The course aims to discuss the major military conflicts of the twentieth century from a gender perspective. In doing so, the course covers the history of global and local wars in a wide variety of regions, including Europe, Africa, and Asia. However, rather than surveying a vast number of military conflicts, we will use a case study approach to conduct in-depth analyses of external and internal dynamics of military encounters and the role of gendered violence during them.
During the course, students discussed primary sources, recent historiographical debates, and multiple methodological approaches related to violence and gender. For this reason, the course is organized both chronologically and thematically. In particular, students discussed World War I; World War II; the Holocaust; terrorism; and wars in Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and Bosnia. Focusing on various forms of violence during twentieth-century wars and military conflicts (i.e., world wars, guerrilla warfare, civil wars, irregular warfare, and genocides), participants investigated the following:
(1) How wars and military conflicts shaped gender identities and roles in different societies; (2) How gendered violence was instrumentalized by governments and the military command during and after military conflicts; and (3) How gendered violence shaped identities and subjectivities of people and societies who committed or experienced violence over the long term.
This seminar-based course was held at the Center for Urban History in November 2018. It was organized for students who are interested in investigating the gender dimension of wars and violence.
By the end of the course, students will be able to do the following:
- Critically appraise the opportunities and limitations of the application of a gender approach to the history of wars and military conflicts;
- Describe key aspects of major military conflicts of the twentieth century;
- Understand the concepts of war, gender, gendered violence, genocidal violence, sexual
violence, and trauma;
- Critically evaluate different types of primary sources and scholarly books from a variety
of disciplines and different methodological persuasions; and
- Develop a historical explanation of the relationship between violence and gender based
on primary and secondary sources