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Robert K. Webb Lecture with Julie Gottlieb

Part of our Fall 2023 Humanities Forum


Library and Gallery, Albin O. Kuhn : Gallery

Date & Time

November 9, 2023, 4:00 pm5:30 pm


The Department of History presents their annual Robert K. Webb Lecture:

‘The Crisis seems to have filled the world with nervous break-downs’: Narrating Britain’s War of Nerves, 1938-1940

Julie Gottlieb, Professor, History, University of Sheffield

The long months between the Munich Crisis of fall 1938 and the spring 1940 end of the eight-month period at the start of World War Two in which there were few armed engagements, has been called the Phoney War. During this time, the British public experienced what has been described as a ‘war of nerves.’ In this talk, Julie Gottlieb will explore how writers, politicians, academics, anthropological researchers, psychiatrists, and advertisers projected nervous disorder onto bodies and the body politic, making a case for renaming the first battle of Britain’s ‘People’s War’ as the 'war of nerves'.

Biography: Julie V. Gottlieb is a Professor of Modern History at the University of Sheffield. Shechas published extensively on political extremism, women in politics, and the gendering of international relations in modern Britain. She has published two monographs Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain’s Fascist Movement 1923-1945 (2000 and second edition 2021) and ‘Guilty Women’, Foreign Policy and Appeasement in Interwar Britain (2015), as well as several edited collections and special issues. Gottlieb has appeared regularly in the media — television, radio, podcasts, public events– asked to draw out the resonances and relevance of her various areas of historical research in the face of current crises from Brexit to the global resurgence of populism and extremism, and the Covid pandemic.

Co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Photo provided by speaker.

UMBC is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all students, staff, and visitors. If you would like to request a disability-based accommodation on site or have questions about this event or its location, please contact us at dreshercenter@umbc.edu.