Americans fought their wars for democracy at home as well as abroad. Wartime propaganda and policies defined new rules for the status and practice of citizenship in Oregon and across the nation. Women activists, for example, claimed a more complete female citizenship. For women of color and women in ethnic communities, this push intersected with claims and contestations rooted in their racial and ethnic identities and pushed back against a system of white racism that seemed destined and determined to expand. Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants, and hosts of others all engaged in war-related debates and activism that furthered their ongoing claims to civic rights and obligations. Some saw the promise of citizenship through wartime loyalty in support of government programs and the war effort. Others claimed a citizen's right to dissent, often paying a high price to do so. This panel will provide audiences an overview of these histories and create opportunity for discussion about their ongoing legacies today.
Kimberly Jensen is Professor of History and Gender Studies at Western Oregon University. She is the author of Mobilizing Minerva: American Women in the First World War (2008) and is completing a book project "Civic Borderlands: Oregon Women, Citizenship, Civil Liberties and the Surveillance State, 1913-1925."
Adriane Lentz-Smith is Associate Professor of History, Women's Studies, and African & African-American Studies at Duke University. A historian of the black freedom struggle and the United States in the World, she is the author of Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I. She is currently working on a new book project on African Americans and state violence in the post-civil-rights years.
Steven Sabol is Associate Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His forthcoming book, “The Touch of Civilization”: Comparing American and Russian Internal Colonization, is scheduled to be published by the University Press of Colorado in February 2017. In addition, he is co-editing North Carolina During the First World War, forthcoming in late 2017 with the University of Tennessee Press. He is the former editor of two different scholarly journals, Nationalities Papers and First World War Studies.
Ability Accommodation Information
This event provides the following accommodations:
- Handicap Accessible
About the WWI Centennial Series
In recognition of the centennial of the United States’ entry into the First World War, the Oregon Historical Society has organized a series of public programs and a special feature in the Summer 2017 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly that bring together a group of outstanding scholars to engage the public in discussions regarding the war’s history and ongoing legacy. They will address topics such as how and why Americans resisted entering the war, how civil rights activists used the war to advance ongoing campaigns for citizenship, and how WWI-era creation of widespread state surveillance continues today.
With [the]coming to Camp Custer of over 2,000
[African American] soldiers, came [an] urgent need for a place where they might
be entertained in the city. An unused factory room was secured, cleaned,
equipped and put into service by the War Camp Community Service. Here the
[African American] soldier met his civilian friends from the city. Battle
National Archives, NWDNS-165-WW-127(137)
“Ring me again” Third Liberty Loan door placard
Library of Congress
“True Sons of Freedom” poster, Chas. Gustrine, Chicago, 1918.
Print shows African American soldiers fighting German soldiers in World War I, and head-and-shoulders portrait of Abraham Lincoln above.
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, ppmsca 18640 //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.18640