Uncle Sam Goes to War: The United States in Conflict    30 September 2017


Please register for this event here.America Sleeps

Public Study Day Event. Free admission to all

The First World War Study Days that the University of Southampton has put on since 2014 have focused on the European Empires, trying to place a war often seen as just a series of battles on the Western Front into a global perspective. But what about the United States? This Study Day will provide an opportunity to consider a range of ways that America made its mark on the Great War and vice versa. The University of Southampton has a high number of academics working on the history of modern America, which means this Study Day is able to consider the world superpower’s wartime experiences from a variety of perspectives. At a local level, American troops were housed in Swaythling during the war: what was their experience of Southampton, and what did the locals make of them? Looking to the continent, what was the experience of African-American troops who fought in Europe?

Sessions on the personal and local will sit alongside sessions about the international. Talking soon after the USA’s entry into the war, President Woodrow Wilson argued that ‘We are fighting for what we believe in and wish to be the rights of mankind and for the future peace and security of the world.’ Here, there are obvious echoes in other American Presidents’ speeches throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, which means there are interesting questions to be considered: what impact did the war have on its place in the world order? And what about the means by which America sought to achieve some of its global aims, through science and technology? How far was America’s rise as the global superpower of the modern age a product of its experiences of the First World War?


Speakers and topics will include:

Professor Kendrick Oliver: Science in the Nation’s Service during the Great War: Controversies, Contributions and Legacies

Dr David Cox: Black America and the ‘War for Democracy’

Dr Eleanor Quince: Ladies, Luncheons, and Flight Lieutenants: The US Military Presence in Southampton and its Surroundings during the Great War

Dr Jonathan Hunt: Woodrow Wilson, International Law, and the Great War: From Submarines to Mustard Gas

Dr Christopher Fuller: The Great War and the Roots of American Empire


For more information, please contact Dr Christopher Prior at c.prior@soton.ac.uk.

Chris Prior, University of Southampton

Please register for this event here.

Uncle Sam Goes to War Study Day

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