Center for Global & International Studies
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

KU WWI Commemoration Lecture Series

Everyday Lives on the Eastern Front
WWI Lecture Series 2015-2016

The experience of World War I, particularly on its Eastern Front, shaped the modern world in ways that many of us may not realize. The Eastern Front was where the empires of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and the Ottomans collided and ultimately collapsed, giving rise to new states in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. While the Western Front was defined by trench warfare, the Eastern Front was longer and often porous. It shifted back and forth across civilian populations with dramatically transformative effects, impacting lives at the everyday level. In the region, the Great War was inseparable from revolution, undermining imperial allegiances, generating social and national movements, and changing attitudes about gender and authority.

Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year this series will bring four nationally recognized experts on WWI to Kansas to share original research on everyday life on the Eastern Front. In addition to public lectures, speakers will explore these themes in workshops with undergraduate and graduate students and members of the community.

Series Co-Sponsors: KU Common Book, Big XII Faculty Fellowship Program, Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, Center for Global & International Studies, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, Department of History, Dole Institute of Politics, European Studies Program, Hall Center for the Humanities, Humanities Program, Max Kade Center, Office of Graduate Military Programs, University Honors Program, University Press of Kansas.


Inaugural Lecture. Recycling the Disabled: Army, Medicine, and Modernity in the First World War
Heather Perry, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Thursday, October 22, 7:00 pm
Spooner Hall, KU Commons

Professor Perry will examine the ‘medical organization’ of Imperial Germany for total war. Through an investigation of rehabilitation medicine, prosthetic technology, military medical organization and the cultural history of disability, Perry will discuss how the pressures of warfare transformed not only medical ideas and treatments for injured soldiers, but also social and cultural expectations of the disabled body in Germany and other belligerent nations. Click here to view video of lecture. Click image above to download jpg suitable for printing and electronic posting.

Lecture. More than Binding Men’s Wounds: Women’s Wartime Nursing in Russia during the Great War
Laurie Stoff, Arizona State University
Monday, November 2, 7:00 pm
Spooner Hall, KU Commons

Although the female nurse has been a fixture in modern warfare, she is often overlooked. The nurse’s role was especially important in WWI, 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. Presented by Laurie Stoff, Arizona State University. Click here to view video of the lecture. Click image above to download jog suitable for printing and electronic posting.

Lecture. The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917
David Stone, Professor, Strategy and Policy, U.S. Naval War College
MThursday, February 25, 7:00 pm
Hall Center for the Humanities
Followed by a book-signing

The Russian Army’s experience of World War I on the Eastern Front has long been overshadowed, both by the much better known war in the trenches on the Western Front, and by the subsequent development of a new Soviet Army. Understanding how the Russian Army fought in World War I provides us not only with new and valuable perspective on the First World War, but also gives us a much better sense of how and why the war shaped the Soviet Army and the new Soviet state. Click image above to download jpg suitable for printing and electronic posting.

Lecture. A Minor Apocalypse: Everyday Life in Warsaw during the First World War
Robert Blobaum, Eberly Professor of History, West Virginia University
Tuesday, March 29, 7:00 pm
Kansas Union, Alderson Auditorium

The vast majority of Warsaw's Polish and Jewish residents experienced an existential crisis caused by the collapse of the local economy and the military requisitioning of basic resources, first by the Russians and then on a much larger scale by the Germans. Nearly universal shortages of growing severity and their impacts on public health and inter-communal relations—to which the fall of empires have been attributed—will be compared to shortages documented for cities such as Berlin and Vienna, thus situating Warsaw's wartime experience within a larger European context. Click image above to download jpg suitable for printing and electronic posting.

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