The Centre for the History of War and Society is concerned with the everyday experience, memory and representation of modern conflicts and periods of mass violence.
Our work ranges in time from the American Civil War to the Falklands War, and is informed by national and transnational perspectives. We influence and are influenced by a variety of historical approaches, including new military history, cultural history, history of emotions, visual history, history of memory, social history, economic history, intellectual history, gender history, life history, history of trauma and the history of childhood. The centre is based in the Department of History, but is interdisciplinary in its vision and practice. Members are also drawn from the Department of Art History, the Department of Media and Film, the Department of Politics, and the School of Psychology.
The Centre was established in 2007 to bring together current faculty, researchers and students who are researching at the cutting edge of the field. It builds on a long foundation of teaching and researching the history of war and society since the university was founded in the 1960s. Internationally acclaimed scholars such as Rod Kedward, Mark Mazower, John Röhl, Dorothy Sheridan, Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann, Pat Thane and Alastair Thomson, have helped to shape Sussex’s reputation as a dynamic and thriving centre for research in this area. We work closely with other centres in the department and university with whom our interests overlap, such as the Centre for German-Jewish Studies and the Centre for Resistance Studies.
Our innovative research provides an exciting and stimulating backdrop to our teaching. At undergraduate level, students can study modules throughout their degree programme which consider the direct and indirect effects of war and violence on society in a variety of global, comparative and national contexts. We have a thriving postgraduate community of students on the taught Masters programme as well as those specialising on war and conflict in their doctoral research. Sussex students benefit from extensive archival resources onsite, such as the refugee papers collected by the German-Jewish Centre. For historians of modern Britain in particular, the Mass-Observation Archive and Mass Observation Project represent a unique and unparalleled resource. The university’s location also offers easy access to London-based libraries and archival collections.