A “Great Mistake?” Award-Winning Scholar To Challenge Our Assumptions About the First World War

On Friday, September 19, at 5:00 p.m. in the Doudna Lecture Hall, Professor Isabel Hull of Cornell University will present a talk titled “Rethinking the First World War through the Lens of International Law.” The lecture will be based on her recently published book, A Scrap of Paper: Breaking and Making International Law in the First World War (Cornell University Press.)  Professor Hull will argue against the widely held view that the war was “nonsensical,” or “a great mistake.” Rather, the war emerged from the belligerents’ understandings of and relative adherence to international law.

Professor Hull (Ph.D., Yale, 1978) is John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell, where she has taught for her entire career. A specialist in modern and early modern German history, Hull has researched in different fields, including governmentality (The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II), sexuality and politics (Sexuality, State, and Civil Society in Germany, 1700-1815), and military culture (Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany). Professor Hull is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and was recently awarded the first Research Prize of the Max-Weber-Stiftung/Historisches Kolleg for her life’s work in the field of German history.

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This lecture commemorating the centennial of the Great War is co-sponsored by the History Department, the Center for the Humanities, and the Political Science Department. The talk is free and open to the public.
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Translation of Leopold Tyrmand’s: Diary 1954

On April 1 , 2014, Anita Shelton and her collaborator, A.J. Wrobel, published their translation of Leopold Tyrmand’s Diary 1954.  The blurb from the back of the book reads: “Leopold Tyrmand, a Polish Jew who survived World War II by working in Germany under a false identity, would go on to live and write under Poland’s Communist regime for twenty years before emigrating to the West, where he continued to express his deeply felt anti-Communist views. Diary 1954—written after the independent weekly paper that employed him was closed for refusing to mourn Stalin’s death—is an account of daily life in Communist Poland. Like Czesław Miłosz, Václav Havel, and other dissidents who described the absurdities of Soviet-backed regimes, Tyrmand exposes the lies—big and small—that the regimes employed to stay in power. Witty and insightful, Tyrmand’s diary is the chronicle of a man who uses seemingly minor modes of resistance—as a provocative journalist, a Warsaw intellectual, the “spiritual father” of Polish hipsters, and a promoter of jazz in Poland—to maintain his freedom of thought.”

Diary 1954 cover photo

“Absolutely essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the culture, not just the politics, of Stalinism.” – Anne Applebaum, author of Iron Curtain: the Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956.

EIU’s Walhain-Saint-Paul Project Study Abroad Underway in Belgium

Dr. Bailey K. Young has partnered with the Catholic University in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, since 1998, offering a one-month immersion experience in historical archaeology — The Walhain-Saint-Paul Project Study Abroad.

The students completes paperwork as Bailey K. Young looks on (Photo: Debra Reid).

The students completes paperwork as Bailey K. Young looks on (photo: Debra Reid).

The 2014 dig runs from June 28 through July 25 and includes two students from EIU (Nathanial Rees, History, and Bradley Ogilvie, Computer Science) and ten students from nine other universities (alphabetically: Colby College (Maine), Fordham University (NYC), Ohio Wesleyan University, Portland State University; two from the University of Chicago, University of Delaware; University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; University of York, England; Wittenberg University.

Laurent Verslype, director of the Centre de recherches d'archéologie  nationale (CRAN), headquartered at the Université catholique de Louvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve, orients students to the site on June 30, 2014, while his students dig on the medieval residence behind him. (photo: Debra Reid)

Laurent Verslype, director of the Centre de recherches d’archéologie nationale (CRAN), headquartered at the Université catholique de Louvain) in Louvain-la-Neuve, orients students to the site on June 30, 2014, while his students dig on the medieval residence behind him. (photo: Debra Reid)

 

The EIU students received some financial assistance to participate this year, thanks to a Presidential Research & Creative Activity Fund grant awarded to  co-investigators, Bailey K. Young, director of the Walhain project, and Debra A. Reid, to launch a three-year project focused on the rural and agricultural history of the site.

Bailey K. Young orienting students to the features in the Renaissance  portion of the Walhain Castle using a map color coded to the stone types,  prepared by Erika Weinkauf, PhD student at the CRAN and field director of  the excavation (photo: Debra Reid)

Bailey K. Young orienting students to the features in the Renaissance portion of the Walhain Castle using a map color coded to the stone types, prepared by Erika Weinkauf, PhD student at the CRAN and field director of the excavation (photo: Debra Reid)

Reid is also working with Historical Administration student Amanda Hursch to partially fulfill her internship requirement while developing a comprehensive feasibility study for the site’s interpretation and fine-tuning two grant applications).

Amanda Hursch works on clearing a foundation in preparation for future  excavation (Photo: Debra Reid).

Amanda Hursch works on clearing a foundation in preparation for future excavation (photo: Debra Reid).

History graduate program alumns Annie Tock and her husband, Adam Morrisette joined the dig to work on digital humanities components to further the dream of site interpretation. Three more weeks remain, and the future seems bright for finding new features and increasing the data about this important medieval site.

Bailey K. Young and Dana Best-Mizsak, site supervisor and field  laboratory director, conferring over a find   unearthed by Luke Bretscher, University of Chicago. (Photo: Debra Reid)

Bailey K. Young and Dana Best-Mizsak, site supervisor and field laboratory director, conferring over a find unearthed by Luke Bretscher, University of Chicago. (photo: Debra Reid)

You can follow the progress of the dig at The Walhain Saint-Paul Project’s facebook site.