The First World War: Interrogating the Myths (HIC3301)

30 credits

The First World War remains a standard feature of most GCSE and A-Level History and English Literature syllabi. As a result, many students will have some idea of the war and what it entailed. However, these impressions are largely based on post-1945 historiography that emphasise particular features of the war such as the Western Front, the soldier-poet, and the futility of the war at the expense of a more complicated and detailed interrogation. Those educated in Britain will tend to have an overtly Anglo-centric view of the war, exacerbated by centenary coverage in the national media and entertainment outlets. Taking some of the most well-established myths in turn, this module will challenge what students think they know about the First World War. It will provide students with a well-rounded and in-depth understanding of the war from the British perspective, although additional European and non-European comparative perspectives will be integrated throughout.