Music as Propaganda in WWI

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From Kansas Public Radio, a service of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.

See us at kansaspublicradio.org.

All year long, we’ve been commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. In the fall of 1914, battles were already raging in Europe, but the United States remained on the sidelines. Still, pressure was building for the nation to help its European allies. The federal government soon began formulating a plan to use the media to convince Americans that the country should get involved. KPR’s Tom Parkinson has this report on how popular music was used to sell Americans on the war.

For the broadcast, click Music as Propaganda in World War I

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Panel Discussion. Media & Military: a tentative alliance

The KU WWI Centennial Commemoration 2014-2018 seeks to explore how the First World War can inform our understanding of contemporary conflicts and their broader implications and how contemporary conflicts can shape our understanding of the First World War and its aftermath.

BASETRACK panel discussion flyer_v4

Panelists added:

Michael Price, KU adjunct and former BBC reporter. In 2009, Price twice embedded with British troops based in the Upper Sangin Valley, Helmand, for a film about women on the frontline. At the start of 2011, his third embed was with a number of British and American regiments operating across Helmand.

Col. Steve Boylan (US Army, Ret) is an Assistant Professor at the Army’s Command and General Staff College.  During his period on Active Duty, COL Boylan served as the Strategic Communication Officer for the Commander, Multi-National Force-Iraq and the US Central Command Transition Team, where he was responsible for the public affairs mission in Iraq.  He additionally served as General Petraeus’ Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Officer at the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth.  COL Boylan is currently a doctoral student and studying Organizational Leadership.

 

Series of #KU events to honor #WW1, today’s veterans, military

On September 29th, KU Today published a fantastic write-up of KU WWI Centennial Commemoration events for 2014-15. Read the article here.

EXHIBITS

Now – Oct. 16
Local Veterans Art Exhibit
In connection with the performance “Basetrack,” the Lied Center will display the artwork of local veterans throughout the building.

Now – Oct. 16
KU Student Veterans Uniform Project
The contemporary uniforms from students who are serving or have served in the military will be on display. Location: Lied Center

Now – Winter 2014/2015
The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World Wardonations accepted
Works on paper reveal World War I’s second battlefield, the medical personnel caring for the wounded. As medical practices evolved during the war years, nursing played a critical role. Location: Spencer Museum of Art

Now – Winter 2014/2015
World War I and the End of Empires, donations accepted
The first public exhibit that pulls from a gift of more than 3,000 World War I art works, the exhibit explores how the Great War changed the notion of modernity and realigned the political map in ways that continue to affect us today. Location: Spencer Museum of Art

Now – Jan. 24
Doing Our Part: Lawrence During the Great War, donations accepted
Through letters, artifacts and photographs, the exhibit shares the stories of the men who served overseas, life on the homefront in Douglas County and local memorials honoring those lost in conflict. Location: Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St.

EVENTS

Tuesday, Sept. 30
The Elgar Concerto Within the Context of WWI6:30 p.m.
A pre-performance conversation will explore the Elgar Cello Concerto within the context of World War I. The presentation also will cover information about the recently acquired World War I art collection at the Spencer museum and KU’s World War I commemoration efforts. Location: Lied Center Pavilion

Tuesday, Sept. 30
University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra with Joshua Roman, 7:30 p.m.,
$20-$30 Adult / $11-$16 Student/Youth
The KU Symphony Orchestra will perform the Elgar Cello Concerto with guest cellist Joshua Roman. Written in the aftermath of World War I, the Elgar concerto expresses the composer’s sadness at the devastation of the war. Location: Lied Center

Wednesday, Oct. 8
Reading: The Poetry of the First World War, 4 p.m.
An Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, Folleh Tamba created artwork inspired by World War I poetry. Tamba and KU students will read and discuss these poems. In October, Tamba’s exhibit, “A Grunt’s War Diary,” will be on view at Kansas State University. Location: Spencer museum

Monday, Oct. 13
Panel Discussion – Media and Military: A Tentative Alliance, 5:30 p.m.
Modern warfare relies on a relationship between the military and media, both of which seek to serve the public. This panel discussion will focus on this sometimes difficult and definitely complex relationship. Panelists will include: cast members of “Basetrack”; Barbara Bennett, associate dean of KU’s William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications; and Mike Denning, director of the Office of Graduate Military Programs. Following the panel discussion a reception will be held for the cast of “Basetrack” at the VFW. Location: Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts St.

