War stories

UNSW Canberra Academics Involved: 
Dr Neil Ramsey

After spending much of his research career looking into the way soldiers wrote about their experiences of war in military memoirs, Dr Neil Ramsey expanded his focus to a range of different genres of writing. He is concentrating on a specific period (1766 to 1832), around the Napoleonic Wars, to trace clues as to how a society and a culture comes to think about war. 

“I come from a literary studies background, so I'm interested in ideas about the impacts that different genres or forms of writing have,” he says. “How can we use those genres to think about intellectual change.”  

Ramsey’s work spans two academic audiences, literary studies and the cultural history of war. Communication with these audiences has mostly been through traditional academic routes of journal articles and book chapters (typically around three per year), as well as conference papers at scholarly academic events.  

“I have spoken at quite a lot of conferences,” he says. “I mostly attend literary studies conferences. Often I go to 18th or 19th century literary studies conferences and I'm the person there talking about war. I’d present at conferences five or six times a year in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.”