Monday, October 12, 2015

Entertaining with Troops!

Dr. Allison Robbins will present “Entertaining with Troops: Female Impersonation in World War I Service Shows” on October 21 at 7:00 pm in the W.C. Morris Auditorium as part of the Great War History Lecture Series.

In 1918, Broadway saw numerous musical revues produced and performed by Army and Navy recruits, who sang and danced on the New York stage, some while dressed as chorus girls. The men’s female impersonation may seem at odds with their identity as soldiers soon to depart for Europe, yet audiences found these performances touching, even in their hilarity. “Beneath the rollick of dancing, song, and horseplay runs a deeper, more persistent feeling,” a critic noted, “which touches it all with heroism, even a simple manly beauty.” This lecture will explore the role female impersonation had within shows like Irving Berlin’s Yip Yip Yaphank! and consider what these soldiers’ performances meant for World War I servicemen and the audiences they entertained.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Our Boys in French Blue: Missouri Flyboys in the Lafayette Escadrille

Dr. Jessica Cannon will present the next exciting installment in the Great War Series on April 23 at 6:00 pm in Twomey Auditorium (Wood 100).  Focusing on Missouri’s connections to the Lafayette Escadrille, the talk will cover new research on two local men who joined the war effort in 1914 and talked their way past a suspicious French government and into the ranks of the aviation service.  The talk includes the war experiences of the escadrille, some context for early aviation, and the wild post-war adventures of Higginsville native Bert Hall.  

Advertisement from the Boston Post, 15 June 1918.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"The Hun in the Heartland"

Our next presentation in the Great War Series will be by Sarah Craig on March 24, at 7:00 pm in Twomey Auditorium.  Based on research for her Master's Thesis in the Department of History and Anthropology, "The Hun in the Heartland: Anti-German Sentiment in Missouri During World War I" will focus on local experiences and reactions to World War I.

Join us and discover how three German communities in Missouri--Cole Camp, Concordia, and Hermann--survived the strains of anti-German sentiment during World War I.  By analyzing the local newspapers in these communities from 1912-1919 we are able to gain a sense of how German-Americans in Missouri viewed themselves and their patriotism before, during, and after the Great War, as well as how external forces influenced changes in their communities.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dadaism and Artistic Protest of World War I

There is a slight change to our next event: the next talk will be held March 4 at 1:00 pm in Art Center room 102 and will feature a presentation by Interior Design student Christopher M. Cooper. 

Mr. Cooper is a Senior and McNair Scholar working with Dr. Kathleen Desmond at UCM.  He will give a presentation on Dadaism and the creation of works of art that served as forms of protest against the atrocities of World War I.  By rebelling against the artistic standards and traditions, Dadaists employed 'absurdist' principles to counteract the seemingly 'logical' nature war, and violence in general, had assumed in human cultures.  This rejection of societal norms redefined what constitutes art, giving new space to creativity and political commentary in the art world.

 Poster designed by Amy Price and used with her permission.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Programming Change

Please note that the first event of the spring originally scheduled for this Thursday (Feb. 12)  has been cancelled. 

The talk has been rescheduled for April 23, 2015, at 6:00 pm in Twomey Auditorium.  Dr. Jessica Cannon will present "Our Boys in French Blue: Missouri Flyboys in the Lafayette Escadrille."  The talk is based on her current research on two local Missouri men who joined the war effort in 1914 by enlisting with French units.  Like many early American volunteers, their service began in the ambulance corps and the Foreign Legion, but quickly took them towards the exciting new weapon of war: the airplane.  The talk will discuss the broader context and propaganda significance of aviation developments in World War I by exploring the experiences and post-war lives of these two men.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

December 2 Student Research Panel

Our last event of the fall semester is an undergraduate student research panel on December 2 at 6:00 pm in Twomey Auditorium.  Please come support our history students, who will be presenting research they have completed this fall in the Writing in the Social Sciences class.  Each student will speak for roughly 15 minutes, to be followed with a question-and-answer session.  There will be four students participating, and they will speak to a range of World War I-era topics:

Jordan Lockwood is a Senior majoring in Social Studies Education; he will present on Belgium's experiences during World War I.  Although existing international agreements recognized Belgium as a neutral nation, Germany's war plans dictated a quick defeat of France in order to avoid fighting a two-front war against France and Russia at the same time.  Standing in the way of that plan was Belgium, since the main route of invasion to capture Paris and bypass French defenses was through Belgium.  Mr. Lockwood will discuss Belgian experiences during the German invasion and occupation, how those experiences influenced Great Britain's decision to enter the war, and how Belgium fared at Versailles in the peace talks at the end of the war.

Michael Gawlick is a Junior working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.  His research focuses on France during the war, showing how the influx of colonial soldiers and immigrant workers to French industry helped sustain the French war effort.  Moreover, the development of French weapons--like the 75mm gun and the Renault tank--allowed the French, with the assistance of the allies, to sustain their nation throughout the long war despite suffering significant losses in men and materiel.

Marty Kankey is a Senior majoring in Social Studies Education.  Ms. Kankey's research examines the roles of women in the allied cause, including those who served in the Navy as "Yeomanettes," those that went to Europe to serve as nurses and ambulance drivers, as well as women who participated in the war effort on the home front by planting victory gardens, producing equipment, and assisting with Red Cross and Liberty Loan drives.

Chad Dangler is a Senior majoring in History with a minor in Anthropology.  His project focuses on the Gallipoli Campaign and the British decision to open another front in Turkey near the Dardanelles Strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea (and ultimately the Mediterranean Sea).  This straight was a vital connection for Russia, Britain's ally, as it represented the only warm-water port for moving goods into or out of Russia.  The region was also important to British long-term interests in the Middle East and protecting the Suez Canal and British territory in Egypt.

We hope to see you on December 2 at 6:00 pm to hear our students present their research!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Announcing Our Spring Line-up!

I am excited to announce our line-up for the spring semester: there will be a variety of topics and formats to begin 2015, including several with connections to local history.  We are still working on a few things that may be added for the spring, and remember you can now check the schedule of events using the link at the top of the page.  We hope you will join us for these commemorative talks and events!

March 3, 1:00 pm Art Center 102.
Dr. Kathy Desmond will lead an interactive discussion "How the First World War Changed the Art World."  In many ways, World War I turned European culture, and to a lesser extent American culture, on its head, completely redefining how artists thought about the world around them.  One major shift that began in the nineteenth century but that accelerated because of the war was the turn toward modernism, which offered an entirely new set of artistic expressions and commentaries on the industrializing world. 

March 24, 7:00 pm in Towmey Auditorium.
Sarah Craig, a graduate student in the History master's program and the Program Assistant in the Office of Sponsored Programs & Research Integrity at UCM, will present "The Hun in the Heartland: Anti-German Sentiment in Missouri During World War I" based on her thesis research.  Missouri's significant German heritage survived the World Wars, despite national efforts to 'Americanize' many ethnic groups from 'belligerent' nations, so come learn how German-Americans persevered during World War I.

April 8, 12:00 pm (location will be posted closer to the event).
 Dr. Delia Gillis will present "'Close Ranks,' but 'We Return Fighting': African Americans and World War I."  Her talk will examine the debate on African American participation in the war and their experiences abroad as well as on the home front.  It will also include discussions of soldiers like Henry Johnson, Wayne Minor, Homer Roberts, and Homer "Jap" Eblon, who were key in developing the 18th and Vine district in Kansas City and were early leaders in the Civil Rights struggle in the region.