World War 1: Trauma, Memory, Controversy

Explore the traumatic effects of WW1 on soldiers and civilians. Discover how we remember and debate the history of this war.

About The Course

More than a hundred years after it ended, the First World War has lost none of its fascinations. It was a war of unprecedented scale and brutality, with countless casualties. It also left a poisonous legacy for the twentieth century and beyond. Many of the issues that were left unresolved in 1918 would lead to another world war in 1939.

In this free online course, you will study the social, cultural, medical and diplomatic history of the First World War. Topics range from physical and mental trauma suffered by combatants to the traumatic experiences of civilians in wartime.

We will investigate the difficulties historians face in establishing accurate figures for war losses. We will explore expressions of grief and trauma through art and literature. We will ask why some nations remember the dead with poppies and why there are certain sites of remembrance that we still turn to today. And we will explore the contested origins of the First World War.

While studying this course, you will learn to conduct your own research into First World War casualty statistics and explore different sources to help you evaluate their usefulness and accuracy. And you will be able to discuss your thoughts with other learners on an online platform (if you choose to do so).

What topics will you cover?

• The effects of the war on combatants and civilians

• New types of injuries and how victims and medical professionals dealt with them

• Casualty figures and how to interrogate them

• Artistic responses to the trauma of war

• How the war has been commemorated

• The debate among historians about the origins of WW1

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in finding out about the effects of the First World War (1914–1918) on societies. It is not necessary to have prior knowledge of the subject. Teachers might particularly benefit from studying this course.

World War 1: Trauma, Memory, Controversy

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Future Syllabus