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

Past Events

Workshop. AXIS Dance Company’s Veteran Workshop
Wednesday, November, 9, 7:00 pm | Lied Center Pavilion

In honor of Veterans Day, join the AXIS Dance Company as they highlight the resilience of veterans in the US! This work revolves around Veterans’ stories of resilience. Join this free lecture/demonstration to see excerpts of the work up close and learn more about how AXIS has engaged with Veteran populations around the U.S. This class is appropriate for veterans and their families and friends. People with and without disabilities are welcome. No dance experience necessary. RSVP to April Strange, KU Student Veteran Center Director: or call 785-864-6715. AXIS Dance Company will perform in a program focused on changing the face of dance and disability at the Lied Center on Friday, November 11 at 7:30 pm. See here for more info.

Presentation. Kansas Museum of History: J.R.R. Tolkien and the Battle of the Somme
Jonathan R. Casey, archivist, The National World War I Museum and Memorial
Friday, November 18, 6:30 pm | Kansas Museum of History (6425 SW 6th Ave, Topeka)

Tolkien’s experience during the Battle of the Somme may have influenced his literary works, namely The Hobbit and the Lord Of The Rings. The presentation includes images from the WWI Museum’s collections that match passages from the books. 

Resource: Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

Visit to learn more about statewide commemoration activities.

Exhibition. Wacht in Osten: German Encounters with the East in World War I
National WWI Museum & Memorial (2 Memorial Drive, KC, MO) | On view through March 12, 2017

Wacht im Osten “Watch in the East” explores the encounter between the German soldier and the land and people he found himself trying to understand. An example of this is the Belarusian village of Iwje, which is depicted using commercial photo postcards illustrating its diverse mix of religious cultures, including Christian, Jewish and Muslim. For more info, see here.

Exhibition. Combat Air Museum, Topeka. 
7016 SE Forbes Avenue, Forbes Field, Topeka / On view through 2018

World War I Replica Aircraft
A floor-level diorama depicts a manned trainer aircraft, the American Curtiss Jenny JN-4D aircraft and various airfield communication devices. Hanging above see scale replicas of three German fighter/scouts (Rumpler-Taube 1914, Pfalz E1 1914 and Fokker E.IV 1916) and two iconic British fighters (Sopwith Pup 1916 and Airco de Havilland 2 1916) plus a French Nieuport 27 from 1917/18.

Artifacts from the Battlefield
This display contains various maps, a British engineer’s compass, British, French and German bayonets, gas masks, trench mirrors and more..

Advancements of Aviation Technology
Learn how the structure, technology, tactics (and wartime armaments) of aviation changed in a mere 15 years from the first powered flight by the 1903 Wright Flyer to the most modern planes of the warring nations in 1918.


 Presentation. Lawrence in Arabia

Monday, October 17, 7:30 pm | Lied Center Pavilion

Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East. At the end of World War I, a British colonel, T. E. Lawrence, better known as “Lawrence of Arabia,” warned in vain against plans to divide the Middle East into imperial spheres of control. Disaster struck almost as he had foretold. Today the world lives with the consequences of his ignored warning. This talk will focus on the life of T. E. Lawrence and bring that history forward to the present day. Scott Anderson compiled a report, based on trips he took to the Middle East, on the Arab Spring revolutions. He will show how much of the region’s current turmoil has its roots in decisions made nearly a century ago and also discuss where the crisis is likely to go next. Reception and book signing to follow. Sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities. This event is part of KU’s World War I Centennial Commemoration, coordinated by the European Studies Program. See here for more info.

Kansas Museum of History: World War I Memorials and Monuments
Jim Heiman, Metropolitan Community College, Independence, MO
Friday, October 14, 6:30 pm | Kansas Museum of History (6425 SW 6th Ave, Topeka)

Soldiers from the Kansas City area who died in France were honored at public ceremonies in that country. When bodies were returned to KC, soldiers were buried privately and then honored publicly at memorials and monuments. Private grief became public mourning, thus ritualizing war remembrance. 

Film Screening. Humanities and Honors Program WWI Film Series: Lawrence of Arabia
Sunday, October 2, 1:00-5:00 pm | The Jay (1st floor), Kansas Union

Lawrence of Arabia, the 1962 epic film depicts T. E. Lawrence's experiences in the Arabian Peninsula during World War I. The film describes his emotional struggles with the personal violence inherent in war, his own identity, and his divided allegiance between his native Britain and its army and his new-found comrades within the Arabian Desert tribes. The film won seven Academy Awards. This event is part of KU’s World War I Centennial Commemoration, coordinated by the European Studies Program.

