Banner: The War that Made Today. An interdisciplinary Commemoration of the End of World War 1. Nov 1 - 11, 2018

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns fell silent and the world's first global conflict — "The Great War" — came to an end. One of the most destructive wars in modern history, the conflict resulted in the slaughter of more than 16 million soldiers and civilians.

Few today appreciate the deep impact World War I had on the world, or the profound ways in which it continues to resonate. The war ushered in a global sea change in technology, science, medicine, music, literature, visual art and literature. It introduced new and distinctly modern ways of thinking about war, pacifism, heroism, and sacrifice, redefining the nation’s role on the world stage.

This November, the Honors College and UIC will mark the centenary of the end of World War I with 11 days of interdisciplinary conversations and events exploring the war that transformed our contemporary world.

All programs are free and registration is not required.

Program Events

  • Kick-Off Event:
    The War that Made Today - Three Interdisciplinary Conversations

    Nov 1: 11:00 am - 3:45 pm

    Institute for the Humanities
    Stevenson Hall Lower Level
    701 S. Morgan Street

    In three conversational panels, UIC faculty and graduate students from different disciplines will come together to discuss the seismic and continued global impact of the Great War:

    11:00 – 12:15 pm WWI, Nationalism and the New Global World Order
    • Dr. Neal R. McCrillis, Department of History—20th century British & Irish history)
    • Dr. John Abbott, Department of History—Modern Germany & Europe)
    • Dr. Katharine M. Floros, Department of Political Science—International Relations & American Foreign Policy
    • Dr. Rama Mantena, Department of History—Modern India
    • Dr. Marina Mogilner, Department of History—Modern Russia & Eastern Europe
    • Dr. Nasser Mufti, Department of English—19th century British & Postcolonial Literature
    12:15 – 1:00 pm Lunch
    1:00 – 2:15 pm Art at War: The International Avant-Garde and World War I
    Moderator: Dr. Julia Vaingurt, Department of Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures, in discussion with Graduate Students:

    • Daniel Sanchez Bataller -- Art History
    • Andrzej Brylak -- Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures
    • Zachary Fitzpatrick -- Germanic Studies
    • Andrei Gorkovoi -- Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures
    • Nicoletta Rousseva -- Art History
    • Charlie Smith -- Slavic and Baltic Languages and Literatures
    2:30 – 3:45 pm Healing the Walking Wounded: Shell-Shocked WWI Soldiers through a Contemporary Cultural Lens
    • Dr. Sara Hall, Moving Image Arts and the Department of Germanic Studies
    • Dr. Christian K. Messenger, Department of English
    • Dr. Jennifer Rupert, Department of English
  • Pop-up Exhibition: New Media
    Artists Respond to World War I

    Nov 1: 5:00 - 8:00 pm

    The Great Space
    Art and Exhibition Hall, 5th floor
    400 S. Peoria Street

    Temporary, one-night, curated exhibition of 3D work, video art, projected images, and other new media. In conjunction with the opening of Chicago New Media 1973–1992 in Gallery 400

  • Guest Poet Tom Sleigh — A Conscientious Objector with a Very Seared Conscience

    Nov 2: 3:00 – 4:00 pm

    Followed by Reception

    Institute for the Humanities
    Stevenson Hall, Lower Level
    701 S. Morgan Street

    ‘In a letter, Wilfred Owen once described himself as "a conscientious objector with a very seared conscience." That description seems to accurately describe what I've often felt as a journalist and poet, who by writing about refugees, inevitably finds himself writing about mental and physical wounds. So by looking back at World War I poets like Wilfred Owen and David Jones, I'll explore what's at stake in learning how to speak the language of the wound in our contemporary world.’ -- Tom Sleigh

    Tom Sleigh is a nationally renowned poet, Distinguished Professor in the MFA program at Hunter College, NY, and works as a journalist in the Middle East and Africa. He is the author of several books of poetry; his most recent collections include Army Cats (Graywolf Press, 2011), winner of the John Updike Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Space Walk (Houghton Mifflin, 2007), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award. His most recent books, published as companion pieces, are The Land Between Two Rivers: Writing In an Age of Refugees, and a volume of poems, House of Fact, House of Ruin, both published by Graywolf in 2018. Sleigh has published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Virginia Quarterly Review, American Poetry Review, Poetry, Threepenny, and elsewhere, and has been widely anthologized in publications such as The Best of the Best American Poetry, The Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize, and The Best American Travel Writing.

