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An Epidemic of Nervous Breakdowns’: The Psychological Fallout of the Munich Crisis in Britain
December 6, 2017 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Title: ‘An Epidemic of Nervous Breakdowns’: The Psychological Fallout of the Munich Crisis in Britain
Speaker: Julie Gottlieb, History Department, University of Sheffield
Location: Jessop West, Seminar Room 08
The dramatic unfolding of the Sudeten Crisis culminating in the signing of the Four Powers Agreement in Munich on 30 September 1938, and followed by the months of political and diplomatic aftershocks, received blanket coverage at the time, and became the focal point of much contemporary political commentary and fictional and non-fictional writing. But what of private opinion and intimate experience? This is a dimension that has hardly been considered in itself in the vast historiography of appeasement, and yet there is a rich and deep intimate history, an internal and internalised history of international relations. In myriad ways and forms the international crisis was personalised and subjectified, and this paper begins to access and to record the tangible and material, the ethereal and emotional, and the psychological and visceral experience of the Munich Crisis.
Biography: Julie V. Gottlieb is a Reader in Modern History in the Department of History, University of Sheffield. She has published extensively on the the history of women and politics in Britain between the wars, and her most recent book is ‘Guilty Women’, Foreign Policy and Appeasement in inter-war Britain (2015). She currently holds a Wellcome Seed Award for the project ‘Suicide, Society and Crisis,’ and this paper forms part of that exploration of the correlation between (inter)national and personal crisis.