Oliver Wilkinson is a researcher in the social and cultural history of modern warfare. His areas of expertise focus on British & European experiences of ‘Total Warfare’ in the Twentieth Century. Therein he has specialised on the history of captivity during the First World War, exploring the experiences of British servicemen captured by the Germans during the conflict. He traces how such POWs were challenged by their wartime fate and how they found ways to respond in their efforts to ‘cope with captivity’. His work explores themes such as power, control, authority, repression, resistance, agency, and identity (with a focus on gender identities and military masculinities). His current research investigates two areas. First, he is examining allied experiences within German captivity. Second, he is working on the experiences of ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen in Britain and Ireland after the First World War.
Oliver is the conference co-ordinator for 1918 – 2018: The End of the War & The Reshaping of a Century, an international conference being hosted by the Centre for Historical Research, University of Wolverhampton, 6-8 September 2018.