The British Army has a tradition of voluntary military service, stretching back to its origins in the 17th century. While conscripts were called on in times of dire national need - such as the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars - most of the soldiers who served in Britain’s armies did so of their own accord.
However, a great deal of effort has been needed to encourage and inspire enlistment. Recruitment propaganda has appeared in every major communication channel over the past three centuries - from the posters, leaflets and newspapers of the 18th and 19th centuries to the film, broadcast and digital media of the 20th and 21st centuries - and continues to be produced today.
In this exciting talk, Dr Brendan Maartens will demonstrate the richness and variety of recruitment propaganda and its place within British military and social history. He will also look to the future and the rapidly changing world of digital media to see what might lie ahead both for recruiting and the recruited.
Dr Brendan Maartens lectures in Communication and Media at the University of Liverpool, specialising in advertising, public relations, and propaganda history.
He has published a range of studies on military recruitment promotion in Britain and Ireland, having completed a PhD on the subject in 2014, and is lead author and co-editor of 'Propaganda and Public Relations in Military Recruitment: Promoting Military Service in the 20th and 21st Centuries', the first book-length investigation of military recruiting practices around the globe.
He is currently working on a series of papers that explore how digital media has interacted with and changed military recruiting in countries like Germany, Russia, and Japan.