Various teaching projects are being developed in connection with the Visualising War research project, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
VISUALISING PEACE: Dr Alice König currently runs a ‘Vertically Integrated Project‘ (VIP), available to all undergraduate students at St Andrews, on ‘Visualising Peace‘. This VIP enables students to work together as a team on a series of research outputs while gaining credits for their degree. Key research questions include:
- What recurring stories do individuals and communities tell about peace/conflict resolution in art, text, film, photography, news reports, museums, music etc?
- What makes any given narrative (in art, text, music etc) identifiable as a ‘peace story’? And are narratives of peace inevitably constructed in relation to narratives of conflict?
- What attention do different academic disciplines pay to narratives of peace/conflict resolution, and what could be gained from more interdisciplinary collaboration?
- What role can narratives of peace play in peacebuilding?
Among other outputs, students have created The Visualising Peace Library, which promotes interdisciplinary approaches to peace studies; and a virtual Museum of Peace, designed to generate more conversation about how peace and peace-making are understood and narrated. Students have also been researching how war and peace are taught in different school-level subjects (you can read some preliminary findings here and here); and a small team is currently developing a pilot school-based workshop that will trial some innovative approaches to peace education. This work connects to our research into children’s voices on war and peace.
VISUALISING WAR: We are designing an interdisciplinary undergraduate module on Visualising War, involving researchers from Art History, Classics, Film Studies, History International Relations and Psychology. Using a mix of Humanities and Social Science approaches, this module will study the ways in which different cultures and communities represent war and how those representations shape people’s mindsets, identity and behaviours. We will examine material from the ancient world to the present day; and we will look not just at the ways in which representations of war from different periods and places compare with each other but also how they have influenced each other across space and time, canonising recurring ideas (e.g. about gender, leadership, sacrifice or conflict-resolution) and shaping wider cultural norms/discourse in the process. We will consider not only the ways in which war narratives directly influence how individuals and groups think, feel and behave but also how they can be leveraged by people in positions of social or political power to influence others indirectly. As well as offering valuable experience in interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, the module purposefully links academic study to real-world challenges, giving students the opportunity to think creatively about how the study of past and present war narratives might help us understand militarism in different cultures and mitigate against the effects of future local and global conflicts.
PhD SUPERVISION: We welcome enquiries from PhD applicants interested in the representation of war, its aftermath, conflict resolution and peace-building. We have capacity to supervise students working on material in a wide range of media, and from a wide range of periods and places.
In 2019, we were awarded PhD funding via a World-Leading Scholarship for a project entitled ‘Death’s Grey Land’? A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Death in Battle in Graeco-Roman Literature and Culture. This PhD scholarship was awarded through a competitive selection process, with the successful candidate beginning in May 2021.