ICS Great War Centennial Lecture Series

ICS Great War Centennial Lecture Series

The Great War (1914-1918) in Modern Culture and Society

A Centennial Series of Faculty Talks, Film Discussions and Student Presentations

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

College of Liberal Arts, Institute for Culture and Society


Brion White, "Boardwalk Empire, PTSD, and the Great War"

Tue, February 3, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU Campus)

Jeanette Keith, "The Lusitania Syndrome" and Beth Michalec, "“I Want You: American Advertising and the Great War”

Tue, February 10, 7pm – 9pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU Campus)

Lisa Stallbaumer-Beishline, "War is Funny Business: The Use of Humor to Explore the Great War"

Thu, February 26, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU Campus)

M. Safa Saracoglu, "The Ottoman Empire in the Great War"

Thu, March 19, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU Campus)

Nancy Gentile-Ford, "Americans All! Immigrant Soldiers in the US Army in the Great War"

Thu, March 26, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU Campus)

Yahya Laayouni, "France in the Great War"

Thu, April 9, 7pm – 8pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU Campus)

Tina Entzminger and BU English Students, "Hemingway and the Great War"

Thu, April 16, 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU Campus)

Nogin Chung and BU Art History Students, "The Great War and Modernism in the Visual Arts"

Fri, April 24, 11am – 1pm
Centennial Hall Room 239 (BU campus)

Recent Lectures

Vera Viditz-Ward, “The Great War and Photography”

November 13
Centennial Hall Rm 218, 7:00-8:30 pm
Professor Vera Viditz-Ward will discuss the impact of the Great War on photography, with special attention to the work of specific photographers.

Michael C. Hickey, “Russia and its Jews in the Great War”

November 17
Centennial Hall Rm 218, 7:00-8:30 pm
Dr. Hickey will discuss the fate of Jews in the Russian Empire during the Great War, the politicization of Jewish society during the Russian Revolution, the explosion of anti-Jewish violence that accompanied Russia's civil war, and the relationship between these events and Zionism.

Vera Viditz-Ward has researched, lectured and published numerous articles on the history of photography. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Research awards, for research on the history of Black African photography and for her photographic work in West Africa. A chapter of her research was included in the ground-breaking publication, Anthologie of African Photography, which was awarded the Pris Nadar. She has also received a Rockefeller Foundation grant and a Department of Education grant for her photographic work both in West Africa and the USA. Her work is in many permanent collections including the Smithsonian Institution and The Department of State, Art in Embassies program. Professor Viditz-Ward teaches courses on photography in the Department of Art and Art History at Bloomsburg University.

Michael C. Hickey is a specialist in modern Russian history whose published work examines the history of revolutionary politics and Jewish life in provincial Russia. His book Voices in Conflict in the Russian Revolution: Fighting Words won a 2012 American Library Association RUSA prize and was a 2011 Choice “Outstanding Title.” His most recent essay “Jews in the Revolution” will appear in the forthcoming Routledge Companion to the Russian Revolution. Dr. Hickey teaches courses on European, Russian, and Jewish history at Bloomsburg University, where he is Director of the Institute for Culture and Society.

Past Lectures

Jeff E. Long, “Japan in World War I and at Versailles: Becoming World Citizens”
Thursday, October 23 at 7:00-8:30 pm

Centennial Hall Rm 218  

Dr. Long will discuss the background to Japan's participation in the Great War, the war in Asia, and Japan's role in the Versailles Peace Treaty negotiation process.  He also will show film clips that focus on Japan's efforts towards inclusion of a Racial Equality Clause in the League of Nations Charter.

Jeff E. Long received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Hawaii, Manoa where his doctoral studies focused on militarism and literature during Japan's early Shōwa years (1926-1937).  His current research examines ideological and political aspects of writer Hayashi Fusao’s proletarian short stories during the 1920s and 30s.  His publications include “Songs That Cannot Be Sung: Hayashi Fusao’s ‘Album’ and the Political Uses of Literature during the Early Showa Years” in Japan Forum (March 2007), and a translation of Hayashi Fusao’s short story “Apples” that will appear in For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature, edited by Norma Field and Heather Bowen-Struyk (University of Chicago Press, 2015).  Dr. Long is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Bloomsburg University, where he teaches courses on East Asian history.

About The Great War Centennial Series:

The Great War (World War One) shook the world into the twentieth century.  In 1914-1918, military action on a global scale cost the lives of ten million soldiers and seven million civilians and left tens of millions wounded and homeless.  The Great War brought down empires, spawned the Russian Revolution, and set the stage for the rise of Fascism.  It spurred on anticolonial movements for independence in Africa and Asia and helped transform Japan and the United States into world powers.  This shattering of lives and worlds had a deep and lasting impact on world culture—on literature, music, theatre, and the visual arts.  One hundred years later, we can still see consequences of the Great War playing out in the Middle East…..

This year the Bloomsburg University Institute for Culture and Society is presenting a series of faculty talks, film discussions, and student presentations marking the centennial of the Great War.   Experts from the university’s faculty will discuss issues ranging from the impact of the war on Japan’s place in the world order to the use of humor as a way of coping with the traumatic memory of war.  Faculty will guide discussions of films on the impact of the Great War on different national cultures, and students will present research projects on the legacy of the war in the visual arts and literature.   

ICS Great War Centennial Series events will be held on weeknights in Centennial Hall, an easy-to-find building on campus located close to parking.  They are free and open to the public.