About the Project

GWonline, the Bibliography, Filmography and Webography

War was and is one of the major subjects of history, because conflicts in different forms and scales are a recurrent phenomenon since Antiquity with far reaching consequences for politics, economy, society, and culture. Changes in these areas are closely related with transformations in warfare and the military and vice versa. Because of its importance, the history of war and the military is a fascinating subject for broad audiences and clearly sells as a topic of books, autobiographies and movies, but also of teaching at high schools, colleges and universities. But this history is most of the time told as a male story in a dual sense: written by men and focusing on men—despite nearly four decades of research by women and gender historians. Most of these ‘general’ works still ignore the important dimension of gender in the past and present of military and war and its interrelationship with politics, the economy, society and culture. The research by women and gender historians has demonstrated that not only all forms of warfare and war violence are gendered, but also war mobilization and demobilization, war support and opposition, war experiences at the front and the so-called homefront, the cultural representations of conflicts, as well as their collective and individual memories.

The main goal of the digital humanities and public history project GWonline is to make the quickly growing interdisciplinary research on the important subject of gender and war and its history as well as the increasing number of movies and websites related to this subject more accessible for the publicGWonline collects and organizes titles of secondary literature, women’s autobiographies, films and informative websites on this subject to make them available. Alongside full text searching, it allows users to explore the collections of curated sources through multiple entry points: author or director, publication or release date, collection, major wars, countries and regions or keywords. With its more than 8.000 carefully curated entries in English, French, German and Spanish, is regular updates and the different search options it aims to be a useful resource for students, teachers and researchers.

GWonline allows users to download full lists of included secondary literature, autobiographies, films and websites as RTF files. The literature search screens are equipped with an OPEN URL feature that allows users to check - usually via WorldCat - whether articles, books etc. are available in their local libraries.

GWonline is a collaboration of the UNC Chapel Hill Department of History,  IT Research Computing, the  Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense and UNC Library and Information Technology. It was created with and continues to work as a digital humanities and public history project for the professional training of undergraduate and graduate students. The website is based on Drupal, a free and open source content-management framework written in PHP, which is distributed under the GNU General Public License. Drupal allowed us to develop the project with a small budget and the work of a team of graduate and undergraduate students, but at the same time it limits the possibilities of the project development.

If you want to learn more about the way  GWonline works, please watch our  video guide. A brief overview of the project provides our brochure.

Oxford Handbook of Gender and War since 1600

GWonline is connected to the  Oxford Handbook of Gender and War since 1600 (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2019), edited by Karen Hagemann (general editor), Stefan Dudink and Sonya A. Rose. It also  allows a literature search by Handbook chapters. The approach and scope of the handbook defined the content of GWonline.

The Oxford Handbook is a reference work of thirty-three essays jointly written by specialists in the history of military and war and experts in gender and women’s history. The collection, covering the period from the Thirty Years War to the Wars of Globalization, investigates how gender, an amalgam of ideals and practices that give meaning to and socially differentiate male and female, contributed to the shaping of warfare and related to it the military and was at the same time transformed by them. The essays explore this question by focusing on themes such as the cultural representations of military and war; war mobilization of and war support by society; war experiences on the homefronts and battlefronts; gendered war violence including sexual violence; military service and citizenship; war demobilization, postwar societies and memories; and the attempts to regulate and tame warfare and prevent new wars.

The Oxford Handbook covers chronologically the major periods in the development of warfare since the seventeenth century. While its main geographical focus is on Europe and the Americas, this history has to include the long-term processes of colonization and empire-building originating from sixteenth-century Europe, and their aftermath in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia. Thus the handbook allows for both, temporal comparisons that explore continuities and changes in a long-term perspective, and regional comparisons as well as an assessment of transnational influences on the entangled relationships between and among gender, warfare and military culture. For more on the Oxford Handbook click here.

GWonline Facebook Page

The team of graduate and undergraduate students posts every week new recommendations for literature, women's autobiographies, films and websites on the theme of gender and war on the  GWonline Facebook site. Please check out the site and if you like it let them know.