Please note: this event has passed
Chair: Dr Mark Condos, Lecturer, War Studies Department
Speaker: Professor Julie Gottlieb, Professor of Modern History at Sheffield University
About the event
At the time of its dramatic unfolding, the Sudeten Crisis received blanket coverage and became a focal point in contemporary political commentary and writing. While modern scholarship has largely focused on the geo-political manoeuvring, political leaders and opinion formers, and media rendering of the Crisis, there is also a rich and deep history of private opinion and intimate experience that remains largely unexplored.
As war-veteran and crisis diarist FL (Peter) Lucas put it: “The Crisis seems to have filled the world with nervous break-downs. Or perhaps the Crisis itself was only one more nervous break-down of a world driven by the killing pace of modern life and competition into ever acuter neurasthenia.”This event will explore the myriad ways and forms the international crisis was personalised and internalised, assessing both the tangible and material, the ethereal and emotional, and the psychological and visceral experience of the Munich Crisis and the 'war of nerves' of 1938-39. It will discuss an apparent 'epidemic' of suicides triggered by the international crisis and war fear, as these cases represented the most obvious casulaties of the war of nerves.
Professor Julie Gottlieb is Professor of Modern History at Sheffield University. Professor Gottlieb’s work examines modern British political history, with a focus on right-wing extremism; women in politics and the construction of gender identities within the political sphere; race and identity; as well as mental health and the history of suicide. Her most recent monograph, Guilty Women: Gender, Foreign Policy and Appeasement in Inter-war Britain, examines women’s participation and representation in British foreign affairs between the wars; women’s political activism across a range of internationalist, feminist, and pacifist organizations; women’s contributions to resistance to fascism at home and abroad; and the gendered aspects of appeasement in the late 1930s.
2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Department of War Studies by Sir Michael Howard, and provides an important opportunity to both reflect and build upon his remarkable achievements and legacy. Sir Michael Howard’s greatest contribution to the history of war was his insistence on moving beyond the battlefield in order to examine the wider political and social contexts in which wars were fought. He also wrote about the legal, moral, and philosophical implications of war, and throughout his distinguished career sought to develop new approaches to understanding the impact of war on society.