Presentation. Kansas Museum of History: Do Your Bit—Knit!
Stacie Petersen, registrar, The National World War I Museum and Memorial
Friday, September 9, 6:30 pm | Kansas Museum of History (6425 SW 6th Ave, Topeka)

Thousands of people unable to serve in the military during World War I picked up their needles and knitted for loved ones and their nations. Stacie Petersen addresses the history of knitting during the Great War. 

Presentation. The Great War at 100: The KU WWI Centennial Commemoration
Final Friday, August 26, 7:00 pm | Watkins Museum of History (1047 Massachusetts St)

Join us downtown on this Final Friday to learn about how KU is commemorating WWI. Listen to experts as they discuss espionage and classified advertising during the war.

  • Commemorating WWI at KU. Lorie Vanchena, Academic Director of the European Studies Program, Chair of KU WWI Centennial Commemoration and Associate Professor, Germanic Languages & Literatures
  • From French Motorists to Suspicious Neighbors: Spy-Mania in Cracow in the Early Months of the Great War, Nathan Wood, Associate Professor, History
  • Normalcy Wanted: Classified Advertisements for Pianos and Marriage during the Great War in Habsburg Galicia, Drew Burks, PhD candidate, History, University of Kansas

Sponsored by the Watkins Museum of History.

Exhibition. KU Libraries. Eastern Front 1914-1918. An exploration of the conflict.

The exhibit "Eastern Front 1914-1918: An exploration of the conflict" was developed in conjunction with the campus WWI Lecture Series, “Everyday Life on the Eastern Front.” The exhibition showcases the scholarship of an interdisciplinary selection of KU faculty and students and features a broad range of materials from KU Libraries’ International and Special Collections. KU Libraries faculty members Sally Haines, Geoff Husic and Jon Giullian shared their expertise in Slavic studies and their understanding of the Eastern Front and its impact on history and culture to select these materials. Items featured in the exhibition introduce viewers to the unique and often overlooked wartime conditions of the eastern front regions.

See exhibition webpage here.

Lecture. Understanding Life and Death on the Eastern Front: A personal and historical journey
Nathan Wood, Associate Professor of History
Monday, April 11, 2–3:30 p.m. | Watson Library, Third Floor, Haricombe Gallery

“Like many Americans, my original conception of the Great War was formed largely by the concept of trench warfare and stalemate on the Western Front. In graduate school, I read the memoir of the Polish village mayor Jan Slomka and was astonished by the effects of the mobile front on Slomka and his village. Other books, evidence from the archives, and experience in the terrain of the war have further altered my conception of life and death on the Eastern Front. I now realize that it was in many respects, a tragic forerunner for the kinds of ethnic and civilian violence that we associate with the Second World War in the same territory, despite the fact that the latter war completely overshadows it in terms of public memory and commemoration. Please join me as I share some lessons from my journey of discovery." -Nathan Wood

Exhibition. Spencer Museum of Art. 2015-2016 KU Common Work of Art
Otto Dix Self Portrait
In conjunction with KU’s selection of A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway as its Common Book for the 2015-2016 academic year, the Spencer Museum of Art has selected a self-portrait by German artist Otto Dix as the accompanying Common Work of Art.

View the KU Common Work of Art at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library on campus through the end of March 2016. The work is located on the third floor, on the west side of the North Gallery.

Exhibition. The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World War
National WWI Museum
Kansas City / On view November 3-March 6

Nursing played a crucial role during the First World War. Emergency medical practices evolved enormously during the war years (1914-1918) and thousands more medical workers were involved than in previous wars. This exhibition, organized by Spencer Museum curator Stephen Goddard, is drawn primarily from a gift of more than 3,000 works donated to the Spencer Museum of Art by Eric Gustav Carlson.

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

Everyday Lives on the Eastern Front
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.

Lecture. The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917
David Stone, Professor, Strategy and Policy, U.S. Naval War College
Thursday, 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.

Lecture. Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era

Chad L. Williams, Brandeis University
Tuesday, November 10, 7:00 pm
Spooner Hall, KU Commons

For the 380,000 African American soldiers who fought in WWI, Woodrow Wilson’s charge to make the world ‘safe for democracy’ carried life-or-death meaning. Professor Williams reveals the central role of these soldiers in the global conflict and how they, along with others, committed to fighting for democracy.

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
Followed by reception and book-signing

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.

