History of Education Review – Universities, Expertise and the First World War

History of Education Review – Universities, Expertise and the First World War

There are myriad connections between universities and war. The latest issue of History of Education (Vol 45 Issue 2) prompts us to see the war not simply in terms of guns and battles but also how the battlefield extended university expertise with long-lasting implications into the 1920s and 1930s. The contributors each ask how university education, expertise and professional experience were applied both in the context of the inhuman conditions of war and – as significantly – in the peace that followed. Their focus is principally on Australian institutions and individuals, but they also include political and artistic movements that took place abroad but had influence locally, such as British liberalism, internationalism and modernism.

Contributions by

  • Julia Horne and Tamson Pietsch introduce the issue and discuss why university expertise and knowledge might be placed at the centre of historical analysis.
  • Kate Darian-Smith and James Waghorne, examine the way universities and their colleges became early sites of memory-shaping
  • Julia Horne’s concept of the “knowledge front” is useful in explaining how both men’s and women’s experience of war intersected with expertise-focused activities like research and education into the 1920s and 1930s.
  • John Moses considers how ruptures within British liberalism affected the ideas and work of Sydney University’s Challis Professor of History George Arnold Wood.
  • Tamson Pietsch examines the case of dentistry in New South Wales, detailing its divided pre-war politics, the role of the university, the formation and work of the Dental Corps during the First World War, and the process of professionalization in the 1920s.
  • Geoffrey Sherington examines the war work of two eminent British liberal historians of the early twentieth-century, James Bryce and Herbert Fisher.
  • Glenda Sluga examines the restoration of the history of internationalism to our understanding of the legacy of the First World War, and the role of universities in that past.
  • Ann Stephen takes up the themes of expertise and memory in her article on the paintings of J.W. Power, a European-trained Australian modernist painter who served as a Doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the war.

History of Education Review Special Issue: Universities, expertise and the First World War, (guest editors: Julia Horne and Tamson Pietsch), Vol. 45 Iss: 2, 2016          http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/HER-04-2016-0019

IMAGE: Chemistry Department Research Laboratory, 1927. Photographer H. Cazneaux. Courtesy University of Sydney Archives p 183_1_0070

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