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Reading and Teaching War Literature: Moving from Experience to Participant in the Literary Journey

Mar 8, 2019

An Iraqi boy sits outside his home as U.S. Army soldiers conduct a presence patrol in As Sadah, Iraq in 2007. (Makinano/USAF)

Regina Exchange: an annual presentation by University of Regina faculty in exchange with the Department of English

Friday, March 8
3:30 pm
Arts Building Room 206, 9 Campus Drive


Stories about war immerse the reader in experiences of trauma, disconnection and cultural fragmentation, prompting the simple yet profoundly difficult question: Why do human beings go to war?

How can the study of war literature broaden our thinking about war and the potential to end war? Do these stories force us to consider whether we are closer or further away than ever from peace, or does it ask whether peace may be, after all, a human-made and impossible societal construct?

This talk will consider ways to bridge students’ reading of war literature from an experience of empathy and gratitude to a potentially new acknowledgement of their place as citizens in its cycle of ostensible perpetuity.

About the speaker

Melanie Schnell is a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Regina. She spent several months in South Sudan during their civil war to research her first novel, While the Sun is Above Us. The novel won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and became a part of the Grade 12 curriculum in both Catholic and public high schools in Saskatchewan in 2013.


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