1st Edition

Popular Culture and Its Relationship to Conflict in the UK and Australia since the Great War

Edited By Andrekos Varnava, Michael J.K. Walsh Copyright 2023
    142 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book shows how cultural production derived from, or in anticipation of, conflict can be used to create specific social identities, national histories, and contemporary concepts of memory in Britain and Australia.

    Studies on the politics of cultural production have usually focussed on one conflict, or on one particular cultural medium, at a time. This volume, however, presents a broader horizon to draw attention to more popular forms of cultural production from the Great War up to and including its Centenary. The chapters in this volume interrogate the contentious philosophical notion that culture thrives in times of war, and expires in peace, and asks whether ‘art’, as a form of social barometer, can anticipate conflict rather than merely respond to it. This is a fascinating read for students, researchers, and academics interested in British and Australian History and its relationship with Popular Culture.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Contemporary British History.

    Introduction: the politics of popular cultural production and performance in Britain since the Great War 
    Andrekos Varnava and Michael J.K. Walsh 
    1. The Queen’s Dolls’ House within the British Empire Exhibition: encapsulating the British imperial world 
    Jiyi Ryu 
    2. The militarisation of aerial theatre: air displays and airmindedness in Britain and Australia between the world wars 
    Brett Holman 
    3. Staging international communism: British-Australian radical theatre connections 
    Lisa Milner and Cathy Brigden 
    4. 'Rivalling the Metropolis': cultural conflict between London and the regions c.1967–1973 
    John Griffiths 
    5. Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens) and his anti-war and pro-peace protest songs: from hippy peace to Islamic peace 
    Andrekos Varnava 
    6. Eric Bogle’s No Man’s Land and the grave of Willie McBride at the Somme
    Michael J. K. Walsh


    Andrekos Varnava is Professor of British Imperial and Colonial History at the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. He has authored four monographs: Assassination in Colonial Cyprus in 1934 and the Origins of EOKA (2021); British Cyprus and the Long Great War, 1914-1925: Empire, Loyalties and Democratic Deficit (2020); Serving the Empire in the Great War: The Cypriot Mule Corps, Imperial Loyalty and Silenced Memory (2017); and British Imperialism in Cyprus, 1878-1915: The Inconsequential Possession (2009). His research generally falls under the umbrella of imperial/colonial, war/conflict, and migration histories.

    Michael J.K. Walsh is Professor of Art History at Savannah College of Art and Design and Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, USA. He has authored four monographs: An Old Man’s Tears: Eric Bogle, Music and the Great War (2018); Runaway Dreams: The Story of Mama’s Boys and Celtus (2011); Hanging A Rebel: The Life of C.R.W. Nevinson (2008); and C.R.W. Nevinson: This Cult of Violence (2002). His research interests relate to 'conflict and culture' and focus particularly on English Art and Music at the time of the Great War and on the historic city of Famagusta in Cyprus.