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Ana Carden-Coyne


Personal profile


Professor Ana Carden-Coyne is Director of the Centre for the Cultural History of War (CCHW) in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures. She is currently PI (with CI Prof Charles Green, Melbourne University) on a major AHRC project, Understanding Displacement Aesthetics and Making Change in the Art Gallery with Refugees, Migrants and Host Communities (2021-24), with partners Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth

Her books include The Politics of Wounds: Military Patients and Medical Power in the First World War, (Oxford University Press, 2014), examining the medical, social and cultural experiences of wounded soldiers and those charged with treating them, from frontline to home front, including stretcher bearers; doctors and nurses, physiotherapists, arguing that the social relations that war wounds generate are fundamentally political. In Reconstructing the Body: Classicism, Modernism and the First World War (Oxford University Press, 2009), she examined the impact of war on culture and society, and the powerful political and personal forces that motivated reconstruction between 1918 and 1933 in Britain, the United States and Australia, and reflecting on wider experiences in Europe. Carden-Coyne has edited a co-edited volume Gender and Conflict Since 1914: Historical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Palgrave, 2012), which brings scholars from the humanities and social sciences together to consider the impact of war on gender roles in the past and present. In 2020, she co-edited a special issue (with Kate Darian Smith) for Cultural and Social History on Young People and the Two World Wars: Visuality, Materiality and Cultural Heritage, including her peer reviewed essay on Boy Mascots, Heroes and Orphans. She has also published her research in Critical Military Studies, among others.

During the centenary of WW1, she led a major commemoration project with Manchester Art Gallery and Whitworth Art Gallery, resulting in the exhibition and fully illustrated catalogue, The Sensory War, 1914-2014. She has acted as acted as consultant for the Science Museum, Wellcome Trust and other cultural organisations, and contributed to international events such as the Sydney Festival and the Sydney Mardi Gras, and has published a commemorative booklet with the Guardian newspaper on 'Wounded Visionaries'.

She is international partners investigator on a major Australian Research Council project with teh Australian War Memorial, Art in Conflict (end 2021)

CCHW includes Professor Peter Gatrell, Professor Bertrand Taithe, Dr Max Jones, Dr Jean Marc Dreyfus and Dr Laure Humbert, and Dr Ewa Ochman. It has generated international conferences (War, Culture, Humanity (2004); War and Our World (2007); edits a book series on the cultural history of modern war with Manchester University Press; directs an innovative MA pathway in War, Culture and History and supports a significant range of exciting research by PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows.

Research interests

Specific research interests:

The main research interests include the following:

  • history and impact of displacement on artists and the use of the arts in building community resilience --and contemporary art gallery transformations in advancing community access and displaced artist opportunities
  • children's experiences of war and displacement
  • cultural impact of war, incl children, young people and heritage
  • war medicine & surgery
  • visual arts as a humanitarian and human rights project
  • memorialisation and commemoration,
  • social and cultural memory & trauma studies
  • sexuality, gender & queer studies
  • disability studies
  • war, pain & rehabilitation
  • museums and cultural heritage
  • visual culture of war and the ethics of representation
  • war photography and filmmaking

Other research

Current research projects:

Understanding Displacement Aesthetics and Making Change in the Art Gallery with Refugees, Migrants and Host Communities (AHRC, 2021-24).


PhD Supervision

Current students:

Jamie Farringdon ESRC case award with Quarry Bank Mill and medical collections

Peter Bjorkland on the history and memory of the Karen in Burma and the UK

Katherine Roberts, PhD on Nursing in WW2: compassionate care

Georgia Vesma, AHRC project on Women War Photographers in Vietnam

 Successful Completions:

Dr Gareth Crabtree PhD on the History of War GAmes, 18th century to the digital age

Dr Tom White PhD on the History of Albinism, 18th century to early 20th century

Dr Mark Crosher PhD on History and Memory of the Wood Street Mission and the British Welfare State

Dr Ben Knowles, PhD Reenactment and the Second World War: a documentary practice (practice based PhD)

Dr Lee Dixon, PhD The Vietnam War in the South

Dr Rey Gonzales PhD on the history of martial arts in the Philippines

Dr Yang Zhao Mediating the Second World War in China (pratice based doco film)

D Andrea del Campo  Rehabilitation in Chilean Mining Industry

Dr Katherine Reed Marking Migration: Graffiti on Ellis island


Other teaching information

Current teaching:

Teaching Specialities:

  • Curating War and Human Rights: methods in public and cultural history
  • The Cultural History of War, 1914 to the Present Day (Level 2)
  • MA Core Course in the Cultural history of Modern War
  • MA Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking - a practical filmmaking course
  • MA Public History


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester


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