WWI series will explore important role of nurses on Eastern Front

Friday, October 30, 2015

LAWRENCE – A University of Kansas lecture series focused on the lesser-known stories of World War I’s Eastern Front puts nurses in the spotlight for its second public talk.

"More than Binding Men’s Wounds: Women’s Wartime Nursing in Russia during the Great War"  will be presented by Laurie Stoff, Senior Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett Honors College, Arizona State University. Stoff will examine why nurses on the front lines in Russia were indispensable to the war effort. Far from merely binding wounds, they often assumed public leadership roles and provided vital services that put them squarely in traditionally masculine territory, both literally and figuratively.  The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2 at The Commons in Spooner Hall.

The lecture series is part of KU’s World War I Centennial Commemoration, which is being coordinated by the European Studies Program to mark the 100th anniversary of the war.

During the academic year the series, Everyday Lives on the Eastern Front, will bring four nationally recognized experts on WWI to campus to share original research. In addition to public lectures, speakers will explore these themes in workshops with undergraduate and graduate students and members of the community.

According to KU historians Nathan Wood and Erik Scott, the experience of World War I, particularly on its Eastern Front, shaped the modern world in ways that many people today may not realize. The Eastern Front was where the empires of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia and the Ottomans collided and ultimately collapsed, giving rise to new states in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

While the Western Front was defined by trench warfare, the Eastern Front was longer and often porous. It shifted back and forth across civilian populations with dramatically transformative effects, affecting lives at the everyday level. In the region, the Great War was inseparable from revolution, undermining imperial allegiances, generating social and national movements, and changing attitudes about gender and authority.

The remaining talks in the series are listed below:

  •  “The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917,” presented by David Stone, professor of strategy and policy, U.S. Naval War College. 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Hall Center for the Humanities.
  • “A Minor Apocalypse: Everyday Life in Warsaw during the First World War,” presented by Robert Blobaum, Eberly Professor of History, West Virginia University. 7 p.m. March 29, 2016, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

The series and the KU WWI Centennial Commemoration are coordinated by the European Studies Program. KU co-sponsors are the Common Book program; Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies; Center for Global & International Studies; Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures; Department of History; Dole Institute of Politics; Hall Center for the Humanities; Humanities Program; Max Kade Center; Office of Graduate Military Programs; University Honors Program and University Press of Kansas. The Big XII Faculty Fellowship Program is also a sponsor.

More information about upcoming events is available on the European Studies website.