History Center at USC kicks off spring lecture series
The end of wars and their aftermath is the theme of a lecture series sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s History Center.
Titled “Wars’ Ends/Aftermaths,” the series gets under way Wednesday, Jan. 19, with a lecture by Dr. Dan Reiter, chairman of the department of political science at Emory University, at 7 p.m. in Gambrell Hall, Room 250.
All six events in the series, which runs through April 15, are free and open to the public.
“Our broad theme of ‘Wars’ Ends/Aftermaths’ for the series has historical and contemporary relevance,” said Dr. Lawrence Glickman, director of the History Center and chairman of USC’s history department.
With the United States engaged in two long wars, the questions of when and how the wars will end are on the minds of many Americans. Glickman said studying the outcomes of past wars can provide an important understanding of the process and impact of ending modern wars.
“Wars have been a catalyst for various kinds of social change -- from the abolition of slavery after the Civil War, to Women’s suffrage after World War I, to the Civil Rights movement after World War II,” Glickman said. “Although we often look back and say that outcomes of wars were inevitable. A lot of times, immediately after the war, a period of uncertainty reigned.
“For example, Americans in late 1945/1946 were by no means certain that they were entering the Age of Affluence. Rather, they were concerned about high prices, the housing shortage and the reintegration of soldiers after many years of disruption,” he said.
The second talk is set for Thursday, Jan. 27. Dr. Alan Allport of Princeton University and Dr. Lori Watt of Washington University will discuss what happens to soldiers returning from war. Allport will address British soldiers returning from the winning side of WWII, while Watt will examine Japanese soldiers who returned in defeat.
Remaining topics in the series include a comparison of the public memory of the Civil War and World War II, then and now; a global view of the aftermath of WWII and failures of leadership in the post-war period; a look at the aftermath of the French war in Algeria and the cost of France’s long-term efforts to hold on to its colony; and war crimes and war crimes tribunals and trials.
The complete series schedule is available on the website: www.cas.sc.edu/hist/hc/series.html.
The History Center in USC’s College of Arts and Sciences will offer a variety of public programs and academic activities to foster interaction between scholars and students.
For more information about the History Center, call the center at 803-777-6172, or send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael Woods, a graduate assistant at the center, at email@example.com.