AbstractsPolitical Science

Set in stone?: war memorialisation as a long-term and continuing process in the UK, France and the USA

by Emma Louise Login

Institution: University of Birmingham
Department: School of History and Cultures, Ironbridge International Institute of Cultural Heritage
Year: 2015
Keywords: D History (General); HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform; JA Political science (General); U Military Science (General)
Record ID: 1405334
Full text PDF: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/5640/


This thesis examines the development war memorialisation from 1860 until 2014 in the UK, France and the USA. It represents the first holistic and longitudinal study of war memorialisation as a continuing process. Previous approaches to memorialisation are critically reviewed and a unique new methodology is proposed. This approach challenges assumptions that memorials are only important to the generation responsible for their creation. Moving beyond an understanding that is based wholly on the socio-political circumstances surrounding their construction, it conceptualises memorials within a framework of three parallel time scales; the point of development within the war memorial tradition, the time that has passed from the conflict being commemorated and the time that has passed from the construction of the memorial. This methodology is used to demonstrate that these objects continue to have meanings for many years after the conflict they commemorate. This illustrates the many ways in which individuals continue to engage with war memorials, appropriating and re-appropriating them and transforming their meanings. Furthermore, this approach demonstrates that themes can be defined within the memorialisation process, and that these themes are not bounded by geographical context or period of time.