Farm Workers Picking Oranges

Graduate Student Profiles

Olivia Humphrey

Cohort Year: 2014
B.A., King’s College London, 2012, History
M.A., University College London, 2013, History

Curriculum Vitae

Advisor: Dr. Susan Morrissey
First Field: European History
Second Field: World History
Thematic Emphasis: War, Death, Medicine, 20th Century Russia
Dissertation Title: Corporeal Manipulations: Representing Military Death in Revolutionary Russia

Research Abstract:
What makes a military death? With its particular ways of dying and killing, military death constitutes a different genre from “civil” death – that which takes place away from the battlefield. My dissertation probes at military death during Russia’s revolutionary era (1904-24), asking how this category was both experienced and constructed. Challenging the traditional parameters of military history, my project utilizes a range of sources with an emphasis on visual material. By addressing various incarnations of military death - the long-vaunted ideal of a “heroic” wartime demise, newer modes of mundane mass death, hospital fatalities - I examine the administrative, popular, political and personal responses that worked to conscript military bodies beyond the deathly pale. Pushing back against the idea that the military dead are mobilized primarily within a nation-centric framework, this project stresses the role of technology as an agent binding together innovative weaponries, photographic capabilities, media dissemination and medical ideals.