Nadia Atia, Lecturer in World Literature at Queen Mary, University of London, will be giving the Centre for the Humanities and Health Seminar on 25th June, 17:30-19:00 on the topic ‘White Shoes and Kimonos: Nursing in the Middle East during the First World War’. The seminar will be held in K2.31, King’s Building, King’s College London.
Hundreds of women volunteered to serve in the Middle East during the First World War, despite the region’s reputation for dangerous Arabs, dirt, dust, heat and disease. In Britain, a feminine ideal was mobilized to recruit men to military service, while simultaneously, women’s physical presence on or close to the frontline was avoided by the War Office, even to the detriment of the medical care provided for serving men. The war brought these women to a landscape, peoples, and men who were alien and unfamiliar.
Nadia Atia’s paper will begin to chart the experiences of women from around the British Empire who served in the Middle East during the First World War. What were these women’s experiences and what can they tell us about the global nature of the First World War?