Disfigurement & its legacies conference programme

Please register at the following link:

Les Gueules cassées: disfigurement and its legacies

University of Exeter, 12th-14th March 2015

FACES legacies full programme jan 2015 – public


Thursday 12th March 2015

12.00 onward Registration

12.30-1.30pm Buffet Lunch

12.30-1.30 Artist’s demonstration: Paddy Hartley

1.30 -3.00pm Welcome; Panel sessions

1. Revisiting the Stories of WWI Disfigured men
i) Anna Branach-Kallas: ‘Abjection, Masks, and Cultural Trauma: Les Gueules Cassées in Recent Great War Fiction in English and French’
ii) Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż: ‘The Ideological ‘Faces’ of the Great War: the ‘Culture of Aversion’ versus the Post-Memory Culture of Empathy
iii) Suzanne Steele: ”The Tin Nose Shop’: les gueules cassées and Michael Longley’s Great War poetry’

2. Visual Representations of Disfigurement
i) Emmanuelle Raingeval : ‘L’atelier des masques : quand la sculpture se fait soin’
ii) Rossella Bondi: ‘Giorgio de Chirico and Alberto Savinio: the Aesthetic of the Faceless Man during World War I
iii) Nicola Baird: ‘Let the atrocious images haunt us’: Artistic Representations of and Responses to the Disfigured Faces of the Great War

3.00-3.30pm Tea & Postgraduate Poster Session, Innovation Centre: Art, Medicine and the Face

3.30-5.00pm PANEL SESSIONS

3. Responses to Disfigurement in the Visual Arts
i) Monika Keska: ‘Deformity and Facial Disfigurement in Francis Bacon’s Portraiture’
ii) Paul Rousseau: ‘Francis Bacon and the Visages of War’
iii) Geneviève Guetemme : ‘Kader Attia ou la Grande guerre et ses masques’

4. Disfigurement before the First World War
i) Patricia Skinner: FACES9141014 [sic]- Taking the Long View on Disfigurement
ii) Michelle Webb: ‘I did perfectly make him whole’: Facial Damage, Surgery and Objectification in England, c.1500 – 1700.
iii) Céline Cherici: ‘Alexis Carrel et la grande guerre’

5.00-5.15pm Tea/Coffee

5.15-6.00 Artist’s demonstration: Eleanor Crook: tube pedicle

6.00-6.45pm Plenary Lecture, Alumni Auditorium, Forum
Prof Bernard Devauchelle, Institut Faire Faces
La Chirurgie nouvelle (or the birth of cosmetic surgery)

6.45pm Reception & refreshments
Visit, Saving Faces exhibition, Forum

Friday 13th March 2015

9.00-11.00am Surgery and the Face
i) Jean-Claude Dupont: ‘Les blessures de la tête et la Grande Guerre’
ii) Andrew Brown: ‘From Gillies to the Guinea Pigs’
iii) Julie Mazaleigue-Labaste: ‘Les cultures médicales face aux Gueules Cassées : place et fonction des croisements entre chirurgie et odontologie dans le soin des blessures de la face, à partir du cas d’Albéric Pont’
iv) Kanika Sharma: ‘Disfigurement and Reconstructive Surgery: the case of acid attack survivors in India’

Archives & Museum Studies
i) Ruth Neave: ‘“The Progress of Plastic Surgery” An Insight into the Archives of BAPRAS’
ii) David Houston Jones: ‘Facial repair: from the Medical Archive to contemporary artistic practice’
iii) Paddy Hartley, ‘Patchwork narratives and the archive: a visual interpretation of the life of Walter Yeo’

11.00-11.30am Tea/Coffee

11.30-12.45 Plenary Lecture
James Partridge (Founder and Chief Executive, Changing Faces), “Facial disfigurement and fairness: a journey… from Sidcup to today and tomorrow…”
Chair : Manuela Barreto

12.45-1.45pm Lunch, Innovation Centre

2.00-3.15pm Visit, Faces of Conflict exhibition, Royal Albert Museum and Art Gallery