Inaugural Lecture, Everyday Lives on the Eastern Front
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.

Film Screening. A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Tuesday, September 29, 6:00 pm
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

Romance drama starring Helen Hayes, Gary Cooper, and Adolphe Menjou. A screen adaptation of Hemingway’s novel, the film is about a romantic love affair between an American ambulance driver and an English nurse in Italy during World War I. The film received Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound and was nominated for Best Picture and Best Art Direction.

Lecture. “Yes,” I lied. “I love you”: The Confessions of Frederic Henry
Wednesday, September 9, 5:00-7:00 pm
Kansas Union, Woodruff Auditorium & Kansas Room
Professor Jim Carothers, Professor of English, KU and noted Hemingway scholar, will present a lecture. A reception will immediately follow in the Kansas Room.

Marathon Reading. A Farewell to Arms
Friday, August 28, 8:00 am-9:00 pm
Nunemaker Hall
KU students, faculty, and staff are invited to participate in our marathon reading of KU’s 2015 Common Book, A Farewell to Arms. Drop by anytime and enjoy snacks courtesy of the Office of First Year Experience.

Common Book Discussion Groups
Sunday, August 23, 1:00-2:30 pm
Various campus locations

Students will meet with student leaders, faculty and staff to discuss A Farewell to Arms, KU’s Common Book 2015-16.

Walking Tour. 150th Anniversary of Oak Hill Cemetery
Sunday, May 3, 2 pm

The Watkins will honor local veterans who have served our nation from the Civil War to Vietnam. This walking tour, which will include a nurse who served in France during WWI, Minnie Scott, is presented by a dedicated committee that believes Oak Hill Cemetery has always been a very special place in our community and that untold stories should be shared with the public. Eight stations along a winding walking path will provide glimpses into war and service. Come stroll the cemetery and be intrigued by the presenters as they share stories about local heroes and heroines.   Pre-registration admission: $5/$10 or $15 day of the tour.  Youth 17 years of age and younger are free. Call the museum or visit our website for registration information via PayPal.

Workshop. Learning to Preserve Your Family's Military Heritage Workshop
Watkins Museum of History
Saturday, April 25

The public is invited to a free session to learn how to care for the military artifacts—uniforms, photographs, letters, medals, and more—brought home from war or service. The military experience of our ancestors and relatives is so very important to preserve for future generations! We encourage you to dig out those family treasures and bring them to the museum to share with others during the workshop that will be presented by two museum curators.  This Learn to Preserve Your Family’s Military Heritage Workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Community Room at the Watkins. This workshop is underwritten by the Kansas Humanities Council. Pre-registration suggested at or at ext. 202.

Course. The Santa Fe Division: The Kansas-Missouri National Guard in World War I
Instructor: Dr. David Pendleton, History Dept, Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth.
Tuesdays, March 3, 10, 17
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, 1515 Saint Andrews Drive
This course examines the merging of the Kansas and Missouri National Guards to form the 35th Division during WWI as well as the Division's training and combat performance in France. For more information and to register, visit, or call 877-404-5823.

Tour at Nelson-Atkins. World War I and Modern Art
Friday, March 6
Friday, April 17
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO
100 years ago, in Flanders fields, soldiers who were poets, novelists and artists crawled through mud in the trenches and breathed poison gas on the battlefields. After the war, they transformed their experiences of human suffering into literature and art. The Nelson-Atkins has organized an exhibit, World War I and the Rise of Modernism, that explores the impact of WWI on art and artists. $50 for tour, lunch and transportation, $35 for tour and lunch. Please register at or call 877-404-5823.

Lecture. Adam Hochschild
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918
Monday, March 9
7:30 pm lecture, followed by book signing

Sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities. Hochschild's book explores pacifist movements, conscientious objectors, and deserters in WWI.

Performance. The Goldenberg Duo: Music from Around the World
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
2:00-3:00 pm
Spencer Museum of Art / Central Court

Susan Goldenberg, a violinist with the Kansas City Symphony and her brother William Goldenberg, distinguished professor of piano at Northern Illinois University, return to the Spencer Museum with selections of classical and contemporary music, taking visitors of all ages on a journey across time and space. This year’s also features works from World War I including Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin composed between 1914-17 with each movement conceived as a memorial to a friend who died fighting in the War, and works by Fritz Kreisler who served in the War. This concert is presented in conjunction with the KU WWI Centennial Commemoration. Sponsored by Kansas City Symphony Community Connections Initiative (CCI) and Spencer Museum of Art.


