Themanummer 'De Eerste Wereldoorlog

‘It took a mighty war to make us men’s equal.’ World War I, British women doctors and the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women

The First World War has generally been understood as a watershed moment that transformed women’s status in society. And with regard to the entry of women into the medical profession too, the war can be seen as a turning point, however short-lived. This article sets out to study the discourses behind the ebbs and flows in British attitudes towards women medical students and women doctors, its relationship to the event of the First World War and the exceptional position taken up by the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women by making use of the collection of newspaper clippings produced by the London (Royal Free Hospital) School of Medicine for Women held within the Royal Free Archive Centre.

Marjolein Van Bavel

Artsen in de ‘Groote Oorlog’. Een genderanalyse van de representatie van ‘de arts’ en het gewonde soldatenlichaam

Artsen hadden tijdens de Eerste Wereldoorlog een ambigue positie. Enerzijds werkten ze dicht bij het front en kwamen ze direct in aanraking met de horror en de opwinding van de oorlogsvoering. Anderzijds waren ze geen ‘echte’ soldaten, omdat ze niet mochten deelnemen aan de strijd. In die zin beantwoordden ze niet geheel aan de cultureel verheven martiale mannelijkheid, welke gekenmerkt werd door een verheerlijking van het gewapend man-tegen-mangevecht, plichtsbesef, avontuur en militaire moed. De vraag stelt zich dan ook hoe zijzelf hun professionele identiteit formuleerden in relatie tot de heroïsche soldatenidentiteit. Dit artikel ondervraagt deze kwestie door middel van een discoursanalyse van de oorlogsgeschriften van Britse, Amerikaanse en Franse artsen, en dit aan de hand van een specifieke invalshoek: hun discours over gewonde lichamen en lichamelijkheid.

Fabian Van Wesemael

Vrouwen in de Groote Oorlog: Dorothy Lawrence en Madame Tack

Martine Kouwenhoven

Boys to Men? A Scout’s perspective on British masculinity and the Great War

When war broke out in 1914, artist and author John Gordon Hargrave (1894-1982) joined the many young British men who responded to the call to arms. Like his peers, he fought for King and Country. But uniquely he also fought at the behest of the Boy Scouts. The organization played a prominent role in preparing male youths for military service during the Great War. It as such conveyed an evocative narrative for the passage from boyhood to manhood, which Hargrave explored in his 1916 book At Suvla Bay. Weaving his biographical particulars with a close reading of the text, this essay argues Hargrave’s first-hand account of the Dardanelles Campaign offered a conscientious, ambivalent portrayal of British masculinity. He championed certain Boy Scout fundamentals while objecting to others, leading him to seek his own version of the masculine Scout ideal.

Hana Qugana

‘Sexing up the First World War Centenary’. Remembering the visits of British soldiers to brothels during the Great War

In June 2014, I spoke at the UCL Lunch Hour Lecture series on the visits of British soldiers to maisons tolérées, or licenced brothels, in the First World War. My lecture uncovered soldiers’ reasons for visiting brothels, their reactions to them and the prostitutes, and how they dealt with the potential consequences: venereal disease. I also discussed how it is important to remember this subject as part of the Centenary, since it questions some of today’s dominant narratives of the First World War.

Clare Makepeace

Genderview "Historians should see the two spheres of home and trench together"

Michael Roper (1959) is professor at the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. He was born in Australia and studied history at the University of Melbourne and Monash University before coming to Great Britain on a Commonwealth Scholarship. His interest in the historical study of masculinity resulted in a PhD project studying masculinity and management culture in Britain after 1945, which was published as Masculinity and the British organization man since 1945 (1994). Together with John Tosh, he is co-editor of Manful assertions: masculinities in Britain since 1800 (1991). Although gender and specifically masculinity is still present in his research, his focus has moved towards war, psychoanalysis, emotion and the history of subjectivity. Lees het volledige interview

Rose Spijkerman


Man worden in de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Jessica Meyers Men of war. Masculinity and the First World War in Britain (2008)

Rose Spijkerman en Fabian Van Wesemael