World War I Centennial Symposium at UWO and Oshkosh Public Museum


To commemorate the Great War’s centennial and explore the art, culture and history of World War I, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and the Oshkosh Public Museum are hosting a series of lectures each afternoon on October 2–4, followed by a special presentation nightly at 6 p.m. Admission is free to attend the World War I Centennial Symposium.

Tuesday, Oct. 2
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre (Reeve 307), UW Oshkosh
Art from the Trenches: German Artists and World War I, Susan Maxwell, art history professor
From Enthusiasm to Condemnation: Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front and the Lost Generation, Monika Hohbein-Deegen, German professor

1:20-2:50 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre (Reeve 307), UW Oshkosh
Panel Discussion: Unanticipated Consequences – Europe and WWI, Andrea Jakobs, history and religious studies lecturer, Karl Loewenstein, associate history professor, Michelle Mouton, associate history professor
Did the First World War Emancipate Women? European Women in the War and Thereafter, Michelle Mouton, associate history professor

6-7 p.m., Oshkosh Public Museum
All the Hometown Boys: Connecting the Experience of War to Local Men, Brad Larson, Oshkosh Public Museum director, Rebecca Matzke, associate history professor at Ripon College

Wednesday, Oct. 3
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre (Reeve 307), UW Oshkosh
War and Memorials, Emmet Sandberg, assistant art professor
Close Ranks: African Americans and World War I, Michelle Kuhl, associate history professor

1:20-2:50 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre (Reeve 307), UW Oshkosh
The Two Faces of Patriotism, Rick Pifer, Wisconsin Historical Society
1918 Flu in Oshkosh, Teri Shors, biology professor

6-7 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre (Reeve 307), UW Oshkosh
– Film: The Hello Girls, A Lincoln Penny Films Production

Thursday, Oct. 4
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre (Reeve 307), UW Oshkosh
WWI and Irish America, Tom Rowland, history lecturer
Americans Against WWI, Stephen Kercher, history professor

1:20-2:50 p.m., Reeve Union Theatre (Reeve 307), UW Oshkosh
Sports Writers Cover the War, Scott Emmert, English professor
Posts from the Second Battlefield: Memoirs of WWI Nurses, Marguerite Helmers, English professor emerita

6-7 p.m., Oshkosh Public Museum
American Music of WWI, Julia Chybowski, associate music professor, Oshkosh high school singers

Throughout the symposium, the For Home and Country: World War I exhibition will be on display at the Oshkosh Public Museum. This riveting exhibition focuses on first-hand experiences of local men and women during the war, allowing visitors to virtually “step into their shoes” for an unbelievable journey into this turbulent period.

As part of the celebrations to honor and remember the hundredth anniversary of World War I, throughout this past year the Oshkosh WWI Commemoration committee placed 12 life-sized standees at select Oshkosh businesses. Each cutout represents someone who lived in Oshkosh during the war based on information and historic photos obtained through the Museum’s archival collection. All standees will be at the UW Oshkosh campus in Reeve Union’s Steinhilber Gallery during the symposium.

The Oshkosh WWI Commemoration committee is asking all churches to participate in “Bells of Peace: A World War I Remembrance” by ringing your bells for five minutes at 11 a.m. on November 11. This national bell tolling event honors the centennial of the armistice and is a great act of patriotism and respect for the 4.5 million Americans who answered the call, and prevailed against the forces of tyranny a century ago. If your church or organization is interested in participating in this event, please contact Karla Szekeres at the Oshkosh Public Museum at 920.236.5763 or email

For Home and Country: World War I will be on view at the Oshkosh Public Museum through October 7. Located at 1331 Algoma Boulevard, regular hours are Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1–4:30 p.m. General admission to the Museum is: Adults $8, Seniors (62+) $6, College Students $6, and Children (age 6-17) $4. Admission is free for Museum Members and children under age six. For more information about the Museum’s exciting events and exhibits, call 920.236.5799, email, or visit


About Author

Karla Szekeres Oshkosh Public Museum Civic Contributor

The Oshkosh Public Museum is a non-profit regional history museum entrusted with the care of more than 300,000 historical photographs, documents, and artifacts that represent the history, culture and heritage of the region. Housed in the historic Sawyer home since 1924, the Oshkosh Public Museum is an amazing resource for research and discovery of Oshkosh and the Lake Winnebago region. Situated just off the Fox River near historic downtown Oshkosh, the Museum’s mission is to preserve the area’s colorful legacy, and to bring history to life through innovative exhibitions and educational programs that will both inspire and entertain guests of all ages and interests.

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