Film. Belle epoque ili poslednji valcer u Sarajevu (Belle Epoque, or Last Waltz in Sarajevo)
CREES Friday Night at the Kino
Last Waltz in Sarajevo is set in the last days of the period Europe called “La Belle Epoque”, between the years 1910 and the start of World War I in 1914. Against the backdrop of love, espionage, intrigue and a cabaret, the film provides the social context to why WWI started in Sarajevo. The film will be shown in Serbian with English subtitles. 
Friday, April 3
7:00 pm, 318 Bailey
Exhibition. The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World War
Spencer Museum of Art
through spring
Nursing played a crucial role during the First World War. Emergency medical practices evolved enormously during the war years (1914-1918) and thousands more medical workers were involved than in previous wars. New and innovative practices included blood transfusions, the use of antiseptics, local anesthetics, and painkillers. Over the course of the War, membership in the American Red Cross grew from 17,000 to over 20 million and 20,000 registered nurses were recruited for military service. In the United Kingdom 38,000 members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) served in hospitals or worked as ambulance drivers and cooks.
This exhibition is drawn primarily from a highly significant gift of over 3,000, predominantly French WWI works donated to the Spencer Museum of Art earlier this year by Professor Eric Gustav Carlson. It is the first of a number of anticipated thematic selections from the Carlson gift.
René Georges Hermann-Paul, 1864–1940
Born Paris, France; died Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, France,
L’Infirmière (The Nurse), 1914–1918, woodcut, pochoir,


Exhibition. The Second Battlefield: Nurses in the First World War
Spencer Museum of Art, Empire of Things Gallery
through spring

Bombardement de Dunkerque (The Bombardment of Dunkirk), 1917
France or Belgium, oil on canvas
Gift of Professor Eric Gustav Carlson

The First World War (1914-1918) involved not only many nations, but also many of the world’s Empires, including the Austro-Hungarian, British, German, Ottoman, and Russian Empires, the French Colonial Empire and the Empire of Japan.

In the wake of the industrial revolution “The Great War,” with its new machines of destruction and the enormity of the resulting death tolls, brought about a seismic shift in human consciousness. While this was not the end of “The Empire of Things” as a framing concept, World War One forever changed our notions of modernity and realigned the political map in ways that continue to impact us today.

The exhibition includes several of the French paintings from Professor Eric G. Carlson's recent gift to the Spencer Museum of Art of more than 3000 works of art from the World War I era. The paintings are on display for the first time at the Spencer.



Exhibition. Doing Our Part:  Lawrence During the Great War
Watkins Museum
through March
This exhibition marks the centennial of World War I and honors Douglas County residents who served in the military and supported the war effort.  Featuring letters, artifacts, and photographs, the exhibition shares stories of the men who served overseas, life on the home front in Douglas County, and local memorials honoring those lost in the conflict.


Film. Besa
University Honors Program / Peace & Conflict Studies in the Humanities & Western Civilization Program World War I Film Series
Thursday, February 12
5:00 pm
Spencer Museum Auditorium

Set at the start of WWI in Serbia, Besa follows the emergence of an unlikely relationship between Lea, a young Christian Slovenian woman, and Azem, an Albanian Muslim man who has given his besa—his solemn promise—to protect her. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the leading actors in this drama “put an endearingly human face on this intimate, intriguing byproduct of international conflict.” The screening will be followed by a KU faculty panel discussion:

Stephen Dickey, Chair, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures
Marike Janzen, Assistant Professor, Humanities & Western Civilization, Coordinator of Peace & Conflict Studies
Marta Pirnat-Greenberg, Language Instructor, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures


Panel Discussion: Media and Military: a tentative alliance

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. He was the only filming reporter on the Royal Irish Regiment's largest air assault operation since it crossed the Rhine in 1945, when it conducted Operation Tora Zhemay VI in Zaborabad, Helmand. He was also the filming producer on 2013 documentary 'Life After War: Haunted By Helmand', which examined the after effects of war on a British platoon that had served in Sangin, Helmand, during 2009.  

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.

World War I Poetry Reading

KU Symphony Orchestra with special guest Joshua Roman, cello

Lied Center of Kansas

Tuesday, September 30, 7:30 p.m.

Cello soloist Joshua Roman will appear with the KU Symphony Orchestra, which is led by David Neely, Director of Orchestral Activities. Roman will perform Edward Elgar's Concerto for cello and orchestra in E minor (1919),  composed in Sussex as a response to the destructive forces of the Great War.