3.15-3.45 Tea & coffee

3.45-5.15pm PANEL SESSIONS

7. Photography
i) Jason Bate: ‘At the cusp of medical research: surgical societies, facial injuries, and the role of photography in exchanging, debating, and disseminating methods and ideas during the First World War’
ii) Beatriz Pichel: ‘Portraying the Gueules Cassées: Photography and the Making of Disfigurement (1914-1932)’
iii) Ulrike Zitzlsperger: ‘Losing Faces – Gaining Perspectives in 1920s Germany’

8. Disfigurement and identity
i) Sophie Cremades: ‘La naissance d’un visage, une identité en marche’
ii) François Delaporte: ‘De la face au masque : les questions de l’identité au sortir de la Grande guerre’
iii) Anne-Marie Martindale: ‘When I look in the mirror, I see a mixture of the two [of us]”: Some thoughts on identity shift and facial transplantation’

5.15-5.45 Refreshments

5.45-6.45pm Plenary Lecture
Louisa Young, Innovation Centre
‘My Dear, I Wanted to Tell You that I have received a Slight/Serious Wound…. ‘: A novelist’s approach to the human, individual and family experience of maxillofacial reconstruction in WWI.

7.30pm Conference dinner, Rougemont Hotel

Saturday 14th March 2015

9.00-11.00am PANEL SESSIONS

9. Film studies
i) Joe Kember: ‘Face Value: Robert Florey and the Representation of the Gueules Cassées in Hollywood’
ii) Evelyne Jardonnet: ‘Défigurations dans le cinéma de la Grande Guerre : de l’infilmable à l’image-spectrale’
iii) Karine Chevalier: ‘The Disfigured Face or the Absent Signifier: Faces and Masks in French Cinema’
iv) Richard Woodall: ‘“Circus of Horrors”: Disfiguring the Feminine in 1960s Cinema’

10. Literary representations of disfigurement and identity
i) Martin Hurcombe: ‘The Return of the Brute’
ii) Kate Macdonald: ‘The facially impaired First World War soldier in British popular culture’
iii) Kamilla Pawlikowska: ‘Imagination, the Face and Surgical Intervention’
iv) Marjorie Gehrhardt: ‘La Greffe Générale‘

11.00-11.30am Tea and Coffee

11.30-12.45pm Plenary Lecture

Dr Suzannah Biernoff, Birkbeck, University of London
85 Portraits of War
Chair: David Houston Jones

12.45-13.45pm Lunch

13.45-15.45 Panel sessions
11. Artistic Practice
i) Mark Gilbert: ‘The Experience of Portraiture in a Clinical Setting’
ii) Luke Shepherd: ‘If a surgeon can’t draw, would you trust them to hold a scalpel?’
iii) Karen Shepherdson: ‘Picturing Aftermath – a visual response to the broken faces of the First World War’
iv) Eleanor Crook: tbc

12. Psyche and Society
i) Sophie Delaporte: ‘L’atteinte, XIXe-XXIe siècle’
ii) Marie Le Clainche-Piel: ‘Committing to Face Transplantation: From the Challenge of Singularity to the Return to the Community’
iii) Emmylou Rahtz: ‘The complex course of psychological distress following facial injury’

15.45-16:15 Tea & coffee



Faces of Conflict: the impact of the First World War on art and facial reconstructive surgery
Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter
17th January – 4th April 2015

This exhibition takes the experience of the facially injured soldiers of the First World War as the starting-point for an enquiry into disfigurement in the broadest sense. It creates a dialogue between work created during and immediately after the First World War and the work of contemporary artists including the work of Paddy Hartley, artist in residence, College of Humanities.

Saving Faces meets 1914FACES2014
Exhibition of portrait paintings by Mark Gilbert 24th February – 26th March, University of Exeter, Forum (main campus)

Our presentation of the Saving Faces exhibition is part of a research-led enquiry into questions of social reintegration. The Saving Faces art project presents us with a unique opportunity to study the present-day collaboration between the maxillofacial surgeon Professor Iain Hutchison (St Bartholomew’s) and the acclaimed Glaswegian portrait painter Mark Gilbert.

