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Gender and War

Seminar Questions

  • What were the short and long term consequences of war work on women's roles?
  • How did the experience of war affect men?
  • Did the war lead to the 'demise of feminism'?
  • What was the impact of the war on gender roles and ideologies?



Key Reading

Group 1:

Claire Makepeace, Punters and their Prostitutes, British Soldiers, Masculinity and Maisons Tolérées in the First World War in What is Masculinity eds. Arnold and Brady (2011).

Michael Roper, 'Between manliness and masculinity: the war generation and the psychology of fear in Britain', Journal of British Studies, 44 (2005)

Group 2:

N. Gullace, 'White Feathers and Wounded Men: Female Patriotism and the Great War', Journal of British Studies, 36 (1997)

M. Andrews, Ideas and Ideals of Domesticity and Home in the First World War in Andrews and Lomas, The Home Front in Britain, (2014)



Further Reading

Susan Kingsley Kent, 'The Politics of Sexual Difference: World War I and the Demise of Sexual Difference: World War I and the Demise of British Feminism', Journal of British Studies, 27 (1988)

Susan Pedersen, ‘Gender, Welfare and Citizenship in Britain during the Great War’, American Historical Review, 95 (1990)

Tammy Proctor, 'Patriotism is not enough: Women, citizenship and the First World War', Journal of Women's History, 17 (2005) [review essay]

Modern Records Centre digitised archives on the First World War

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Adrian Bingham, 'An era of domesticity: histories of women and gender in interwar Britain', Cultural and Social History, 1 (2004) [review essay]

Ilana R. Bet-El, 'Men and Soldiers: British Conscripts, Concepts of Masculinity and the Great War', in Billie Melman (ed.), Borderlines: Genders and Identities in War and Peace, 1870-1930 (1998)

Joanna Bourke, An Intimate History of Killing

Joanna Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men's Bodies, Britain and the Great War (1996)

Gail Braybon and Penny Summerfield, Out of the Cage: Women's Experiences in Two World Wars

S. Grayzel, Women’s Identities at War: Gender, Motherhood, and Politics in Britain and France during the First World War (1999)

N. Gullace, The Blood of Our Sons: Men, Women and Citizenship during the Great War (2002)

Susan Kingsley Kent, Making Peace: The Reconstruction of Gender in Interwar Britain (1994).

Susan Kingsely Kent, 'Gender reconstruction after the First World War' in Harold Smith (ed.), British Feminism in the Twentieth Century

A. Smith, ‘The Pankhursts and the War: Suffrage Magazines and the First World War’, Women’s History Review, 12 (2003)

Anne Summers, 'Militarism in Britain before the Great War', History Workshop Journal, 2 (1976)

Deborah Thom, 'Women's Work in World War I' in Winter and Wall (eds), The Upheaval of War

P. Ward, ‘“Women of Britain say Go”: Women’s Patriotism in the First World War’, Twentieth Century British History, 12 (2001)

WWI