On 10-11 September 2009, the ‘Group for War and Culture Studies‘, University of Westminster are holding a 2-day international conference “Men at War: Masculinities, Identities, Cultures”, at Swansea University (in association with Gender & Society and Conflict & Memory research groups). I submitted an abstract for a paper, which has now been accepted. The abstract , within the theme of ‘War Propaganda and Masculine Identities’, was as follows:s
“Men at Work: Visible and Invisible Men in Second World War Posters”
Dr Bex Lewis, Honorary Research Fellow/Associate Lecturer, University of Winchester
The Ministry of Information (MOI), officially formed at the outbreak of the Second World War, was the central governmental publicity machine. Its role was to tell the citizen ‘clearly and swiftly what he is to do, where he is to do it, how he is to do it and what he should not do’.
Considering posters produced by the MOI during the Second World War, this paper will identify masculine identities, both visible and invisible, defined as ‘normal’. These images were interpreted by artists, accepted by the government, and published in wartime posters aimed at the ‘civilian army’.
Image courtesy of Onslow’s Auctioneers.