Literature

The experience of armed conflict in the early modern period (1600-1815) was depicted through a number of media, most importantly literature. The Centre is seeking to understand conceptions of media and mediation in the conduct of warfare in the pre-information age by revisiting the military revolution of the early modern world. Arguably more of an evolutionary than revolutionary process, the post-1600 era witnessed a gradually accelerating stream of new media forms and mechanisms arising from new ways of applying force until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. These range from the nexus of early modern literacy, perspective painting and firearms discussed by Marshall McLuhan to the development of optical media, such as the magic lantern or ‘military perspective’, and the deployment of telegraphs, balloons, war finance and mass propaganda by the end of the eighteenth century. Following recent studies of representation and culture informing longitudinal histories of new media forms, this area of research explores the ways in which the management of war was affected by the emergence of these new media; the foundations and patterns of shaping a longer history of media and war; and how military technologies shaped the development of media.