The first in a series of fascinating lectures on the First World War hosted by the University of Manchester will take place this week.
Aimed at sixth formers with an interest in the war who may be considering studying for a degree in history, the lecture programme is also ideal for year 11 pupils, as well as anyone from the university’s wider community – or, indeed, any member of the public – who would like to learn more about one of the most important events of the 20th century.
The eight lectures, which run from 8 October until 29 January, are free of charge and cover different topics concerning the war, such as British propaganda and national identity.
The series seeks to delve into the history of the war from a wide range of perspectives. For example, it includes a lecture from professor Peter Gatrell that challenges the popular view that Russia’s war was merely a precursor to the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Professor Gatrell draws on recent research to highlight key aspects of wartime experience and practice. In a brief introduction, he asks what Russia expected to achieve from declaring war in 1914, before focusing on how the war was experienced and understood by Russia’s civilian population – workers, peasants and refugees – and its soldiers.
He concludes by turning his attention to the Tsarist state’s attempts to mobilise society and economy for war and maintain the loyalty of the empire’s multinational population.
The university’s lecture series is a great step by one of the most prestigious universities in Britain to provide budding historians with a fantastic opportunity to expand their knowledge in a university-style setting. To see a full list of the lectures, please visit the first world war centenary events page at the University of Manchester’s website.