To mark the re-opening of the National Army Museum following a £23 million refurbishment, a conference is being held to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the first recruitment of women into the non-nursing branches of the British Army. It is also the 25th anniversary of the disbandment of the Women's Royal Army Corps and the absorption of female soldiers into the army as a whole, and a year on from the announcement that women were eligible to perform close combat roles in tank and infantry units.
In short, 2017 is the ideal vantage point from which to review decades of debate about the role of women in the military, and to consider what role they might perform in the future. The themes of the conference will encompass all aspects of women's military service from 1917 to the present day, whether historical, operational, political, sociological or philosophical.
Indicative topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Representations of women and the army in art, literature and film
- Military masculinity and femininity
- Comparative appraisals with women's services overseas
- Women in combat and non-combat roles
- Female soldiers and the family
- Women soldiers' experiences and memoirs of service
- Historical arguments for and against women in the army
- Female identity and the army
- The future of women in the army
The organisers invite proposals for 20-minute papers.
Abstracts (no longer than 300 words) and a brief biographical note should be sent to Dr Alastair Massie (amassie[at]nam.ac[dot]uk).
Conference Venue: National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT, UK
Dr Alastair Massie
Head of Research and Academic Access
National Army Museum