Extract from “Chapter 2: Placing the British Experience of the Propaganda Poster in Context”

As I prepare materials for ‘Film History’, it seems a good time to go back to my thesis and access the section of the varying art movements leading to British graphic design styles as the Second World War broke out. (c) Bex Lewis, 2004 This next section draws on the methodological framework outlined in chapter one to think about aspects of form and style. It sees poster design as an encoding through which ‘truths’ were Continue Reading →

Women of Britain, Come Into the Factories

Great things come out of little postcards. I bought this poster as a postcard in the Imperial War Museum whilst 15-17, and then put it on the wall, along with a few others, but it’s the colour of this one that stood out, and that I remembered when it came to choosing my A-Level history project, which then became an undergraduate dissertation, and then a PhD. Poster Title: Women of Britain, Come Into the Factories Continue Reading →


For many years people have discussed what propaganda is. See propaganda models that were defined for the PhD project, and some propaganda links. Origins of Propaganda The term propaganda originated from the ‘Congragatio de propaganda fide’ (congregation for propagating the faith), a Roman Catholic organisation founded in 1622 for the purposes of missionary work. By the end of the First World War, it had become an unsavoury term: the Americans believed that they had been Continue Reading →

British Library Entry: PhD Thesis

It used to be that every PhD thesis was automatically collected by the British Library (in hard copy), but as the number of PhD’s have increased, this policy changed (around the time that I finished mine, 2004), and University Libraries were asked to keep a copy of each PhD thesis (which they generally already did), and make it available to the British Library if requested. I was informed by the University of Winchester library that Continue Reading →

Freedom is in Peril T-Shirt

The Last Night of the Proms in Hyde Park in London seemed a good place to wear a bit of a statement t-shirt, and thanks to Freedom is in Peril for sending me this t-shirt! Unfortunately, it does make people stare at your chest, but great slogans on t-shirts can get some great conversations going! This post was picking up pretty quickly by the Proms in the Park tweeters and re-tweeted! A Little History Well, Continue Reading →

Men at War: Masculinities, Identities and Cultures (10-11 September 2009)

Currently preparing for the conference: Men at War: Masculinities, Identities and Cultures, Looking forward to presenting an image-laden paper! Gender theory is not exactly my field, but I have found it interesting dablling, and looking for ways to apply my other knowledge. Meantime, early start to the conference, and I’m one of the first panels… looking forward to meeting new people – and Julie Anderson and Ana Carden-Coyne who I knew from University of Manchester! Continue Reading →

Quoted in the Independent

Extract from John Rentoul Blog: According to a remarkable PhD thesis by Rebecca Lewis: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ was printed and held in reserve for when the necessity arose, for example, a severe air-raid, although it was never actually displayed. Lewis does not say why it was held back. It may be that the tone seemed right before the German tanks rolled into Poland, but that, once the war had actually begun, it lacked Continue Reading →

The Formation of the Ministry of Information (PhD Extract)

Extract from PhD thesis. © Rebecca Lewis, 2004 (Extracted from the 3rd Chapter). Please note that this information is COPYRIGHTED, so please reference this URL, or the thesis itself. 3: Commissioning, Design & Distribution, with a particular focus on the MOI and the first posters produced This chapter focuses on the production and distribution of government publicity in the Second World War. The Ministry of Information (MOI) was expected to be the central governmental publicity machine, Continue Reading →