Lander University will host a two-day symposium on the impact of World War I on the South on Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15.
The public is invited to the event, made possible by a grant from South Carolina Humanities.
A new book, “The American South and The Great War, 1914-1924,” published by LSU Press and co-edited by Lander Associate Professor of History Dr. Ryan Floyd, was instrumental in the obtainment of the grant. Floyd will participate in several panel discussions during the symposium, as will his co-editor, Dr. Matthew Downs, assistant professor of history at the University of Mobile, Alabama.
Seven of the nine authors who contributed essays to Floyd’s book will also take part in the event. They include Dr. Angela Jill Cooley, associate professor of history at Minnesota State University, Mankato; Dr. Keith Gorman, assistant dean for Special Collections & University Archives at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; Dr. Fritz Hamer, curator & archivist of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum; former University of South Carolina faculty member and historian Dr. Janet Hudson; Claflin University Assistant Professor of History Dr. Kathryn M. Silva; Ms. Kathelene Smith, instruction & outreach archivist at UNC-Greensboro; and Furman University Assistant Professor of History Dr. Courtney Tollison.
Panel discussions include “The Military, Foreign Policy & World War I”; “Women, Patriotism & World War I”; “Local Stories: World War I, Greenwood and the S.C. Upstate”; “Race Relations and World War I”; “Southern Agriculture and World War I”; “The South’s Economy and World War I”; and “Stories from across the South: How World War I Affects Our Region.” In another session, undergraduate students from Lander and Presbyterian College will present selected papers that they wrote on Greenwood and South Carolina.
“I think people will enjoy listening to some unique stories that have never been published. This is original research by these kids,” Floyd said.
Others expected to speak at the symposium include former Greenwood Mayor Welborn Adams; veteran and American Legion Post 20 member Dale Kittles; and Trey Ward, president of John Ward Painting. Adams, Kittles and Ward will discuss the controversy over Greenwood’s old World War I memorial, which lists veterans by race.
Floyd credited Dr. Lucas McMillan, dean of Lander’s College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, with putting the symposium together, and predicted that it would be exciting.
“It’s going to be a very comprehensive kind of discussion. These are very knowledgeable folks who are coming,” he said.
Members of the public desiring to attend the symposium can register by going to www.lander.edu/ww1.
While not required, registration is recommended.
The symposium is made possible through the generous support of S.C. Humanities. The mission of South Carolina Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. This not-for-profit organization presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and humanities-based experiences that reach more than 250,000 citizens annually. South Carolina Humanities receives funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as corporate, foundation and individual donors. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.