Tuesday, September 9, 2014
8:45 a.m.–4:00 p.m.


University Center, Ballroom

World War One at 100

This symposium on World War I (1914-18) explores the Great War and its legacy at the hundredth anniversary of its outbreak and explains why the Great War still matters today.

The symposium includes presentations by noted historians and diplomats and performances of artistic works inspired by the war.

Schedule of Events
8:45-9:00 a.m. Introduction to Symposium and Welcoming Remarks by Adelphi University President Bob Scott
9:00-9:55 a.m. Talk and Q&A with Belgian Ambassador to the UN Bénédicte Frankinet: “Belgium and the First World War”
10:00-10:55 a.m. Talk and Q&A with Professor Susan Grayzel: “Women at War in Public and Private.”
10:55-11:00 a.m. Literary Interlude
11:00-11:20 a.m. Talk and Q&A with Professor Jennifer Fleischner: “Adelphi College During World War One.”
11:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m. Lunch Break
12:15-12:40 p.m. Scenes from Oh! What A Lovely War.
12:45-1:40 p.m. Talk and Q&A with Professor Leonard Smith: “Testimony and Tragedy: French Soldiers in the Great War.” 
1:45-1:50 p.m. Literary Interlude
1:50-2:45 p.m. Talk and Q&A with Professor Erez Manela: “The Great War and the Transformation of World Order.”
2:45-2:55 p.m. Literary Interlude
3:05-4:00 p.m. Roundtable Discussion on World War One with Speakers

WW1-at-100-flyerAbout the Speakers

Ambassador Bénédicte Frankinet has served the Belgian Foreign Ministry since 1979.  Throughout her career, she has served in Belgian embassies in Brazil and France, and as the Belgian Ambassador to Zimbabwe (accredited also to Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia) as well as Israel.  She has also served in the Belgian Missions to the UN and the European Communities.  She assumed the post of Belgian Ambassador to the United Nations in 2012.

Susan R. Grayzel is Professor of History and Director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at The University of Mississippi. She has written widely on gender, women and war in the twentieth century, including two books on women and the First World War. Professor Grayzel will present on the impact of World War One on gender roles. World War One has often been seen as liberating women largely because they enjoyed new opportunities as they took jobs previously reserved for men. Without denying that the war expanded the range of possibilities for women, Professor Grayzel shows that the war also limited their liberation by, for example, thrusting women back into the more traditional role of mother in nations seeking to make up the losses and heal the wounds of the war’s devastation. Beyond what it tells us about the war, Professor Grayzel’s talk offers insight into the complex and often contradictory processes through which gender roles change in the modern world.

Professor Jennifer Fleischner is a professor in the Department of English at Adelphi University.   Her books include Mastering Slavery: Memory, Family, and Identity in Women’s Slave Narratives (NYU Press); Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly: The Remarkable Story of the Friendship Between a First Lady and a Former Slave  (Broadway Books); and an historical novel, Nobody’s Boy (Missouri Historical Society Press).  Professor Fleischner’s talk on the role of Adelphi College and other schools during WWI is taken from her forthcoming book, A History of Adelphi University (Pearson), due out in October 2014.

Leonard V. Smith is Frederick B. Artz Professor of History at Oberlin College and the author of numerous books and articles on World War One with a focus on France. Professor Smith will talk on French soldiers’ recounting of their war experiences and how their narratives changed in the aftermath of the war and consequently altered understandings of the war’s meaning. During and immediately after the war, soldiers most often portrayed themselves as consenting to the war, but in later years they presented themselves as the war’s tragic victims. This later portrayal of the soldiers’ experience became the foundation of the metanarrative of tragedy that dominates representations of the war today. Beyond deepening our understanding of the experience of combat in World War One, Professor Smith’s talk challenges us to consider how narration structures experience and, as a consequence, how experience itself is unstable.

Erez Manela is Professor of History at Harvard University. He has published on a variety of topics in international history, including the global ramifications of Wilsonian diplomacy at the conclusion of World War One. Professor Manela’s talk on the relationship between the Paris Peace that ended World War One, decolonization and nationalism will draw on his book The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism. Professor Manela’s transnational history of the Paris Peace’s reverberations in Egypt, India, Korea and China argues that Wilson’s rhetoric of self-determination opened the door to a wave of challenges to the logic of imperialism and the hierarchies of race and civilization that supported it. Disappointment with the Paris Peace’s failure to deliver on the promise of self-determination sparked a revolt against the West and the abandonment of liberal, reformist anti-colonialism for a more radical vision inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. The Wilsonian moment’s profound impact remains with us today.

Sponsored by the Collaboration Project, the Department of History, the Department of Political Science, and the Department of Theatre. Part of the Changing Nature of War and Peace initiative.

For additional information, please contact:

Michael Christofferson
History Department Chair
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Collaboration Project
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