The study of the social and cultural history of war and propaganda is well established at the University of Kent. The Centre for the History of War, Media and Society is interested in different types of conflict, from trench warfare and geopolitical standoffs to guerrilla and terrorist tactics and civil defence initiations. It also considers the application of technology and medicine in warfare, the impact of the media on public opinion, the gender dimension of modern warfare, along with the increasing importance of the home front in . A further strand of research is the legacy and memory of war in the twentieth century. We are particularly interested in the media used to represent war and the processes by which the experience of war has been mediated. By that we mean a study of many different types of evidence from official documents through books and journals to photographs, films, cartoons, music and oral testimony.
The Centre is recognised internationally as a hub of research in the field of war studies and propaganda. Eleven full-time members of staff run two MA programmes and supervise PhD students. The Centre collaborates with partners in both the UK and Europe. A new major area that has developed over the last couple of years is public engagement, notably through the Gateways to the First World War project, funded by the AHRC.
The Centre was set up in 1994 by the University of Kent in order to foster the growth and expansion of propaganda study. In 1995, Kent became the first British institution to offer an MA programme in Propaganda and Persuasion in History. Due to the arrival of new staff with new specialisms, the course was revamped, and in September 2007 the taught MA programme was relaunched as the MA in War, Media and Society. Since September 2015 the Centre convenes in addition the inter-disciplinary MA in First World War Studies. The Centre maintains close links with the British Cartoon Archive (based in the university library) and its unique resources.
The Centre holds an Annual Lecture that is open to the public. Members of the Centre are convenors of the fortnightly War, Society and Culture Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in London. The Centre also supports the Gateways to the First World War events.
For further information and enquiries please contact the Director of the Centre, Dr Stefan Goebel.