Oct 12th 2015

World War 1: A History in 100 Stories (FutureLearn)

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Change the way you see World War 1 as you explore stories of hope, suffering and loss from newly released historical archives.

On 25 April 2015, it will be 100 years since the Gallipoli Landings, Australia and New Zealand’s first major military engagement of World War 1. The Anzacs went on to fight in Palestine, Egypt and the Western Front and suffered one of the highest casualty rates of any allied army.

This free online course is part of the 100 Stories Project at Monash University, commemorating the Anzac centenary and exploring the cost of war. The course will take place either side of Anzac Day, and suggests new and more inclusive ways of remembering.

The 100 stories distil the experience of the Great War. They will take you on a journey, across the battlefields on which the war was fought and into the homes of the ordinary people who suffered it. Amongst the cast of the 100 stories are not just soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses, but parents who lost their sons, wives who struggled with shell-shocked husbands, children who never knew their fathers. The themes these stories explore - grief and suffering, hope, anguish and loss - are universal. They are told in a language everyone can understand and are based on archives only just opened to historians.

Each week we’ll examine a different topic, including the physical and psychological wounds of war- shell shock, disability and trauma; women’s mobilisation both at home and in the field; and what we’ve called ‘the other Anzac’: indigenous soldiers too often ignored in our history. We’ll examine grief and mourning; protest and repatriation, the politics of war and its intensely personal dimensions.

You’ll hear from leading historians in the field, and together we’ll debate the meanings of the stories. We’ll also show you how to research your own stories, introducing you to the new digital archives that are changing the way we remember the War, and explaining how to use them.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a better understanding of one of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th Century, and the skills to embark on independent research of your own.