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Seminar 6

Seminar 6: Evacuation, Separation and Deprivation From the late nineteenth century war has been intimately linked with thinking about the family. The Boer War focused attention sharply on the ability of mothers to rear fit children and anxiety about the wastage of infant life intensified in the years preceding World War One. This relationship between war and the well-being of children received renewed attention during World War Two with children experiencing family breakdown, separation and evacuation. In this seminar we will investigate this relationship between war, ideas of child development and thinking about the family.Seminar/Essay Questions:
  1. In what ways did the experience of evacuation during World War Two affect ideas about child development?
  2. How far is it possible to generalise about the impact of war on family life?
  3. Has war created the desire to return to normalcy as much as the desire for social change?
  4. Did war promote long-term change, or just short-term confusion, in gender and generational relations?

Seminar Reading:


D. Riley, 'The Free Mothers': Pronatalism and working Women in Industry at the End of the Last War in Britain' History Workshop Journal 11 (1981) 59-119. 

S. Rose, ‘Sex, Citizenship, and the Nation in World War II Britain’ The American Historical Review 103 (1998) 1147-76. P.M. Starkey, ‘The Feckless Mother: Women, Poverty and Social Workers in Wartime and Post-War England’ Women’s History Review 9 (2000), 539-557. P. Summerfield, ‘Women, Work and Welfare: A Study of Child Care and Shopping in Britain in the Second World War’ Journal of Social History 17 (1983) 249-69. J. Welshman, ‘Evacuation and Social Policy During the Second World War: Myth and Reality’, Twentieth Century British History 9 (1998) 28-53.Additional Reading: J. Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War (1996). B. Brivati and H. Jones (eds.), What Difference Did the War Make? (1993). M. Brown, A Child’s War: The Home Front, 1939-1945 (2000). G.J. De Groot, Blighty. British Society in the era of the Great War (1996). D. Dwork, War is Good for Babies and Other Young Children (1987). G. Gerson, ‘Individuality, Deliberation and Welfare in Donald Winnicott’ History of the Human Sciences 18 (1005) 107-26. N.F. Gullace, ‘Sexual Violence and Family Honor: British Propaganda and International Law during the First World War’ The American Historical Review 102 (1997) 714-47. N.F. Gullace, The Blood of Our Sons: Men, Women, and the Renegotiation of British Citizenship during the Great War (2002). J. Holmes, John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (1993). S. Koven, ‘Remembering and Dismemberment: Crippled Children, Wounded Soldiers, and the Great War in Great Britain’ American Historical Review 99 (1994). N. Last, Nella Last’s War. A Mother's Diary 1939–45 (ed. R. Broad and S. Fleming, 1983). J. Mann, Out of Harm’s Way: The Wartime Evacuation of Children from Britain (2005). A. Marwick (ed.), Total War and Social Change (1988). B. Mayhew, ‘Between love and aggression: the politics of John Bowlby History of the Human Sciences’, 19 (2006) 19-35. L. Noakes, War and the British: Gender, Memory and National Identity (1997). M. Parsons and P. Starns, Evacuation: The True Story (1999). R. Pope, War and Society in Britain, 1899–1948 (1991).

D. Riley, War in the Nursery (1983).

D. Riley, Policies on War Nurseries: The Labour Market for Women’ in N. Frost (ed.), Child Welfare: Major Themes in Health and Social Welfare (2005). S. Rose, Which People’s War? National Identity and Citizenship in Wartime Britain, 1939-45 (2005). H L. Smith (ed.), War and Social Change: British Society m the Second World War (1986). H.L. Smith (ed.), Britain in the Second World War: A Social History (1996). P. Summerfield, Reconstructing Women’s Wartime Lives (1998). D. Thom, Nice Girls and Rude Girls: Women Workers in World War I (1998). C. Urwin and J. Hood Williams (eds.), Selected Papers of Margaret Lowenfeld (2004). R. Wall and J.M. Winter, The Upheaval of War (1988). J.M. Winter, The Great War and the British People (1986).