Expressionist visions of war trauma: male bodies in the sketches of Erich Heckel and Max Beckmann (1914-1918)

Jankuliaková, Jana (2023) Expressionist visions of war trauma: male bodies in the sketches of Erich Heckel and Max Beckmann (1914-1918). PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.


This thesis examines the impact of traumatic war experience on gender identity, body integrity and welfare of German soldiers enlisted in the First World War (1914-1918) through a rigorous analysis of the sketches of the German Expressionist artists Erich Heckel (18831970) and Max Beckmann (1888-1950). The artists actively engaged with men affected by physical and psychological trauma during their service as medical orderlies in military hospitals and medical stations on Eastern and Western Fronts, and they created hundreds of intimate sketches exploring how these men articulated their pain and exhaustion arising from the lasting conflict. This thesis seeks to develop a critical framework for a rigorous analysis of the traumatised male body within the context of Expressionist art practice and early twentieth century medical discourse. It explores comparatively how the artists’ sketches reflect a radical shift in the way the male body had been perceived and represented within the medical, social and cultural contexts prior to and during the First World War. The thesis makes use of interdisciplinary perspectives including art history, literature, sociology of the body and sexuality and medical humanities, all of which are relevant to a cogent understanding of war trauma and post-traumatic subjectivity and their impact on cultural images of masculinity in the German context of 1914-1918.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: This thesis was supported by SGSAH AHRC doctoral training partnership studentship programme. Due to confidentiality and copyright issues this thesis is not available for viewing.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D501 World War I
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Supervisor's Name: Lewer, Dr. Deborah and Wieber, Dr. Sabine
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83809
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2023 09:48
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2023 09:49
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83809

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