Wednesday, Oct. 15
“Basetrack”; 7:30 p.m., $20-$30 Adult / $11-$16 Student/Youth
A multimedia theatrical performance, “Basetrack” draws on the power of soldiers’ stories to examine the experience of those who served in Afghanistan. The performance, which mixes live music, journalism and technology, sparks conversation on the legacy of war. Location: Lied Center

Tuesday, Oct. 21
Combat Veterans Courts: Leave No Veteran Behind, 7 p.m.
Part of a conference sponsored by Graduate Military Programs, the program will examine the national response to the plight of veterans within the criminal justice system. Melissa Fitzgerald, best known for her role as Carol on the television show “The West Wing” and currently senior director for Justice for Veterans, will headline the conference. Graduate Military Programs, the Command and General Staff College Foundation and Marine Corps University Foundation are hosting the program. Location: Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

Wednesday, Oct. 22
War Termination – Compare and Contrast Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, 7 p.m.
Graduate Military Programs, the Command and General Staff College Foundation and Marine Corps University Foundation are hosting the event. Location: Dole Institute of Politics

Tuesday, Nov. 4
Veterans Day Run

Saturday, Nov. 8
Salute to Service at KU football game

Tuesday, Nov. 11
Vigil.

Bruce Menning #WW1 lecture available online

Did you miss the Tuesday, September 9th CREES Brownbag lecture with military historian Bruce Menning on “Russia and the Outbreak of the Great War”? No problem! A video of the lecture is available on the CREES YouTube channel!

 

Upcoming #KU lecture on Russia and #WWI

The KU Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies is proud to present Military Historian Professor Bruce W. Menning for a CREES brownbag lecture on “Russia and the Outbreak of the Great War.”

Professor Menning is the well known author and editor of:
Bayonets Before Bullets: The Imperial Russian Army, 1861-1914
Reforming the Tsar’s Army: Military Innovation in Imperial
Russia from Peter the Great to the Revolution
World War Zero: The Russo-Japanese War in Global Context

The lecture will take place on Tuesday, September 9th at 12pm in 318 Bailey Hall on the University of Kansas campus. The event is free and open to the public.

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Peggy Hull Deull, America’s first female war correspondent

There’s a new post on the University of Kansas Kenneth Spencer Research Library‘s blog about a 2014 Summer Conservation Intern’s experience working on items related to Peggy Hull Deull, America’s first female war correspondent.

Born in 1889 in Bennington, KS, Peggy Hull Deull was inspired to become a journalist during the First World War. As a war correspondent, she traveled from the US to Mexico, Paris, London, Siberia, and Shanghai. 

Peggy Hull [Deuell] in WWI uniform, 1917. Kansas Collection, Call Number RH MS 130.

Peggy Hull [Deuell] in WWI uniform, 1917. Kansas Collection, Call Number RH MS 130.

“Peggy’s collection is also one of the many fantastic features that facilitates our study of war history, and in particular, helps to commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I,” said Amber Van Wychen, 2014 Summer Conservation Intern.

To read Amber’s full post, go to: http://blogs.lib.ku.edu/spencer/peggy-hull-deuell-a-conservation-internship/

#KU_WWI Sentiments: the Good, the Bad & the Retweeted

When it comes to using social media to explore historical topics, one is never quite sure how it’s going to turn out. The crowd sourcing aspect of Twitter is by nature unpredictable — and once it’s out on the internet, it’s out there for good.

It was just a few months ago that #KU_WWI staff sat down to talk about these issues. Our anxieties ranged from, “What if the technology doesn’t work?” to “What if we incite an international incident by inadvertently offending an eastern european country?” But our biggest concerns were, “Would anyone take notice?” and “Would they find it informative and useful?”

Rather than guess, we thought we’d just go ahead and ask.

Over the past few months we’ve been collecting your feedback into what we like to call, #Sentiments: The Good, The Bad & The Retweeted — thoughts and opinions from the twitterverse. And in this blog post, we thought we’d share a summary.

Read the complete archive of #KU_WWI Sentiments on Storify.

Almost from the beginning, the project had a faithful following who helped spread the word.

Your promotion caught the eye of local media and resulted in our first press coverage.

By the end of the project, we were featured on Kansas Public Radio’s KPR Presents, Channel6 News, and had been the subject of 18 online and print articles including in the Associated Press and The Washington Post.

The project reached a global audience who tweeted about #KU_WWI in multiple languages — Spanish, French, Bosnian, Serbian, Chinese, Russian and Czech.

As the LIVE Tweetenactment unfolded, quite a few of you stayed with us and watched as history happened as if LIVE on twitter.

