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Florida Tech Faculty Examine Legacies of World War I at Community Event Friday

Presentations Start at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Evans Library           

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Faculty from Florida Tech’s School of Arts and Communication will explore the multifaceted legacies of World War I at a public event Friday, Nov. 9, at the university’s Evans Library.

The free event, just two days before the 100th anniversary of the Nov. 11, 1918, armistice that ended the conflict known as the War to End All Wars, will feature five short presentations and a question-and-answer session, as well as light refreshments.

There will also be a display of World War I items, including medals, books, posters, a trench map, and even toys that help to highlight the commemoration of the war.

The speakers and presentations are:

  •  Robert Taylor, “After Johnny Came Marching Home: The World War I Veteran in American Life.” Taylor, who is also serving as master of ceremonies, will be presenting on how America dealt with World War I demobilization, services to veterans, the rise of veterans groups like the American Legion, and how veterans fared during the Depression years of the 1930s. Their very real impact on the post-1945 treatment of World War II veterans into the 1950s will also be discussed.
  • Gordon Patterson, “The Great Influenza Pandemic: War, Pathogens, and History.” Patterson will discuss the impact of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918, known in popular memory as the “Spanish Flu,” and its often-forgotten legacy as one of the most severe and deadly pandemics in human history.
  • Matthew Ruane, “Commemorating the Great War: Why the National World War One Museum and Memorial is in Kansas City.” The narrative of the Liberty Memorial’s construction, dedication and subsequent history plays an important role in the nation’s commemoration and remembrance of the period 1914-1918. Ruane will examine why the monument is located in Kansas City and how it reflects the discussion of the Great War’s importance during this centennial year.
  • Michael Finnegan, “Harold Krebs – Hemingway’s Tormented Hero.” Finnegan will talk about Ernest Hemingway’s Soldier’s Home. Through character analysis and focus on specific details from Hemingway, he will present the notion that Harold Krebs, the protagonist of Hemingway’s short story, was suffering from what was then called “shell shock” and is now commonly accepted as post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Jacob Ivey, “’It must be given the death-blow at all costs:’ The Legacies of the Russian Revolution.” The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 is considered by many to be one of the most important events of the 20th century. Ivey will discuss the revolution’s legacy in the decade following the Great War, specifically how it became a call to revolution not just within Russia, but across Europe and the globe.

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A related event is taking place Nov. 14 at the library’s second-floor Link Room. Presented by faculty member Andy Stanfield, “Personal Memoirs: Tools and Techniques for Writing Personal Histories and Creative Nonfiction” is a writing workshop where participants will learn techniques to use their personal experiences and histories to help create works of literature, taking inspiration from the memories preserved by the civilians and soldiers impacted by World War I.

This free, public event will run from 6:30-8 p.m.

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