Abstract

This thesis examines psychological war trauma nurses experienced during the First World War. Psychological war trauma, or shell shock, as it was commonly known during the war, has largely been identified as a male affliction. In this thesis, I demonstrate that women too, suffered trauma and we can better understand nurses' trauma by applying some of the same analytical techniques that scholars have previously used to examine male combatant trauma. Moreover, I analyze the ways in which contemporary actors, including medical professionals and the public, imagined female trauma, specifically the way nurses' psychological trauma could be understood and articulated. Additionally, I examine how those suffering from trauma or treating it sometimes confronted it and sometimes avoided it. Utilizing official British War Office documents, personal papers, medical journals, and newspapers, I have found that no matter the circumstances surrounding nurses' trauma, the language and diagnoses applied avoided language that minimized these women's characters or war service. These women's behaviors had to be framed in keeping with 'womanly' notions of sacrifice, selflessness, and duty to their country. With this thesis, I bring together the history of nursing and the history of psychological war trauma—making clear that nurses fit into the larger narrative of trauma.

Notes

If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu.

Graduation Date

2022

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Lyons, Amelia

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

History

Degree Program

History

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008954; DP0026287

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0026287

Language

English

Release Date

May 2022

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2022; it will then be open access.

Share

COinS