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Contested Ground: alcohol, attachment, and the hut habit at war

Haslam, Sara (2015). Contested Ground: alcohol, attachment, and the hut habit at war. University College, Dublin. Humanities Institute.

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This talk is about the different ways and places in which attachment was expressed, managed, contained and denied at war. My focus is on alcohol, and on associated ideas about the articulation and performance of masculine identity, as demonstrated by church organizations and the military, as well as a range of men who fought. The concept of the ‘whole man’, fundamental to the wartime caregiving of the YMCA, for example, was, I will argue, a construct that conflicted with the military model. The experience of attachment, as explored in the literary record, exposes the extent of that conflict, as does the wartime debate over the use and effects of alcohol – a debate that had a politically and socially fraught history in the UK in the years before 1914. If, as one historian argues, ‘the British soldier was remarkably well looked after’, how was that looking after managed and manifested when alcohol was the matter at hand? This talk examines this and other questions in its exploration of the contested ground of alcohol at war.

Item Type: Other
Copyright Holders: 2015 The Author
Extra Information: Podcast lecture and peer-reviewed, edited script for the University College, Dublin Humanities Institute Podcast Series 2015 Wartime Attachments; essays on pain, care, retreat and treatment in the First World War edited by Barry Sheils.
Keywords: first world war fiction, attachment, alcohol, YMCA hut, masculinity at war
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > English & Creative Writing
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: History of Books and Reading (HOBAR)
Item ID: 44524
Depositing User: Sara Haslam
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2015 10:17
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 12:00
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