Masculinity/race on WWII homefront explored at 9th Annual James Jones Lecture Series

Matthew L. Basso, is Associate Professor of History and Gender Studies at the University of Utah, presented a fascinating talk, drawing from his highly regarded book, Meet Joe Copper: Masculinity & Race on Montana’s World War II Home Front (U of ChicagoBasso matt headshot copy Press) at the Ninth Annual James Jones Lecture Series the evening of November 4, 2015, at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL.

Basso’s talk explored home-front men’s relationship to the federal government, wartime popular culture, and the two protagonists of America’s “Greatest Generation” World War II story: men who served in the military (commonly called Citizen Soldiers) and women who entered the war-production job force (comBasso mjc covermonly called Rosie the Riveter).

The Inaugural James Jones Symposium was held on the same date in the afternoon. The symposium featured undergraduate and faculty papers on and discussion of aspects of World War II, focused through the lens of history and literature. Basso was the respondent.

The following papers were presented:

Jinhee J Lee (Associate Professor, History and Asian Studies): “Racism without Race and the Origin of ‘Korea-phobia’ in Imperial Japan and Beyond”

Kevin Lux (Undergraduate Student, History): “American Media and Perspectives on the Air-bombing of Japanese Cities during World War II”

Marjorie Worthington (Professor, English): “Coming All the Way Home: Fictions of Post-War Trauma” (See the separate blog post below for Dr. Worthington’s entire paper)

Joelene Quinn (Undergraduate Student, History): “‘Thanks Babe, But We’ll Take It from Here’: Shifting Public Opinion of Women Military Members in World War II”

The lecture and symposium were sponsored by EIU Department of English and of History, the James Jones Literary Society, the College of Arts & Humanities, and the EIU Humanities Center.


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