Maybe you’re a history teacher, with a penchant for the World War I era.
Perhaps you have a fascination for the impacts that World War I had on politics, medicine, diplomacy or, even closer to home — your family’s personal history.
Maybe you’re just curious about what life was like in the wider world, during the time of Downton Abbey.
If any of this resonates with you, an upcoming conference at Saint Leo University could be right up your alley.
The university is inviting teachers, history and political buffs, veterans and the general public to a conference that centers on the history of World War I, and subsequent peace-building efforts.
The Nov. 16 event, called the Centennial of World War I & Peace 1914 to 1919 Interdisciplinary Conference, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the university’s campus in St. Leo.
The event comes slightly more than a century after the original Armistice Day — Nov. 11, 1918 —which marked the official end of World War I.
The conference is structured around three panels, with presentations by speakers and time allotted for questions and answers, said Marco Rimanelli, full professor of political sciences and international studies at the university.
The presentations will cover:
- Military and diplomacy
- Medical and health care issues in the Great War
- The impact of the League of Nations
Rimanelli’s presentation is entitled “Alliances & U.S. Military in World War I: ‘Doughboys & Trenches, ‘Over There’”
“We want to try to give an overview,” said Rimanelli, a driving force behind the conference.
“World War I is essential in the emergence of America as a global super power, as well as the beginning of the demise of the European order,” Rimanelli said.
Panelist Dan DuBois, an assistant professor of history, will focus on how World War I played out in East Asia, in his talk entitled “Aye, What has Become of Civilization?: East Asia & The Great War.”
“To understand the current degree of distrust between the United States and China, that really begins in 1919,” DuBois said.
Interspersed between the panels, Saint Leo faculty members will help take conference-goers back to World War I through poetry readings and musical performances from the era.
Chantelle MacPhee, the university’s chair of language studies and the arts, will read “In Flanders Fields,” a World War I poem by John McCrae, a medic from Canada.
“He wrote it in the memory of those he saw perish with him,” said MacPhee , who herself lost great-uncles in World War I.
“In Flanders Fields,” she said, “is the most famous in Canada and is recited every Nov. 11, which is called Remembrance Day.”
Conference attendees also will be able to glean an additional sense of what life was like during World War I through an array of posters featuring combat scenes, war memorabilia, and a glimpse of African-American life at that time.
The $12 admission to the conference deliberately was kept affordable to encourage attendance. Admission includes lunch, snacks and beverages and there is no charge for parking.
Also, Saint Leo University alumni, students, faculty and staff will be admitted free, with proper ID.
Teachers attending the conference may also be eligible to apply for continuing education credit, which Saint Leo University will help to document.
Published November 06, 2019