Call for Posters

Open to researchers from all disciplines with an interest in



Poster entries are now welcome for the poster sessions that will take place as part of the international conference ‘Les Gueules Cassées: disfigurement and its legacies’ (University of Exeter, 12-14 March 2015).

The poster sessions will allow you to showcase your project and to find out more about the latest international research on disfigurement and its legacies. It is possible to both enter a poster and present a research paper at the conference. Refreshments will be served and participants are warmly invited to attend the keynote speech by Prof Bernard Devauchelle, who performed the first partial face transplant in 2005 (Thursday 12 March 2015, 6pm, Forum Alumni Auditorium).

Posters will be displayed in the Forum for the duration of the conference and a prize will be awarded to the winning entry.

For further information or to enter your poster, email

The deadline for entering your poster (name + abstract) is Friday 6 February 2015.


  • format A1, A2 or A3 portrait
  • black and white or colour
  • printed copy, flat (not rolled up) to be submitted by Friday 6 March 2015

Les Gueules cassées: disfigurement and its legacies

Download 1914FACES2014 CFP

Call for papers : Les Gueules cassées: disfigurement and its legacies

University of Exeter, 12th-14th March 2015

The experience of the gueules cassées has given rise to a unique cultural history, and one which is now being rewritten in the centenary years of the First World War. This conference, arising from the INTERREG IV-funded project 1914FACES2014, led by the Institut Faire Faces and the University of Exeter, assesses the legacy of the gueules cassées.

The First World War saw facial injury on an unprecedented scale: new types of weaponry meant that facial injury became more common and greater numbers of wounded survived. As a result, WWI and its immediate aftermath saw unprecedented innovations in the surgical field, with surgeons such as Hippolyte Morestin and Harold Gillies pioneering techniques which would transform facial reconstructive surgery. Just as artistic practice fed into surgical practice (in the work of sculptors as mask-makers or epithesists), so the radically new forms of surgery developed at this time altered the context in which artists represented the face. At the same time, understandings and representations of the face have radically changed since the First World War, from segregation of facially injured veterans following the First World War to recognition of facial difference as a protected characteristic in the 2010 Equality Act. This conference will explore the disputed histories of the gueules cassées in the British and French contexts alongside a broad-based consideration of the face and facial difference. It will coincide with a major exhibition entitled Faces of Conflict: the Impact of the First World War on Art and Reconstructive Surgery at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter.

We are delighted to announce the following keynote speakers: Prof Bernard Devauchelle (Institut Faire Faces), Dr Suzannah Biernoff (Birkbeck, University of London) and James Partridge (Changing Faces). Prof Bernard Devauchelle is Professor of Maxillofacial Surgery and Stomatology, University of Amiens, France, and the president of the Institut Faire Faces. Prof Devauchelle carried out the first partial face transplant in 2005. His many publications include La Fabrique du visage : de la physiognomonie antique à la première greffe (with François Delaporte, 2010). Dr Suzannah Biernoff is Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Visual Culture, Birbeck, University of London. Her research has spanned medieval and modern periods: her publications include Sight and Embodiment in the Middle Ages (2002), and she currently works on war and visual culture in early twentieth-century Britain. Her book Portraits of Violence: War and the Aesthetics of Disfigurement is due out later this year. James Partridge is Founder and Chief Executive of Changing Faces, the leading UK charity supporting and representing people with disfigurements. James was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 2005 and was the winner of Britain’s most admired Charity Chief Executive for 2010 and the Beacon Prize for Leadership, also in 2010

Proposals for 20-minute papers and for panels are now invited. Papers may be given in English or French. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

The significance of les gueules cassées in the history of the First World War

The social history of facial injury

Disfigurement and social reintegration

Perceptions of facial difference

Charities and facial difference

Rethinking facial difference in the international context

Franco-British exchanges in the surgical field

Assessing the history of facial surgery

From facial reconstruction to the first face transplant

Literary representations of disfigurement

First World War literature and the face

Art, surgery and the face

Responses to disfigurement in the visual arts

The Slade school and the First World War

Theorising facial difference

Pedagogical contexts


Deadline for abstracts: 

Please send an abstract (300 words maximum) and a short biography (50 words maximum) to by 1st December 2014