli. The reasons for this divergence will be examined with a view to understanding how emotionally "charged" landscapes are produced historically, and reproduced into the present by media-generated processes that are more affectation than affect.

 

 

Open to all. No registration required.

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