Looking Forward

Last night concluded another thought-provoking season of the Colligan History Project, as historian Lynn Dumenil discussed “World War I & the Modern American Woman.” Dumenil explored women’s roles in the Great War through a mixture of patriotic and documentary images of the era, together with silent screen representations featuring iconic early Hollywood stars like Mary Pickford and Irene Castle. While Dumenil acknowledged that World War I certainly transformed women’s lives, she argued that its impact was more complex than might be assumed from iconic images of liberated women in service uniforms or factory overalls.

L-r: Dean Mike Pratt; Susan Spellman; Lynn Dumenil; Matthew Smith; Curtis Ellison

L-r: Dean Mike Pratt; Susan Spellman; Lynn Dumenil; Matthew Smith; Curtis Ellison

The Michael J. Colligan History Project returns February 9 2016, with the next installment of our series “Staging the Past.” Legendary living history performer Hank Fincken assumes the persona of automobile mogul Henry Ford in “Henry Ford: Fit to a ‘T'”. This performance is sponsored with the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, and Mad Anthony Theater Company’s performance of “Camping With Henry And Tom.”

Until next time, stay posted for further updates on local historical events, anniversaries, and programs near you!


Matthew Smith

Assistant Director, Michael J. Colligan History Project

World War I & the Modern American Woman

Lynn Dumenil

Lynn Dumenil

Lynn Dumenil

Robert Glass Cleland Professor of American History, Emerita, Occidental College

Tuesday, November 10 @ 7.30 pm, Harry T. Wilks Conference Center

Popular visual imagery of American women during World War I reveals a key issue of early 20th c. women’s history: the rise of the modern “new woman.” World War I did not cause a major transformation in women’s roles or status, but media attention to women who were engaged in war service at home and abroad helped consolidate the perception of a new woman who challenged boundaries that had restricted women’s lives.

  • Free public event
  • Reception to follow