That said, not everyone enjoyed the LIVE Tweetenactment. Negative feedback ranged from dubious to overtly offended by the project concept.

And a few good samaritans helped with grammar tips.

Some of your comments after the LIVE Tweetenactment were particularly poignant and insightful.

And by and large, your response to the #KU_WWI Twitter Project was overwhelmingly positive.

Preliminary reports indicate that the #KU_WWI Twitter Project had 456 contributors, generated 4,600 tweets, reached 623,900 unique twitter accounts, and created 3.4 million impressions throughout the entire twitterverse.

Thank you to everyone who made this project such a success!

The #KU_WWI Twitter Project is a collaboration among the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, European Studies Program, the departments of Germanic Languages & Literatures, History and Slavic Languages & Literatures, University Honors Program, Global Awareness Program, Hall Center for the Humanities, KU Libraries, KU Memorial Unions and Spencer Museum of Art. This project is also sponsored by the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.

The University of Kansas Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies is designated a Title VI National Resource Center for the study of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia by the U.S. Department of Education.

This project is part of the University of Kansas centennial commemoration of World War I, coordinated by the European Studies Program. Learn more about participating units and upcoming programs at KUWWI.com.

#KU_WWI @GSoldierSvejk Literary Tweetenactment

Since 1923, The Fateful Adventures of The Good Soldier Švejk during the World War, or more commonly known as The Good Soldier Švejk, has been delighting audiences around the world with its dark comedy and biting anti-war themes.

 

Considered the grandfather of satirical anti-war novels like Catch-22, The Good Soldier Švejk is a hilarious yet scathing commentary on the ludicrous absurdity of 20th century Austro-Hungarian bureaucracy. The novel has been translated into over 58 languages and many acknowledge it as one of the greatest masterpieces of satirical writing ever written.

 

For the purposes of the #KU_WWI Twitter Project, we present an abbreviated first chapter of The Good Soldier Švejk in which Švejk (@GSoldierSvejk) learns about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (@ArchdukeFranzi) from his cleaning lady, Mrs. Müller (@CharwomanMuller). What is striking about their discussion is its seeming irrelevance to their everyday lives — they are interested in the event, but only in so much as people are when it comes to royalty and scandal.

 

The literary tweetenactment tries to be as true to the English translation of the novel as possible, with abbreviation and some artistic license for the 140-character tweet limitation.

Read the @GSoldierSvejk Tweetenactment here.

The @GoodSoldierSvejk Tweetenactment is meant to represent the greater body of WWI literature, music, and art that would come out of the early part of the 20th century. It is our opinion that history is best understood by exposure to the humanities, and it is our hope that you will be inspired to seek your own copy of The Good Soldier Švejk as a means of better understanding the First World War.

Click here to learn more about the #KU_WWI Twitter Project.

Did you know that the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas now hosts one of the largest collection of WWI art in the United States? Click here to read an article about the collection.

#KU_WWI #FirstWorldWarOrphans Tweetenactment

 

If Archduke Franz Ferdinand (@ArchdukeFranzi) and Duchess Sophie (@Duchess_Sophie) were the first casualties of World War I, then their three children were its first orphans. As a follow-up to the #KU_WWI LIVE Tweetenactment of the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, #FirstWorldWarOrphans features a collection of tweets from the perspectives of the Archduke’s daughter, Sophie Von Hohenberg (@Little_Zofie), and her tutor, Otto Lev Stanovsky (@Fr_Stanovsky), as they live through the aftermath of the assassination. The tweetenactment humanizes Archduke Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie as people and parents – through the eyes of their children we see their humanity rather than just their place in history.

Read the complete #FirstWorldWarOrphans Tweetenactment here.

#FirstWorldWarOrphans begins a couple of days before the June 28th assassination. It begins with the innocent perspective of a 12-year-old girl, the Archduke’s oldest child, Sophie Von Hohenberg, or as her family affectionately called her, Little Zophie.

 

Little Zophie’s tweets give us insight into the Archduke’s family life as well as highlight his passion for travel and hunting. By the time of his death, he had successfully hunted 274,889 animals and was widely considered one of the best shots in the empire.

 

Accurately illustrating the Archduke’s personality has been a challenge for #KU_WWI staff and tweetenactors. Publically he was known for being introverted and aloof, but more commonly he was described as brusque, arrogant, and even hot-tempered. He was also an avid art collector, had a sincere passion for architectural preservation, and traveled widely – even as far as America (King and Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke, pg 121-125). For the #KU_WWI Twitter Project we focused on the Archduke as a husband and father — while his public persona may remain controversial, there is little doubt as to his sincere adoration and devotion to his wife and children in his private life.

