The United States and World War I: Perspectives and Legacies

10.-12.02.2017, Konferenz, Washington


39th Annual Conference of the Historians in the DGFA/GAAS
at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies

Deadline: January 15, 2017

The year 2017 marks the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I. The Great War had a profound impact on the United States and on its global role. The 39th annual conference of historians in the German Association for American Studies provides an opportunity to reassess the war’s significance in U.S. history by focusing on the international and domestic contexts of America’s participation in World War I.


     Friday, February 10

14:30 Arrival, Registration

15:00 Welcome
Manfred Berg (Heidelberg University) and Axel Jansen (German Historical Institute, Washington, DC)

15:15 Panel 1: Preparing for War
Chair: Axel Jansen (German Historical Institute, Washington, DC)

Dirk Bönker (Duke University): A World Power Second to None? The U.S. Navy, Geopolitics, and the Challenge of World War I

Manuel Franz (Heidelberg University): Defense Societies in the Campaign for American Preparedness, 1914-1920

16:45 Coffee Break

17:00 Keynote Lecture
Chair: Manfred Berg (Heidelberg University)

Ross A. Kennedy (Illinois State University): Strategic Calculations in Woodrow Wilson‘s Neutrality Policy, 1914-1917

18:45 Reception (at the HCA)

     Saturday, February 11

9:00 Young Scholars Forum
Program and locations will be announced separately

10:30 Coffee Break

11:00 Panel 2: Mobilization and Propaganda
Chair: Mischa Honeck (German Historical Institute, Washington, DC)

Elisabeth Piller (Trondheim University): American War Relief, Cultural Mobilization and the Myth of Impartial Humanitarianism, 1914-1917

Katja Wüstenbecker (University of Jena/University of Hamburg): How to Mobilize an Unwilling Country for War: The Committee on Public Information

12:30 Lunch Break

14:00 Keynote Lecture
Chair: Axel Jansen (German Historical Institute, Washington, DC)

Jennifer Keene (Chapman University): Deeds Not Words: American Social Justice Movements and World War I

15:30 Coffee Break

16:00 Panel 3: The German American Experience
Chair: Simon Wendt (University of Frankfurt/M.)

Jörg Nagler (University of Jena): The Conflict of Divided Loyalties: German Americans, Their Responses to World War I and the American Home Front

Andreas Hübner (University of Kassel): “We are here as Pro-Americans, as Pro-Louisianians, as Pro-Orleanians”: Reassessing the German American Community of New Orleans during World War I

17:30 Break

17:45 GAAS Historians’ Business Meeting

19:00 Dinner (On Your Own)

     Sunday, February 12

9:00 Panel 4: New Perspectives on the Social Impact of the War
Chair: Wilfried Mausbach (Heidelberg University)

Mischa Honeck (German Historical Institute, Washington, DC): Playing on Uncle Sam’s Team: American Childhoods During World War I

Matthias Voigt (University of Frankfurt/M.): Native American Doughboys in the Great War

10:30 Coffee Break

11:00 Panel 5: Legacies
Chair: Anja Schüler (Heidelberg University)

Charlotte Lerg (University of Münster): World War I and the Birth of Academic Freedom in America

Helke Rausch (University of Freiburg): The Birth of US Philanthropy from the Spirit of War: Rockefeller Philanthropists in World War I

12:30 Lunch/Departure


Manfred Berg; Axel Jansen

Heidelberg University; German Historical Institute, Washington, DC

manfred.berg(at); a.jansen(at)