Dr Lucy Noakes
Dr Lucy Noakes is a social and cultural historian who has worked in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Brighton since 2007. Her research focuses on the British experience and memory of total warfare in the twentieth century with a particular emphasis on gender. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Honorary Secretary of the Social History Society, hosting the Annual Conference of the Society at the University of Brighton in April 2012. Within the University she was a founding and current member of the Steering Committee of the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories, and is the current Director of Research Initiatives in the School of Humanities. She is Course Leader for two degrees: the BA (Hons) Humanities: War, Conflict and Modernity and the MA in Cultural History, Memory and Identity.
Noakes' 1998 monograph War and the British: Gender and National Identity, 1939-1991 continues to be cited in much current research into the social and cultural history of Second World War Britain and led to some recent research examining the memories of that war recorded on the BBC 'People's War' online archive (see Research Activity pages for details). The ways that war informs British national identity, and its place in popular memory, continue to be central to her work, leading to recent articles in BBC History magazine, work on the website Open Democracy and the organisation of two conferences in 2011: one in collaboration with the Royal Marines Museum entitled War, Silence and Memory in Modern Britain and the other at the University of Brighton entitled The Second World War: Popular Culture and Cultural Memory. This was organised in collaboration with Dr Juliette Pattinson of the University of Kent and Dr Petra Rau of the University of East Anglia and three edited collections based on the conference are published and forthcoming: Noakes L. & Pattinson, J. (eds) Keep Calm and Carry On: Britain and the Cultural Memory of the Second World War Bloomsbury: 2013; P. Rau (ed.), Long Shadows:The Second World War in British Literature and Film. 1943 to the Present Northwestern University Press: 2013; and a special edition of the Journal of War and Culture Studies, on the experiences, memories and representations of the POW, edited with Juliette Pattinson and Wendy Ugolini (University of Edinburgh) and forthcoming in 2014. In April 2014 she is participating in the LSE/Churchill Archive Cambridge Annual Churchill Debate: 'Churchill as a Political icon'.
Her ongoing interest in war and gender informed her next major piece of work, examining the relationship between gender and the military in 20th century Britain, published as a series of articles and book chapters, and as the monograph Women in the British Army: War and the Gentle Sex 1907-1948 (London: 2006). This piece of research took her to Australia in 2006 where, supported by a British Academy Grant, she worked at Macquarie University, Sydney, tracing the history of ex-Servicewomen migrants from Britain following the First World War. She has recently published two pieces of research in connection with this project: 'From War Service to Domestic Service', in Twentieth Century British History (22: 1, 2011) and 'Our Excess Girls' for BBC History Magazine. In 2013 she gave the Keynote address at the Women's History Network Regional Conference, University of Worcester, on this work.
Noakes is currently working on three distinct but inter-related research projects. The first is a study of death, grief and mourning in Second World War Britain, the final outcome of which will be a monograph published by Manchester University Press. This research has been presented at conferences and research seminars in Britain, the United States, Canada and Italy, and in September 2013 she gave the keynote talk on 'Gender, Grief and Mourning in Wartime' to the 'Lessons of War' conference at the University of Lancaster. In October 2014 she has been invited to deliver a public lecture on this research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA in the 'War and Intimacy' series of talks being convened by the Institute for Research in the Humanities.
The second is an examination of civil defence in Twentieth Century Britain. An article, 'Serve to Save', drawing on this research was published in the Journal of Contemporary History (47: 4, 2012) and a co-authored chapter with Susan R. Grayzel which explores the relationship between gender, citizenship and civil defence since the First World War can be found in A. Carden-Coyne (ed.) Gender and Conflict (Palgrave: 2012). Noakes and Grayzel are recipients of an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Collaborative Fellowship Award 2014-2016 for this work.
Her final piece of research is an international collaborative project examining the memory of the Battle of Fromelles (1916) across Australia, Britain and France, which she is working on with Professor Annette Becker (Paris X) and Professor Bruce Scates (Monash) as part of a wider project funded by the Australian Research Council examining the Australian memory of the First World War. As part of this project, Noakes was an invited participant in the colloqium 'Landscapes of War, Commemoration Strategies and Heritage Management' held at the Academia Belgica, Rome, in 2012. In connection with her research on the First World War, Noakes is Co-Investigator in an AHRC funded First World War Co-ordinating Centre for the UK 'Gateways to the First World War' which provides support for community projects researching and commemorating the war at its centenary.
She supervises PhD and MPhil students working on histories of war and gender and welcomes informal enquiries from potential students wanting to undertake research in these or related fields.