Above: Evansville, Indiana, celebrates the completion of another ship for WWII.
The Eastern Illinois University’s Departments of History and English, in conjunction with The James Jones Fund for the Study of the Experience of War, will open the 2017 James Jones Symposium on with a keynote presentation on Wednesday, November 8, 7 p.m., in the university’s Doudna Lecture Hall.
Dr. James MacLeod, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Evansville Urbana-Champaign, will present the keynote address titled “Arsenal on the Ohio: The Wartime Transformation of Evansville, Indiana.” In his book, Evansville in World War II, MacLeod explores the city of Evansville’s role during the war. The Evansville Ordnance Plant made 96 percent of all .45-caliber ammunition used in the war, while the Republic Aviation Plant produced more than 6,500 P-47 Thunderbolts–almost half of all P-47s built during the war. At its peak, the local shipyard employed upward of eighteen thousand men and women who forged 167 of the iconic Landing Ship Tank vessels.
The symposium will continue on Thursday, November 9 from 12:30-4:00 p.m. in the Buzzard Hall Auditorium. From 12:30- 1:50 Dr. David Plath will screen So Long Asleep: Waking the Ghosts of War (2016), which he directed. This film chronicles a decades-long project to exhume, memorialize, and repatriate the remains of Koreans who died in Hokkaido while working as forced laborers building a dam and working in mines and factories in Japan during the Asia-Pacific War. The project brought students from Japan and South Korea together in an effort to excavate both remains and histories and in so doing create a community of awareness and mutual respect. Afterward, the University of Illinois professor will lead a discussion.
From 2:00-4:00 Student Paper Session: Works in Progress will be presented.