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Combat Stress and the Pre-modern World
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When: Friday, December 7, 2018
Where: United States

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Call for Papers

Combat Stress and the Pre-modern World


Manchester Metropolitan University, Friday 7thDecember 2018


Since the genesis of ‘shell shock’, the pre-modern world has been used to aid our understanding of the psychological and moral injuries incurred during military service. From the turn of the millennium, there has been a surge of research that has tried to identify the symptomology of combat stress and post-traumatic stress in the source material, leading to the retrospective diagnosis of such prominent figures as: Achilles, Alexander the Great, Henry V, Samuel Pepys, to name but a few. This universalist approach has recently been challenged, giving birth to an important debate about the use of the modern PTSD model as a way to explore pre-modern combat, and post-combat, experiences. The aim of this one-day workshop is to bring together scholars from ancient, medieval, and early-modern history in order to examine the use of PTSD in the study of the pre-modern world and invigorate a cordial and lively debate within a friendly network.


We would like to invite papers of 20 minutes from postgraduates, ECRs, and established scholars working onancient, medieval, or early-modern history, which might cover such topics as (but are not restricted to):

  • The presence of combat stress in the written evidence and relevant case-studies.
  • The experience of combat and military service.
  • The use of historical precedents in the study of combat stress, PTSD, ‘shell shock’ and so forth.
  • The dialogue between the disciplines of Psychology and History.
  • The ‘PTSD in history’ debate and methodological considerations.
  • Moral injury as an alternative historical model.
  • PTSD and non-combatants: women, children, the elderly, the enslaved.

A title and 250 word abstract should be sent to Owen Rees Dr Jason 26thOctober 2018. Postgraduate speakers and ECRs and warmly encouraged to submit a paper.


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