Modern Conflict and the Senses investigates the sensual worlds created by modern war, focusing on the sensorial responses embodied in and provoked by the materiality of conflict and its aftermath. The volume positions the industrialized nature of twentieth-century war as a unique cultural phenomenon, in possession of a material and psychological intensity that embodies the extremes of human behaviour, from total economic mobilization to the unbearable sadness of individual loss. Adopting a coherent and integrated hybrid approach to the complexities of modern conflict, the book considers issues of memory, identity, and emotion through wartime experiences of tangible sensations and bodily requirements. This comprehensive and interdisciplinary collection draws upon archaeology, anthropology, military and cultural history, art history, cultural geography, and museum and heritage studies in order to revitalize our understandings of the role of the senses in conflict.

chapter |9 pages


ByPaul Cornish, Nicholas J. Saunders, Mark Smith

part I|142 pages

Sensual landscapes

chapter 1|16 pages

Sensing war

Concept and space in the Imperial War Museum’s First World War Galleries
ByPaul Cornish

chapter 2|14 pages

Materiality, space and distance in the First World War

ByNicholas J. Saunders

chapter 3|50 pages

Assaulting the senses

Life and landscape beneath the Western Front
ByMatthew Leonard

chapter 4|15 pages

The scent of snow at Punta Linke

First World War sites as sense-scapes, Trentino, Italy
ByFranco Nicolis

chapter 5|15 pages

Sensorial engagement in tourism experiences on the Western Front

ByStephen Miles

chapter 6|13 pages

‘Dead air’

The acoustic of war and peace – creative interpretations of the sounds of conflict and remembrance
ByPaul Gough, Katie Davies

chapter 7|150 pages

Moaning Minnie and the Doodlebugs

Soundscapes of air warfare in Second World War Britain
ByGabriel Moshenska

chapter 8|19 pages

The Cave Mouth

Listening to sound and voice in Okinawan war memory
ByRupert Cox, Angus Carlyle

chapter 9|11 pages

Emplacing the Italian Resistance

The dystopian fight against Fascism and Nazism (1943–1945)
BySarah De Nardi

part II|150 pages

Sensing bodies

chapter 10|14 pages

Odour and ethnicity

Americans and Japanese in the Second World War
BySusannah Callow

chapter 11|12 pages

Ingestion and digestion on the Western Front

ByRachel Duffett

chapter 12|13 pages

Trench crap

Excremental aspects of the First World War
ByDominiek Dendooven

chapter 13|17 pages

Sense and sensibility

The power of print in post-war recuperation
ByJeffrey S. Reznick

chapter 14|16 pages

The ‘white death’

Thirst and water in the Chaco War
ByEsther Breithoff

chapter 15|8 pages

Jan Karski, from eye witness to moral witness

What to do with your senses?
ByAnnette Becker

chapter 17|16 pages

Sounds of horror

Sensorial experiences of a Gestapo prison, Begunje (Slovenia)
ByUroš Košir

chapter 18|17 pages

The uninvited guests who outstayed their welcome

The ghosts of war in the Channel Islands
ByGilly Carr

chapter 19|16 pages

Sensory deprivation during the Irish Civil War (1922–1923)

Female political prisoners at Kilmainhan Gaol, Dublin
ByLaura McAtackney

part III|74 pages

Sensorial objects

chapter 20|20 pages

Sensing the sepoy

Objects, letters and songs of Indian soldiers, 1914–1918
BySantanu Das

chapter 21|17 pages

War with flowers

The paintings of Albert Heim and the German sensory experience of the Somme, 1914–1916
ByAlastair H. Fraser

chapter 22|17 pages

The senses

Battlefield exploration, drawing and sculpture
BySteve Hurst

chapter 24|4 pages


War on the senses
ByJoanna Bourke