Selling a Healthy War

See the abstract submitted beforehand.

The Formation of the Ministry of Information (PhD Extract)

Senate House, where the MOI was housed, now the Institute of Historal ResearchExtract from PhD thesis. © Rebecca Lewis, 2004 (Extracted from the 3rd Chapter). Please note that this information is COPYRIGHTED, so please reference this URL, or the thesis itself.

3: Commissioning, Design & Distribution, with a particular focus on the MOI and the first posters produced

This chapter focuses on the production and distribution of government publicity in the Second World War. The Ministry of Information (MOI) was expected to be the central governmental publicity machine, an institution that sought to regulate its population through discourse. In this chapter we briefly consider its formation and role, including how it drew on previous experience, and gained the power to influence British propaganda, but concentrate more explicitly on the publicity producing divisions. Within this chapter, we reflect upon how the MOI looked to promote self-regulation amongst British subjects, providing them with information, in order to produce what Foucault would term ‘docile’, ‘useful’, ‘functional’ and ‘productive’ bodies contributing to the British war effort. Having seen how the MOI generally worked, and the place of the poster division within that, we will move on to consider how the division commissioned, produced, distributed and displayed posters throughout the war, focusing particularly on the posters produced in the first few weeks of the war. Read the rest of this entry »


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