  • The Nurses of World War I

    Nov 7: 2:00 – 3:00 pm

    Library of the Health Sciences
    Special Collections and University Archives, Room 320
    750 W. Polk Street

    Talk by Dr. Gwyneth Milbrath, Clinical Assistant Professor, College of Nursing followed by screening of the short film, “At Home and Over There: American Women Physicians in World War I.”

  • Dangerous Women: The International Women’s Peace Movement Then and Now

    Nov 8: 5:30 pm

    Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
    800 S. Halsted Street

    A roundtable discussion about Jane Addams’s anti-war efforts and work with the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, in the context of more recent activism. The conversation will include a Janes Addams scholar, a current member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), a female veteran and member of Veterans for Peace, and a community activist.

    Refreshments will be served.

    The University of Illinois Press will host a book exhibit featuring Jane Addams titles and other books about women, war, and the international peace movement during this event.

  • Finale Concert — Unanswered Questions: Music, Poetry, and Letters from the Great War

    Nov 9: 6:00 pm

    School of Theatre and Music
    Recital Hall (L285)
    1044 W. Harrison Street

    A special performance by members of the School of Music and Theatre faculty, students and alumni followed by a reception.

  • Closing Commemoration and Tree Planting

    Nov 11: 10:30 am

    Moment of silence will be observed at 11:00 am
    The Circle Memorial Grove
    Taylor Street and Morgan Street

Concurrent Exhibitions

  • The Things We Carried: An Exhibition by and about Student Veterans at UIC

    Cisar Student Veterans Center
    248 Student Center East
    750 S. Halsted Street

  • World War I Artifacts and Publications from Special Collections

    October 22 – December 14: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm

    Richard J. Daley Library
    Special Collections, 3rd floor
    801 S. Morgan Street

  • Women Physicians in World War I: Traveling Exhibition

    October 8 – November 30: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday

    Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room
    Special Collections, 3rd floor
    Library of the Health Sciences, 3rd floor
    750 W. Polk Street

    When the United States entered the war in 1917, women physicians numbered less than 6% of all physicians. Many were eager for the chance to serve their country. But when the Army Surgeon General sent out a call for physicians to serve in the Medical Corps, the women who applied were rejected. Women physician leaders across the country protested this decision and petitioned the government, but the War Department stood firm. However, women physicians found other ways to participate.

    This exhibition and the accompanying film tells the incredible story of these American women physicians who served during the First World War despite widespread discrimination. Driven by patriotism and a desire to serve, these unsung heroines worked in hospitals, dispensaries, canteens, and ambulance units both during the war and in the years that followed.

Honors College World War I Themed Seminars

In conjunction with these events, this fall the Honors College is offering three HON 201 Seminars that reflect on the global impacts of WWI:

  • HON 201 Seminar: Media, Propaganda and War: Hating the Enemy, Staying the Course, 1914-18

    Dr. John Abbott, Senior Lecturer, Department of History

  • HON 201 Seminar: “The Yanks Are Everywhere”: British Responses to America during the Great War

    Dr. Neal McCrillis, Associate Professor, Department of History and Vice Provost for Global Engagement

  • HON 201 Seminar: Civilization Without Sexes: The Gender Revolution Inspired by World War I

    Dr. Jennifer Rupert, Senior Lecturer, Department of English

The War that Made Today is sponsored by:

Logos of sponsors: UIC Honors College, UIC College of Nursing, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, UIC History College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UIC ROTC, UIC Institute of the Humanities, UIC School of Theatre & Music

This program is co-sponsored by the John Nuveen International Development Fund