Nov. 11, 2018 commemorated 100 years since the end of World War I. Generally referred to as the first “total war,” WWI blurred the boundaries between front and home front, forever changing the face of modern warfare. By its end, the “Great War” was one of the deadliest armed conflicts in history, with the toll of civilian and military casualties reaching 40 million. In its aftermath, the rise of social and political movements in many countries supported suffrage and political activism by minority groups, but also caused a radicalization of nationalist movements. This led to totalitarian regimes in several countries, as well as changes in political configurations on the world stage. Today, representations, reactions and responses to WWI are found in art, film, literature and theatre throughout the 20th century and all over the world.

University of Toledo brought scholars from various disciplines and institutions to discuss and critically examine cultural representations and memories of WWI.

Matt Foss, Assistant Professor of Theatre, College of Arts and Letters, spoke on “From Novel to Play.”

The process of adapting literature for the stage begs the question of how the original piece’s given circumstances can speak within the immediacy of a theatrical event. It is an effort that combines an understanding of its original form and point of view with a thought toward making a meaningful contribution to the contemporary conversation. His presentation examined the process of adapting Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front for the stage.

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