Armistice and Aftermath: A World War One Symposium

World War 1 and the Copper Country project logo and event detailsThis year’s Armistice Day, November 11, 2018, marks the centenary end of World War I. As part of the commemoration, Armistice and Aftermath: A World War One Symposium will take place September 28-29, 2018. The Symposium is open to faculty, students, staff, local residents, high school teachers, and academics from other universities. The Symposium offers an opportunity to explore the conditions and impacts of the “Great War,” as experienced during and afterwards, with a special focus on the American Heartland. The war had tremendous human and economic repercussions. It also motivated technological, medical, and cultural advances, and it paved the way for transformative social change, from Prohibition to women’s suffrage.

Two keynote speakers will highlight relations of race, class, and gender during and after WWI. Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr., will speak on Friday evening, September 28. He is Franklin Professor of History at the University of Georgia. His research examines the experiences of the African-American men in the 369th Regiment who fought in Europe and their subsequent fates. Dr. Lynn Dumenil will speakSaturday, September 29. She is the Robert Glass Cleland Professor Emerita of American History at Occidental College and is well known for her research into the roles of American women both on the homefront and the battlefront. Their keynote lectures will be free and open to the public.

There will be no fees for attending or presenting at the conference. Those interested in presenting are asked to submit a 350-500 word abstract by May 1, 2018 and a brief biographical statement Direct questions to Dr. Patty Sotirin, Humanities; Dr. Steve Walton, Social Sciences, or Dr. Sue Collins, Humanities.

Along with the Symposium, the War and its aftermath will be commemorated in a series of free public exhibits, installations, lectures, and films. Dr. Sue Collins, Humanities, is coordinating this extended commemoration. The events will take place during the months of June through November at various locations on the Michigan Tech campus, the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, Finlandia University, and the Orpheum Theater. Among these events:

  • Europe, America, and the World: An Outdoor Concert. Featuring the music of James Reese Europe performed by MTU Superior Wind Symphony
  • An Evening of Silent Film. Featuring Charlie Chaplin’s Shoulder Arms (1918) with live musical accompaniment, Rozsa Theater
  • A WWI Trench. With battle soundscape, readings from soldiers’ memoirs, and war poetry, on the grounds of Michigan Tech
  • American and French Propaganda Posters and the Great War. Rozsa Gallery, courtesy of Marquette Regional History Center
  • Shell-shocked: Footage and Sounds of the Front. Film with sound installation, Rozsa Gallery
  • Philosophy, Technology, & Warfare. A multimedia screens exhibit, Immersive Visualization Studio, MTU
  • Soldier Stories: The U.P. in World War I. Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, courtesy of Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center
  • World War I & the Copper Country Home Front. Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw
  • Copper Country Voices of Dissent in the Great War. Finnish American Heritage Center, Finlandia University

The Symposium and the ongoing commemorative events are supported in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Visiting Women and Minority Lecturer Series; as well as through donations from Institutional Equity and Inclusion at Michigan Tech; the departments of Humanities, Visual and Performing Arts, Social Sciences, Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC; Finlandia University; and the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw.