Yale University Libraries and Collections

Gender & The War


  • “Kiss Me Hardy: the Dying Kiss in First World War Trenches” in Santanu Das, Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005) .
  • Elaine Showalter, “Rivers and Sassoon: The Inscription of Male Gender Anxieties” in Margaret Higonnet (ed.) Behind the lines: gender and the two World Wars (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987).
  • Susan Grayzel, “The Maternal Body as Battlefield. Rape, Gender and National Identity”, in Women’s Identities at War, (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1999).
  • Mary Louise Roberts, Civilization Without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917-1927 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, c1994).
  • Joy Damousi and Marilyn Lake, Gender and War: Australians and War in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  • Joanna Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War (London: Reaktion Books, 1996).


  • Disability and masculinity
  • Gender and citizenship
  • Gender and propaganda
  • Gender roles and women’s work
  • “Manliness” and heroism
  • Notions of manhood, patriotism and cowardice
  • Notions of masculinity and femininity in recruitment campaigns
  • The role of white feathers


  • War poster collection, 1914-1946 (inclusive), 1914-1918 (bulk). 8.5 linear ft. (38 folios). Manuscripts and Archives, Sterling Memorial Library. MS 671. Link to poster database
  • Helen Sims, “Posters and images of women in the Great War” in Moira Donald and Linda Hurcombe (eds.), Representations of gender from prehistory to the present (London: Macmillan; New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000). SML. HQ1121 .R45X 2000
  • Louis N. Wilson, Posters and pictures relating to the European war, (Worcester, Mass.: Clark University Press, 1917). SML. X353 C5 5.
  • Maurice Rickards, Posters of the First World War (New York: Walker, 1968). SML. Jcb55 +968R.
  • John Rich McDill, Lessons from the enemy: how Germany cares for her war disabled (Philadelphia, New York: Lea & Febiger, 1918). Medical war manual; no. 5. MUDD Library. Uxw27 G2 918m.
  • Arthur E. Copping, Souls in khaki, being a personal investigation into spiritual experiences and sources of heroism among the lads in the firing line,by Arthur E. Copping; with a foreword by General Bramwell Booth (New York, Hodder & Stoughton, George H. Doran company, c1917) SML. Bi66 15Lx.
  • United States. Congress. House. Committee on World War Veterans’ Legislation. Investigation into Guardianship Affairs of Incompetent Veterans. Part 1: hearings before the United States House Committee on World War Veterans Legislation, Subcommittee on Hospitals, Seventy-Third Congress, second session, on May 31, June 1, 4-7, 9, 1934. (Washington : U.S. G.P.O., 1934.) Microform (non-circulating). Government Documents Center, MUDD Library. CIS Hrgs MF Gp 1--H682-1.

American Manhood- Enlist Poster

"They Crucify. American Manhood—Enlist.". World War I era recruiting poster by M. Moyle for the U.S. Army. War Poster Collection, Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University Library. MSSSA.MS.0671. Box 21. Folder YUS 51-65. File name 004325.tif.


Try an advanced search using the subject “World War, 1914-1918” and the keyword “gender”. Play around with permutations of these. You might try “masculinity” or “women”, and think about issues like training, or propaganda posters highlighting the “masculine” role as defending women, or notions of heroism, cowardice and gender.

  • Disabled veterans
  • World War, 1914-1918— Great Britain—Army—Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
  • World War, 1914-1918— Propaganda
  • World War, 1914-1918— United States—Army—Recruiting, enlistment, etc.
  • World War, 1914-1918—Woman's work
  • World War, 1914-1918— Women