Throughout the two day event delegates discussed best practice in relation to representing traumatic histories. These discussions will inform, ‘Ideas for Approaching Traumatic Histories’, an open access guide that will be published on the website for the IWM War and Conflict Specialist Subject Network. The event was a really excellent exchange of ideas, and particularly interesting for Larissa as it brought together her research interests in the First World War, the Second World War and the Holocaust.
Huddersfield’s ‘Through our Eyes’ exhibition tells the story of 16 children and young people from Europe who survived the Nazi regime and settled in the north of England.
As part of the closing events of the First World War centenary, Hidden Histories have been running a series of trauma and the First World War workshops for community researchers. The idea has been to encourage NHLF First World War Then and Now community researchers to integrate issues in relation to the long-term effects of trauma into their World War One community history projects.
Our project has been awarded a little bit of extra funding from the University of Nottingham School of Medicine to offer a couple more trauma and the First World War workshops, ideally to audiences or in locations that the team have yet to visit. These are likely to be locations such as the South coast and/or the North of England. We are looking for community venues and groups who might like to participate. In terms of the session itself, we would need:
A room with PowerPoint facilities for two hours
A group of participants
The session to run before the end of 2019.
However, apart from that the session would be free of charge, and the group would have the choice of either the a) trauma and the First World War workshop, or b) the trauma, women and the First World War workshop (where the focus is more on gender history). Every participant gets a free copy of the ‘Shell Shock Stories and Beyond: Research Guide and Bibliography’ as part of attending the session. If you are interested in a workshop, please contact: L.Allwork@derby.ac.uk and Andrea.Kocurkova@nottingham.ac.uk
Larissa and Andrea worked with a group of ten engaged, knowledgeable and enthusiastic participants to explore female experiences of trauma during World War I. The concept of shell shock is problematic in gender terms, both because it continues to be primarily associated with male experiences of trench warfare, and because during the war male shell shock sufferers were often stigmatised as being ‘un-manly’. Drawing on the work of researchers like Tracey Loughran, Christine Hallett and Santanu Das, Larissa and Andrea introduced the group to a range of primary sources and sought to explore the various ways through which specific female war-time experiences of trauma were felt, and left their trace in primary sources such as memoirs, pension records and oral histories.