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Why We Fight: War, Conflict, and Community

University of South Carolina Aiken
Saturday, November 11, 2017

This year’s event is co-sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy and the Office of Veteran and Military Student Success at the University of South Carolina Aiken. 

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Event Program

View the program for the 2017 Palmetto Connections Conference


This year’s theme is "Why We Fight: War, Conflict, and Community." The year 2017 marks the centennial of America’s entrance into World War I. The Great War (1914-1918) helped shape the modern world in many ways, from the creation of new national boundaries and alliances, to the shifting of relations between labor and government, to changing understandings of war and conflict. Above all, it altered the way ordinary people thought about patriotism and citizenship, both at the national and local level. We hope to use this anniversary to initiate conversations about war, conflict, and community. 

Jeanne PetitKeynote Speaker

The keynote speaker will be Jeanne Petit, Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. The title of Dr. Petit's address is, "Mobilizing the Spiritual Resources of the Nation: Protestants, Catholics, and Jews in the World War I United States." 

Dr. Petit is the author of The Men and Women We Want: Gender, Race and the Progressive Era Literacy Test Debate (Rochester Press, 2010). Her most recent article is “Working for God, Country, and ‘Our Poor Mexicans’: Catholic Women and Americanization at the San Antonio National Catholic Community House, 1919-1924,” Journal of American Ethnic History (Spring 2015). Petit’s current research examines how Catholic laywomen became involved in national debates during the World War I era, as well as interfaith movements during World War I, particularly the 1918 United War Work Campaign.

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About Aiken, SC

For more information about the symposium, contact the Program Committee co-chairs:

Dr. Meaghan Dwyer-Ryan, Assistant Professor of History, USC Aiken:

Dr. Elizabeth Georgian, Associate Professor of History, USC Aiken:

471 University Parkway · Aiken, South Carolina 29801 · 803-648-6851 ·