UNC’s year-long World War I commemoration launches in August


August 11, 2014 | Angie Barker

image_preview-1The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill marks the centenary of World War I during 2014-15 with a yearlong, interdisciplinary “conversation” among faculty, students and the community examining the war’s legacy and impact.

Events kick off in August with a multimedia production, Dolly Wilde’s Picture Show, and an international conference, “The Five Fronts of World War I.”

“World War I literally reshaped international trade, military science, gender and work roles, and the creation and endurance of nation states,” said English and comparative literature professor John McGowan, who is spearheading the project with communications studies professor Bill Balthrop. “Our goal is to raise aware of and interest in the war’s significance and impact.”

The project, coordinated by the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, features more than 20 undergraduate and graduate courses, seminars, lectures, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, dramatic performances, music and dance events, and a workshop for K–12 teachers.

Dolly Wilde’s Picture Show will be performed Aug. 21 and 22, 8 p.m. in Swain Hall, Studio 6. Playwright Rebecca Nesvet combines live performance and multimedia to tell the story of Oscar Wilde’s supposedly identical niece, one of WWI’s first female motor-drivers.

The two-day conference co-hosted by UNC and Kings College London includes a public roundtable discussion Aug. 28 in Hyde Hall featuring scholars Andrew Lambert and William Philpott of Kings College London and Sam Williamson of UNC-Chapel Hill.

A monthly lecture series, which begins in September, will bring to UNC top scholars examining the causes and experience of the war from many perspectives and disciplines. The series launches Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. in Gerard Hall, with Christopher Clark, professor of modern European history at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, speaking on “The Causes of World War I.”

Funding and support for the project are provided by the Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust, Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and Paul Green Foundation. UNC partners and contributors include the College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Chancellor, Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense, Carolina Performing Arts, PlayMakers Repertory Company and the departments of music, dramatic arts and history.


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