The ‘Great War’ has been described as a watershed moment in British society, sweeping away the social certainties of the Edwardian period. Its literature often portrays the collision of unquestioning patriotism and idealism with the disillusioning brutality of trench warfare. In this course we will examine the impact of World War I on British society and culture, exploring in particular the politics, ideology, and literature of the time. We will consider both traditional and revisionist interpretations, discussing the enduring power of myth and literature in affecting how the war has been remembered.
Emphasis will be placed on the use of primary sources in order to supplement the lecture material and bring it to life, and the course is packed with supplementary material including audio recordings, video, image sources, enabling students to gain a firm grasp of the concepts studied whilst also developing the skills required of a modern historian.
Quizzes and Exams
Why Take this Course?
This course is ideal preparation for students thinking of studying history at university, exploring an extremely important period of British and European history from a variety of perspectives and encountering a range of methodologies in doing so.
Aims and Objectives
- To study the social context in which the war began, with a particular look at life and opinions in Britain
- To discuss the ways in which the First World War revolutionised warfare and battlefield tactics
- To explore the rich body of literature that emerged from the war and how we view this today
Key Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- Discuss the social and political environment before, during, and after the War
- Appreciate the works of a variety of different writers and poets from the period
- Apply historiographical methods, such as analysis of primary sources and their contexts