Dr. Charissa Threat (Wilkinson College Associate Dean and Associate Professor of History) recently served on the “Our War Too” Exhibit Advisory Committee for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. For nearly eighteen months, Dr. Threat and other committee members worked with Kimberly Guise, Senior Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, and Erin Clancy, Associate Vice President of Collections and Exhibits at the National World War II Museum, to advise on every aspect of the exhibit from the planning and design phase through final production of the exhibit. 

On November 11, 2023, Veterans Day, the National World War II Museum in New Orleans opened a special exhibit dedicated to highlighting and examining the service of the nearly 350,000 women who served our nation in uniform during the Second World War. This was the museum’s first exhibit dedicated solely to women in service.

The exhibit recognizes servicewomen’s wartime efforts and speaks to the struggles they overcame from family concerns, negative stereotypes about women serving in uniform, and discrimination they faced, all the while serving their nation at home and in far-flung and sometimes dangerous places around the globe.

Have you ever wondered how museum exhibits like this one come about?

Exhibits are often the result of a collaboration between museum staff, curators, scholars, and historians who are experts on the subject of the exhibit. While many think about the work of academic scholars and historians from the perspective of teaching classes, writing books, or presenting papers, we also use our research knowledge in other ways.

“It was my honor to be asked to serve on the “Our War Too” Exhibit Advisory Committee, said Dr. Threat. “Our tasks included providing feedback and refining the exhibit’s design, reviewing and editing the exhibit graphics, text descriptions of the materials on the displays, and all media for the exhibit, including the script for the introductory film.  We also served as a general resource, suggesting what materials to display, and connecting to other museums and collections for lending and borrowing opportunities. Finally, Advisory Committee members were interviewed for the exhibit’s final film and contributed topical essays for the exhibit catalog, which serves as a companion to the exhibit.”

The exhibit will be displayed at the National World War II Museum from November 11, 2023, through July 21, 2024, when it will begin traveling nationally to other host venues.