The Great War: Conflict, Representation, and Memory in American Culture

Driscoll Series 6, Box 168, So Long Sammy, Cover
Wednesday, June 26, 2013Friday, June 28, 2013

9 am to 3 pm

Room 101 and B84

Led by Patricia Scanlan, PhD. Independent Scholar
Seminar Full, Wait list only
Chicago Teachers as Scholars

Writing on the eve of “The Great War,” Chicago lawyer, author, and art collector Arthur Jerome Eddy declared: “The world is filled with ferment.” Although the thrust of Eddy’s essay was a critical discussion of innovations in modern art, he equally acknowledged the “ferment of new ideas” in politics, social reform, science, business, and poetry. Eddy’s words foreshadowed a period of unprecedented upheaval and collective trauma that dramatically altered American politics and society. In this seminar, we will analyze how the war affected conceptions about battle, the human body, identity, nationalism, and collective memory, as revealed through American visual culture. Further, we will explore its profound impact on journalistic and artistic practices through careful readings of objects and primary source documents. These items, which include letters, illustrated newspapers and periodicals, prints, sheet music, posters, photographs, and paintings, reveal shifting representations of death, destruction, patriotism, and modern industrial life. These artifacts, along with John Dos Passos’s “One Man’s Initiation: 1917” (1920), excerpts from Eddy’s “Cubists and Post-Impressionism” (1914) and critical texts offer us a rich, interdisciplinary approach to this defining historical moment of the modern age.

This seminar is sponsored by the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation.

Cost and Registration Information 

Participants must attend all three sessions. 

Register