 

As stated in the #WhySarajevo and #All4USophie Tweetenactments Archduke Ferdinand’s marriage to Duchess Sophie was deemed morganatic, which meant that their children were barred from imperial succession. One of the benefits of this status was that they could raise their children however they saw fit, without the pressures and protocols of court. By all accounts, the couple were informal, loving and engaged – somewhat out of the norm for upper class Edwardian families in which nannies and private schools parented more than parents.

The tone of the tweetenactment changes abruptly when Zophie’s tutor, Otto Lev Stanovsky, receives a phone call informing him of the deaths of Archduke Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie in Sarajevo.

 

What follows over the next few days is an account of the children trying to fully understand the death of their parents and the horrible treatment they continued to receive from the imperial court.

 

Usually when an heir to a European monarchy dies, all the imperial houses of Europe go into official mourning and gather to attend the state funeral. For Archduke Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie, however, foreign representatives were not only not invited, but also actively turned back from the border (King and Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke, pg 224).

 

Otto Lev Stanovsky’s tweets specifically calls out Prince Alfred de Montenuovo, Lord Chamberlain, for the bizarre and bureaucratically petty funeral proceedings. Responsible for court protocol, Montenuovo had made a point of humiliating the morganatic couple in life and refused to let up after their death.

 

Originally, Montenouvo only made plans for the funeral and burial of Archduke Ferdinand, refusing to acknowledge Duchess Sophie even in death. But in his will, the Archduke had laid out his wishes to be interred with his wife at their family home in Artstetten, rather than in Vienna where they would have been surely separated by protocol.

The official, imperial funeral in Vienna continued to be problematic, however. When the bodies of the Archduke and his wife arrived in Vienna on July 2, 1914, the imperial family was ordered not to greet the train as was the usual custom. Even though the bodies could have been switched to more imperially appropriate, matching coffins, the bodies were kept in the original coffins provided in Sarajevo. Archduke Ferdinand’s was large and ornate, while Duchess Sophie’s was simple and modest. While finally being allowed to lay in state beside her husband only after multiple family members directly appealed to the emperor, Duchess Sophie’s coffin was kept 18 inches lower than the Archduke’s – a visual reminder of her unequal status. For imperial funerals, it was not uncommon for viewings to last several days. In the case of the Archduke and Duchess Sophie, viewing was kept to just 4 hours and tens of thousands of mourners were turned away (King and Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke, pg 227-228).

 

The couple’s three children were not allowed to attend the funeral in Vienna – as products of a morganatic marriage it was deemed inappropriate for them to mourn next to the imperial family (King and Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke, pg 230-231). It was only after all the official mourners had left, that the children were allowed into the chapel to pay their respects during which their daughter privately eulogized:

 

After the funeral, the couple were taken by carriage to a train. This procession was kept private, no bells tolled, and no military escort was provided.

 

Even though the Archduke was the Inspector General of the Austro-Hungarian army, Montenouvo denied military honors for the funeral proceedings because they were deemed unworthy of Duchess Sophie. A hundred aristocrats defied imperial protocol by spontaneously following behind the hearses to the train station – a public rebuke of the court’s treatment of the heir and his wife (King and Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke, pg 232).

The coffins were unceremoniously loaded onto the train to Artstetten – no mourning carriage was provided, they were placed in a freight car. Upon arrival to their home, the couple finally began to receive the mourning they deserved as family and staff gathered to greet the royal couple and grieve together in a private ceremony.

 

Specifically to keep other aristocrats in Vienna from attending these private ceremonies, Montenouvo ordered a longer than normal requiem at mass that Sunday, keeping them in church rather than allowing them to go to Arstetten. A few openly rebelled against this order, defied the court, and went to the funerals in Artstetten anyway. One of these was Franz Ferdinand’s exiled brother, who had also been striped of his titles and land for entering into a morganatic marriage (King and Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke, pg 237).

 

The couple were finally laid to rest in matching white tombs with the inscription, Joined in marriage, they were joined by the same fate.

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#KU_WWI Project staff would like to extend a big thank you to KU Slavic Department alumna Courtney Shipley for bringing these characters to life.

Click here to learn more about the #KU_WWI Twitter Project.

Click here to read about Duchess Sophie and the #KU_WWI Twitter Project in a She The People Washington Post blog by Diana Reese.