Soldiers in the Twentieth Century: A Global History (HISM029)

30 credits

The extreme and all-pervasive violence which marked the twentieth century affected all sections of the population: lines separating combatants and civilians all but completely disappeared, while medical experts, political actors and the broader public became increasingly concerned with the psychological and political effects of such excessive violent experiences. The module will explore this complex history of twentieth-century violence through the figure of a soldier. It will approach the social and cultural history of (both regular and irregular) soldiers as a lens through which to look at a variety of broader historiographical themes such as social conflict, national and transnational identities, imperial projects and legacies, social and cultural perceptions of violence, the notion of trauma etc. The module will ask how ‘soldiers’ were defined, represented and remembered in the context of different conflicts and in a multitude of societies around the world, and what their relationship was with various sections of the civilian population.