Pre-Performance Program: The Elgar Concerto Within the Context of WWI
Lied Center Pavilion
6:30 - 7:15 pm

Join these experts for a pre-performance conversation and learn more about the Elgar cello concerto within the context of WWI, the recently acquired WWI collection at the Spencer Museum and KU's WWI Commemoration.

David Neely, Conductor, KU Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Goddard, Associate Director and Senior Curator, Spencer Museum of Art
Lorie A. Vanchena, Chair, KU WWI Centennial Commemoration planning committee and Academic Director, European Studies Program

CREES Brownbag Lecture Series


Lecture: The Beginnings of the War to End All Wars

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library


Conversation XVIII: World War I

January 25 - May 18, 2014 | Conversation Space, 20/21 Gallery

Spencer Museum of Art

This installation of works from the permanent collection features a selection from the Spencer's deep holdings of graphic arts made during the First World War. The First World War officially began one hundred years ago, in 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria, was assassinated, unleashing growing nationalist tensions. The exhibition serves as a backdrop for course offerings dealing with what has been called “The Great War" and sets the stage for an April 3, 2014 lecture about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand delivered by Nathan Wood, associate professor of history at KU. The exhibition, which includes video clips depicting film footage from the First World War, is part of a campus-wide series of WWI Commemoration programs coordinated by the European Studies Program.

#KU_WWI Twitter Project

The #KU_WWI Twitter Project is a Twitter-based e-reenactment of the June 28, 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the historical incident often cited as the initial geopolitical event that resulted in the First World War. In Spring 2014, #KU_WWI “Call for Tweeters” will be held on the KU campus where students, faculty and staff can learn more about World War I, and have an opportunity to become Twitter e-reenactors. Using a "#KU_WWI Tweeter Guide” participants will develop characters, twitter handles, hashtags, and 140-character tweets reenacting the assassination. These tweets will form an e-reenactment Master Script, which will tweet-out live on June 28, 2014, exactly 100 years after the event.

Follow the project and reenactment (28 June 2014) on Twitter @KU_WWI or through Twitter feeds on the and websites.

Mini College 2014

“All for You, Franz? From the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to Total War”
Nathan Wood
June 4, 10:30 – 11:45, The Commons

On June 28, 1914, the heir to the Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife Sophie were murdered in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist. However gruesome this event may have been, it was not unique. The king and queen of Serbia and the king of Italy had been murdered about a decade before, and the prime ministers of Bulgaria and Russia had been assassinated even more recently. Why, then, did this assassination trigger war, and how did this war come to merit a new concept, that of “total war”? Drawing upon historical research, newspaper reports and images, and artwork from the Spencer Museum of Art, this lecture will grapple with these difficult questions.


The #KU_WWI Twitter Project’s second Call for Tweeters: April 30, 7 pm, Alderson Auditorium, Kansas Union. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the KU community welcome to participate!

Attendees will create a script for reenacting the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which will tweet-out live on June 28, 2014, 100 years after the event. Bring creativity and the ability to summarize what you learn into 140 character tweets! Twitter account and knowledge of WWI or the assassination not required



On June 28, 1914 the heir to the Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife Sophie were murdered in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist. However gruesome this event may have been, it was not unique. The king and queen of Serbia and the king of Italy had been murdered about a decade before, and the prime ministers of Bulgaria and Russia had been assassinated even more recently. Why, then, did this assassination trigger war, and how did this war come to merit a new concept, that of “total war”? Drawing upon historical research, newspaper reports and images, and artwork from the Spencer Museum of Art, this lecture will grapple with these difficult questions.


Nation-Building in Turkey as Reflected in the Literature of the Gallipoli Campaign
Ayşe Candan Kirişci, PhD, Department of Western Languages and Literatures, Bogazici University, 2011
Monday, March 3
4:30-5:30 pm
Kansas Room, Kansas Union

The defense at Gallipoli (1915) has been of major significance in Turkish history. The event has been the subject of a large number of writings, from historical accounts to personal narratives. Literary works have also fed the public imagination. Since the actual battles, Gallipoli has been celebrated as a moment of pride. At times it has been viewed as a victory reminiscent of the past Ottoman glory. More important has been recognition that Gallipoli was a turning point that helped reinforce a burgeoning Turkish identity. The representation of Gallipoli in Turkish literature has been marked by varying intensity and emphases that reflect the phases undergone by the nationalist current. This presentation will give an overview of this journey. 
Sponsored by European Studies, the Center for Global & International Studies and the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies. Approved for GAP credit.


