Williams College Remembers the First World War

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, executive assistant; tele: 413-597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 1, 2018—Williams College is hosting a variety of events and programming in 2018 to commemorate the centennial of the First World War. All events are free and open to the public.

In January 2018, the Romance Languages Department at Williams College sponsored a French Film Festival at Images Cinema, “La Grande Guerre: Remembering the Great War.” The festival featured three French films about the First World War, with introductions by Brian Martin, professor of French and comparative literature.

The exhibition “The Great War at 100: Williams College and Beyond,” on view through December 31 in Sawyer Library’s Chapin and Schow Galleries, features items from the College Archives that highlight wartime contributions of Williams students, faculty, and alumni, among them Major Charles W. Whittlesey, Class of 1905, celebrated for his leadership of the “Lost Battalion,” and Professors Jean Norton Cru and his brother Albert, who took an extended leave from Williams to fight for their native France. Also on view is a series of First World War posters and a collection of notable photographs, documents, and literature from the war.

A lecture series will be held in October 2018 that features talks by Susan McCready, professor of French at the University of South Alabama, and Raffael Scheck, professor of history at Colby College. McCready will discuss “Remembering and Forgetting: The Great War in France” on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 6 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. Scheck will examine “German Society and Politics During the First Total War, 1914-1918” on Tuesday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3.

In addition to these public programs, throughout the academic year at Williams, students and faculty are exploring the legacy of the First World War in four classes across several departments. Brian Martin, professor of French, is teaching a course “Remembering the Great War” in comparative literature. Jim Wood, professor of history, is teaching a tutorial on “The Great War.” In the German department, two courses are being taught which focus in part on the First World War: Helga Druxes, professor of German, is teaching “Reisefieber: Germans on the Road”; and Gail Newman, professor of German, is teaching “Silence, Loss, and (Non)Memory in Austria.

This commemoration of the First World War at Williams College was co-organized by Brian Martin, professor French; Helga Druxes, professor of German; Jane Canova, administrative director for the Center for Foreign Languages; Lisa Conathan, head of special collections of Sawyer Library; Wayne Hammond, Chapin librarian; Sylvia Kennick Brown, archivist and special collections librarian; and alumnae Andrea Rodas ‘18 and Sophie Wunderlich ’18.


For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications 413-597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map