Dole Archives hosted visiting Professor Dr. Heather Perry (University of North Carolina at Charlotte) and several KU classes in the Institute’s Reading Room. The group utilized historical materials from Dr. Perry’s studies as well as contemporary archival items from the Dole Archives and Special Collections. Working with Senior Archivist Audrey Coleman, Dr. Perry’s talk illustrated the way historical issues can inform our understanding of contemporary problems, and vice versa.
Professor Heather Perry presenting the inaugural lecture in the WWI series Everyday Lives on the Eastern Front on October 24. Nearly 120 students, faculty, and members of the community enjoyed her fascinating talk, “Recycling the Disabled: Army, Medicine, and Modernity in the First World War.”
Although the female nurse has been a fixture in modern warfare, she is often overlooked. The nurse’s role was especially important in World War I, when thousands of female medical personnel were required for the treatment of millions of soldiers and civilians. In Russia, nurses were indispensable to the war effort, serving on the front lines and often assuming public leadership roles. These nurses, far from merely binding wounds, provided vital services that put them squarely in traditionally masculine territory, both literally and figuratively.
LAWRENCE — As the World War I military draft brought to the forefront the high rate of venereal disease among the civilian population, states began to enact measures to quarantine people and begin forms of treatment to try to control syphilis, gonorrhea and other potential outbreaks. However, a University of Kansas researcher has documented examples of how this process continued well into peacetime and how these laws were generally enforced along lines of gender and class, especially punishing poor women. Nicole Perry, a University of Kansas graduate student in sociology, studied Chapter 205, the state of Kansas quarantine law that took effect in 1917 and led to approximately 5,000 women being imprisoned at the Women’s Industrial Farm in Lansing between 1917 and 1942.
A Farewell to Arms, written by Ernest Hemingway was chosen as KU’s Common Book which is a campuswide initiative to engage first-year students.Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. From KU’s Office of First-Year Experience Common Book.
KU’s World War I Centennial Commemoration 2014-2018, coordinated by the European Studies Program, explores the historical dimensions of the War and the ways it continues to shape our lives and our understanding of contemporary conflict. European Studies is working with more than thirty KU units and with organizations and institutions in Lawrence and the region to develop, coordinate, and promote programs and educational opportunities related to the Great War.
One of the ongoing themes of this season’s Downtown Abbey has been how to commemorate and memorialize casualties from World War I. Should there be a stone commemorating the dead in the city square? A park where villagers can sit and quietly reflect? When we have experienced so much loss, how is it that we’ll best remember? After WWI, this commemorative soul searching occurred in almost every community and town around the world — even right here at home at the University of Kansas.
On January 9th, 2015, the Lawrence Journal World‘s Sara Shepherd interviewed William Towns, former union operations manager and KU history scholar, about KU’s Memorial Stadium and Student Union, commemorative WWI buildings on the KU campus. In the article we learn how decisions made about WWI commemoration affected decisions regarding WWII memorials and the construction of our much-recognized Campanile.
On Sunday, December 20th, KPR Presents marked the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914, when soldiers took a break from the horrors of World War I to share an evening of song, snacks, and soccer. Kaye McIntyre visited the The National World War I Museum in Kansas City to talk to Lora Vogt about the Christmas Truce, how the museum is marking the occasion this month, and their new on-line exhibit on the Truce.