Topical Introduction

War is the greatest common, man-made trauma that human beings undergo. We imagine war before, during and after we fight it. We imagine it socially, as tribes or nations, generating a common understanding through books, movies, songs and other representations. Those shared visions of war enable us to fight it and confront its trauma.

This module examines the changing imagination of war across history. Focusing mainly on English-speaking cultures, it examines poems, books, films, songs, plays, news reports, letters, speeches and tv programmes. It asks how they represent war, and how representations change over time and under pressure from technology, events and political thought.