Representing Trauma: World War I

Sunday, February 22, 2015
Museum Lecture Hall, The Getty Center

Following a screening of Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy's avant-garde film Ballet mécanique (1924, 16 minutes), art historian Gordon Hughes will discuss Léger and Murphy's film through the lens of Léger's traumatic experience as a French soldier in World War I. Historian Paul Lerner will then situate the massive wave of debilitating trauma that afflicted combatants on all sides of the war within the context of competing early-20th-century psychiatric theories, as scientists, doctors, and military commanders attempted to stem the tide of this sudden and unexpected epidemic.

Gordon Hughes is Mellon Assistant Professor in art history at Rice University.

Paul Lerner is an associate professor of history at the University of Southern California.