Eight Students Represent Chapman at National Conference

The Chapman MA Program in War and Society Studies was well represented at the 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for Military History held in Columbus, Ohio from May 9-12, 2019. The theme of the conference, “Soldiers and Civilians in the Cauldron of War,” allowed Chapman University students a chance to showcase their expertise in a wide range of topics on the relationships between war and society.

On Saturday, May 11th, three Chapman students presented their work based on research conducted in the university’s Center for American War Letters. The panel, titled “The Thrills and Horrors of War,” included Kalie Rudolph who gave her paper on “Battling Disease and the Germans: A Soldier’s

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MA War and Society students at the Society for Military History Annual Meeting with Professor Keene

Struggle to Maintain Good Health During the Great War.” Montserrate Gastelum followed with a discussion on “The Patriotic Volunteer,” a review of World War I participation from both soldiers and civilians. Finally, Robbie Del Toro presented on the American war in Vietnam with his paper, “Duality of Man: What Identity Takes Over in Combat?”

On Sunday, three Chapman graduate students participated on the panel “The Cauldron of War: Reflections of Society in War Letters.” Lara Jacobson presented her work on World War II in a paper called “Naivety in the Pacific.” Jesse Faugstad followed with a conversation on the Cold War, “Fighting to Live: The American Dream at War.” Dominic So completed the trio with a paper on “Humanity Amidst the Inhumanity of the Vietnam War.”

Finally, two War and Society students were part of the panel “Ungentlemanly Warfare: Reassessing Wartime Gender Identity in the Modern Era.” Cameron Carlomagno presented a portion of her MA thesis, “Women in a Man’s War: The Employment of Female Agents in the Special Operations Executive, 1940-1946.” And Paige Gulley showcased her work in American war letters with “‘After all, who takes care of the Red Cross’s morale?’: The Importance of Camaraderie among Red Cross Clubmobile Workers during World War II.”

All eight students represented Chapman in exemplary fashion. As Professor Charissa Threat of the Department of History described it, the occasion “afforded our students the ability to collaborate and socialize with experts in the field of military history, discussing advance research techniques, historic methodologies, real-world applications and employment opportunities.” Threat, who also chaired a panel at the conference, shared how “our students did a phenomenal job of delivering and discussing their original research in presentations to attendees at the conference.”

Of note, also in attendance and moderating a panel on the aftermath of World War I was Professor Jennifer Keene, the incoming Dean of Wilkinson College, who successfully completed her two-year term as the president of the Society for Military History.