Throughout the fall term there will be speakers, films, performances, and exhibits on campus and in the community that relate to the centennial of the end of World War I. The “World War I and the Copper Country” (WW1CC for short) project was conceived to help commemorate the end of WWI and explore the impact the “Great War” had on our area and university.
The program kicked off with a talk by Prof. Brett Gary (NYU) in the library on the curtailment of civil liberties during WWI in conjunction with Constitution Day (see the following article in this newsletter), and then kicked into full swing with a series of things: a full-scale reproduction section of a WWI front line firing trench at the corner of US-41 and MacInnes Drive that includes an audioscape of readings from soldier’s memoirs and poetry; a two-day symposium, “Armistice & Aftermath”, that featured two keynote speakers, Dr. James Morrow, Jr. (UGA) on “The African-American Experience in WWI” and Dr. Lynn Dumenil (Occidental College) on “Women and the Great War”; a concert by the Superior Symphony of the music of James Reese Europe, noted Harlem bandleader and composer who served with the African-American 369th Infantry; and Charlie Chaplin’s silent film, Shoulder Arms (1923) accompanied by a live (digital) Wurlitzer organ accompaniment played by organist Jay Warren of Chicago.
The symposium itself featured a day-long program of two dozen papers on WWI and its domestic impacts and features with speakers from the Copper Country, across the country, and as far away as Israel. A full digital Proceedings will be published on the library’s Digital Commons in November.
There will also be a WWI Relief Bazaar the last Sunday of October in Dee Stadium and a trench closing-in commemoration on Nov. 11, at 11am, the time, 100 years ago, when WWI ended.
See http://ww1cc.mtu.edu/ for more information on the whole semester of events, including the ongoing film series (Thursday nights), symposium program, links to the Proceedings, and two live Trench Cams!
by Steven Walton, WW1CC Committee and FMTL Webmaster