Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nov. 6: Public History, Preservation, and Commemoration Efforts in Europe and the U.S.

Tonight's talk by Dr. Tenbus was a great success, and we were pleased to see around 100 people in attendance.  Thank you for coming out!

Our next talk will be at 6:00 pm on November 6 in Twomey Auditorium--please note the time shift as this differs from previous talks.

Dr. Abbie Grubb, a professor of history at San Jacinto College in Houston, Texas, will be joining us to present "Poppies on Parade: The Preservation and Commemoration of WWI Sites on the Centennial of the Great War."  Her talk will have a public history focus: she will examine the ongoing efforts to preserve WWI battlefields in Europe and offer a comparative analysis of commemoration efforts in the United States.  She will also address some of the obstacles to preservation efforts for the battlefields, including unexploded ordinance, urban development, and competing visions for interpretation.  Undergraduate and graduate students considering careers in public history are especially encouraged to attend.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Understanding the Modern Middle East

Thank you to everyone who attended the talk by Dr. Steve Trout this past week; we learned a great deal about the imagery and uses of parades to both create and shape civic rituals and commemoration.  For those interested in learning a little more about my fellow Demon Deacon Laurence Stallings, check out this article by his daughter featured in Wake Forest Magazine in 2012.

Our next talk will be on October 22 at 7:00 pm, and features a focus on the lesser-known aspects of the war in the Middle East.  Although often downplayed in the rush to explain the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand  and the origins of the war as a consequence of European entangling alliances, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire is essential to the story of the First World War.  In particular, diplomatic controversies between France and Germany over African colonies and two Balkan Wars in 1912-1913 were direct consequences of the collapse of the empire and are often seen as precursors to the World War.  Dr. Tenbus will explore these tensions by examining the Arab Revolt against the Turks, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Balfour Declaration, and other decisions made by Europe during and in the aftermath of the First World War, decisions that in turn shaped much of subsequent twentieth-century strife in the Middle East.  We hope to see you in Twomey Auditorium (Wood Hall 100) for the event!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We're on Facebook!

Thank you to everyone who came out to hear Dr. Crews's lecture last night!  We learned about some new interpretations for the importance of the Zimmerman Telegram to the entry of the United States into World War I as well as a broader diplomatic and political context for the Mexican Revolution.

I wanted to point out that the series is also on Facebook now, so please like us there to keep up with the latest events and information:

Thanks again for your support!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The first public lecture of the fall semester will be held September 9, 2014, at 7:00 pm in Twomey Auditorium (Wood Building room 100).  Dr. Dan Crews will present "World War I and the Mexican Revolution," which will detail American political and military policies towards Mexico in the first two decades of the twentieth century.

Dr. Crews describes his talk:

Historians often use labels to identify periods of time that they consider to have an underlying theme that permeates all aspects of life.  One such label is the Age of Imperialism, 1870-1918.  During this era practically the entire world was divided among the European Powers, the United States, and Japan into formal colonies or informal protectorates and recognized spheres of influence.  Massive foreign investment in Mexico fueled dramatic economic growth that exacerbated social inequality and led to the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1920.  The most deadly period of that revolution occurred during World War I as the Great Powers shifted their support from one faction to another.  President Woodrow Wilson's policies to 'guide' the Mexican Revolution and turn Mexico into a quasi-protectorate failed repeatedly as Mexican leaders balanced U.S. influence with that of Great Britain and Imperial Germany.  This lecture will explain how, in the midst of revolutionary chaos, Mexico retained its complete sovereignty from a neighbor that was indisputably the greatest power on Earth at the end of the Age of  Imperialism.

We hope to see you on September 9 for another installment of the Great War History Lecture Series at UCM!

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Bristol Fighters

The Western Daily Press has published a story highlighting the British F.2 or Bristol Fighter and the aircraft's role in World War I.  During the spring and summer of 1917, the Bristol Fighter was one of the newer, more agile aircraft designed by the Allies that allowed them to fight more aggressively (and successfully) the German Albatross and turn the tide of the war in the air.  You can read the story of the "Brisfit" here:

Photo credit: Wikimedia and The Shuttleworth Trust

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Trench Cake

Would you like a taste of life in the trenches of World War I?  No, you don't have to squat in mud, deal with vermin, or avoid gas shells and snipers.  In this case I mean a taste literally: The Telegraph recently published the recipe for World War I Trench Cake.

Trench Cakes were one of the items English families on the home front could make and send to their loved ones fighting on the continent.  The British government encouraged mothers and sisters to make these for their fathers, sons, and brothers instead of some more traditional sweets because they could be made from food items that were not part of the list of rationed or restricted items (like eggs and butter).  The full recipe is included at the link below.  Give it a try!

Photo credit: The Telegraph and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Music Tribute at the Kauffman Center August 17

On Sunday August 17 at 4:00 pm you can visit the spectacular Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City and hear a musical program focused on the Great War.  Developed in partnership with the National World War I Museum, this performance will feature patriotic and period music, readings from "doughboy" letters written to loved ones, and the opportunity to hear organist Jan Kraybill play the Casavant Organ.  If you have never been to a performance at the Kauffman Center, this is an excellent opportunity to see a world-class musical performance and facility.  Additional information and tickets can be found at the link below.