News Release

For Immediate Release                  For more information:
January 27, 2014                                 Abby Pierron Magariel
                                                            Education & Programs Coordinator


“World War I Commemoration at KU” comes to the Watkins Museum

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, the Watkins Museum invites the public to a series of presentations by scholars from around the region. The second of these lectures will be held on Tuesday, February 25 at 7 pm.

The European Studies Program at the University of Kansas is coordinating the centennial commemoration of World War I (2014-2018). It aims to develop, coordinate, and promote a wide range of programming and educational opportunities that will be of interest and relevance not only to the broader university community but also to the City of Lawrence and the State of Kansas. European Studies is collaborating with a wide range of programs, departments, centers, museums, and organizations on campus and in the region.

Dr. Lorie A. Vanchena, Academic Director of European Studies, and Sam Moore, BA History, will present an overview of events taking place this semester as well as future commemoration plans, including a Twitter reenactment of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand based on the successful re-creation of William Quantrill’s raid on Lawrence (1863) staged last August.

This program is offered free of charge, and will be held in the Community Room at the Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts Street. For more info, call the Watkins at or visit the website at







Sean McMeekin
Koc University, Turkey

July 1914: Countdown to War
Tue., Jan. 28, 2014
7:30 - 9:00 pm
Lied Center Pavilion

The outbreak of the First World War was, as Winston Churchill said, "a drama never surpassed." At the distance of a century, the characters still seem larger than life: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the brooding heir to the Habsburg throne; a bevy of fanatical Bosnian Serb assassins who plot to murder him while he visits Sarajevo; Conrad and Berchtold, the Austrians who seek to exploit the outrage; Kaiser Wilhelm II and Bethmann Hollweg, who recklessly urge on the Austrians; Sergei Sazonov, Tsarist Russian Foreign Minister, trying to live down a reputation for cowardice; Poincaré and Paléologue, two French statesmen who urge on the Russians and help Sazonov overcome his fears; and not least Churchill himself, who, alone among Cabinet officials in London, perceives the seriousness of the situation in time to take action.

July 1914 tells the story of Europe's countdown to war through the eyes of these men, between the bloody opening act on 28 June 1914 and Britain's final plunge on 4 August, which turned a European conflict into a world war. Some of them mastered events quickly; others fought from behind or rode the whirlwind nearly blind.

While there was an element of tragedy in the outcome, it is not really true that, as many popular historians have told us, "no one wanted the war." The outbreak of war in 1914 was no accident of fate. Individual statesmen, pursuing real objectives, conjured up the conflict – in some cases by conscious intention. While some sought honorably to defuse tensions, others all but oozed with malice as they rigged the decks for war. Showing the fearless judgment for which he is known, Sean McMeekin names names in July 1914, making clear as never before who was responsible for the catastrophe.

The Start of the American Surveillance State in WWI
Lon Strauss, Ph.D., KU Department of History
Thursday, January 9
7:00 pm

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, the Watkins Museum invites the public to a series of presentations by scholars from around the region. The first program will be held on Thursday, January 9 at 7 PM.

The series kicks off with Dr. Lon Strauss from the KU Department of History. The program, “A Million Lamp-posts Waiting: The Start of the American Surveillance State in 1918” examines how the growth of surveillance during the war led to methods used by the United States in the century that followed. When Congress declared war on Germany in April 1917, the United States was woefully ill-prepared for a modern industrial war. The citizen soldiers who ultimately comprised the Military Intelligence Division had a lot of work ahead of them with little time to train. Unlike their counterparts in Europe, intelligence officers had no clear idea who the enemy at home was. Armed with only their own cultural perceptions, and caught up in the prevalent patriotism and 100% Americanism of the day, they conducted surveillance upon Americans who fit their conceptualization of "other" or "un-American." Their political cultural perceptions colored who they investigated and how they established what came to be the foundation for a surveillance state that pervaded the 20th Century and beyond.

Dr. Strauss’ research includes studies on US involvement in WWI and modern European history. He has presented at conferences in the US and abroad, including the annual meetings of the Society of Military History, Organization of American Historians, British Commission for Military History, and more.

This program is offered free of charge, and will be held in the Community Room at the Watkins Museum, 1047 Massachusetts Street. For more info, call the Watkins at or visit the website at


Quick Links

Degree Options  Internship Opportunities  Study Abroad in Europe  Academic Resources

Email List Sign Up

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Calendar of Events
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times