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2022 Annual WWII Emerging Scholars Symposium - Tyler Bamford, Ph.D.

Eisenhower, Truman & Roosevelt Presidential Libraries
Online

Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CST

YouTube Live

2022 World War II Emerging Scholars Symposium

The Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Truman Presidential Libraries are proud to present the 2022 World War II Emerging Scholars Symposium. Scheduled the first week of June, this virtual symposium focuses on specialized topics related to the Allied effort during World War II. 2022 Theme: "Here Is Your War: Military, Press, and Homefront Visions of War."

Following each presentation, we feature an intimate conversation during a scholar spotlight to learn more about each presenter.


Wednesday, June 1: Thomas Arnold
"Learning How to Love America in 1941: Building the US Army's WWII Public Relations Machine"
Presentation: 12:30 p.m. Central / 1:30 p.m. Eastern
Scholar Spotlight: 1:30 p.m. Central / 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Presentation Link: https://youtu.be/EM7cDZLvG1I

This presentation explores an overlooked aspect of Army and American history, specifically how and why the Army built its public relations enterprise of World War II shortly before the war and not after Pearl Harbor. The public relations bureaucracy the Army entered the war with on 8 December 1941 was built through trial and error between 1940 and 1941. This presentation will argue that America’s first peacetime draft not only transformed the Army, but also triggered a mental shift in the institution itself. For the first time in its history, the Army realized that it had a relationship with the American people in peace and that it needed to conduct public relations activities to manage this relationship. To support this claim, the presentation will discuss Army’s interwar public relations plans, regulations, and practices, comparing them to what emerged after September 1940.


Thursday, June 2: Tyler Bamford, Ph.D.
"The Spoils of War: U.S. Soldiers' Souvenirs of World War II in Wartime Reporting"
Presentation: 10:30 a.m. Central / 11:30 a.m. Eastern

Scholar Spotlight: 11:30 a.m. Central / 12:30 p.m. Eastern
Presentation Link: https://youtu.be/VsXm-BnMOWo

In the summer of 1943, an American soldier on the island of Capri told war correspondent Ernie Pyle that “The Germans fight for glory, the British for their homes, and the Americans fight for souvenirs.” Pyle remarked on U.S. soldiers’ widespread affinity for souvenirs in several of his wartime dispatches, and his fellow war correspondents similarly reported on the ubiquitous desire for souvenirs from the war. It may have been hyperbole to suggest that souvenirs served as motivation for GIs in World War II, but U.S. war correspondents around the world observed the eagerness with which soldiers gathered mementoes ranging from tiny pieces of shrapnel to machine guns. The practice of gathering souvenirs and shipping them home, however, met with mixed reactions on the home front.


Thursday, June 2: Ryan Poff
"Unduly Harrowing": Film Media Portrayals of Combat in World War II"
Presentation: 12:30 p.m. Central / 1:30 p.m. Eastern
Scholar Spotlight: 1:30 p.m. Central / 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Presentation Link: https://youtu.be/Tj92D9WXLWU

While war propagandists had recognized the persuasive power of film as a medium as early as 1899, technological limitations made filming actual combat prohibitively difficult and expensive. Advances in filmmaking during the Interwar Period removed many of these barriers, making the filming of frontline combat practical for the first time in history. Yet, the utility and moral legitimacy of this new brand of footage, replete with scenes of actual violence and death, was contested by American propagandists and military officials for much of the Second World War. This analysis of Second World War debates surrounding combat footage illuminates American conceptions of what war should be and historicizes the modern phenomenon of war footage in the United States.


Friday, June 3: Nataliia Zalietok
"Periodicals As a Source For the Research on the Women's Service in the Soviet Armed Forces (1941-1945)"
Presentation: 10:30 a.m. Central / 11:30 a.m. Eastern
Scholar Spotlight: 11:30 a.m. Central / 12:30 p.m. Eastern
Presentation Link: https://youtu.be/lbbJzubzlEE

This study aims to analyze the content of the Soviet newspapers during the Soviet-German war and to find out their significance for the study of the service of Soviet women in the armed forces. Newspapers as a source for the study of the women’s military service in the USSR are the subject of separate academic research for the first time. 

 

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All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.

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