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UC College of Arts and Sciences Honors WWI Centenary by Hosting International Scholar

World-renowned German Empire scholar Roger Chickering will share his perspective on the impact of World War I on 20th century development in Germany at the Nov. 16 Werner E. Von Rosenstiel lecture.

Date: 11/14/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Julie Campbell
Phone: (513) 556-4350
Photos By: Provided

UC ingot  
Roger Chickering, PhD, will deliver this year’s Werner E. Von Rosenstiel lecture, entitled “Imperial Germany’s Peculiar War: 1914-1918.”

The lecture will be held from 3:30-5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16, in McMicken Hall room 127. The lecture is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati's Department of History and co-sponsored by the Taft Research Center, the European studies program, the Department of German Studies and the Department of Political Science’s program in security studies. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Chickering’s lecture addresses Germany’s experience in World War I (1914-1918), the primordial catastrophe and matrix event of the 20th century. Historians say that Germany followed a “peculiar path” into modernity. To what extent was its war experience peculiar, especially in relation to that of England and France? Chickering offers a response to this question at the centenary of the Battle of Verdun, fought between Germany and France, the longest and one of the most costly battles in history with over 300,000 soldiers killed.

Chickering is one of the foremost authorities on the history of the German Empire and an internationally renowned scholar of War and Society Studies. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the National Humanities Center and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. His publications include his hugely successful Imperial Germany and the Great War, 1914-1918, now in its third edition, and From Bismarck to Hitler: German History in the First Era of the Nation-State, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. UC is honored to host a scholar of such accomplishment and distinction as part of its remembrance of the First World War.
Roger Chickering
Roger Chickering

“The imposing breadth of his learning has made Roger Chickering a principal figure in building the transatlantic community of German and American historians,"said College of Arts and Sciences Assistant Professor Jeff Zalar, a specialist in modern Germany history.

"He continues to function in this role today. At one time or another he held leadership or executive advisory positions at Central European History, the top journal in the field in English, the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., the German Studies Association, the BMW Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown and Cambridge University Press. The signs of his intellectual influence over the arc of his remarkably active and ranging career are simply everywhere,” he said.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our UC community to learn more about WWI from an international scholar,” said Ken Petren, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “I’m proud of the college’s efforts to work together to provide this experience for our students.”

Cincinnati Remembers World War I – Looking Back on 2014
UC, with significant collaboration among community partners, also recognized the centenary of WWI in 2014. UC History Professor Lily Frierson organized WWI and the Arts: Sound, Vision, Psyches. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute ran from June 23 to July 20, 2014. It assembled a dozen renowned historians of the Great War to lead 25 college and university research and teaching faculty in an intensive course of readings on and discussions about the First World War and the arts.

This Institute was part of a citywide series of community events marking the centenary of the war. Cincinnati Remembers World War I began on Veterans Day 2013 and continued through December 2014. Among the events held at this time was the Cincinnati Opera’s performance of Silent Night, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

About the Annual Werner E. von Rosenstiel Lecture 
After studying history at UC and returning to Germany, Werner E. Von Rosenstiel (1911-2008) was drafted into Adolf Hitler's army. Appalled by the behavior of the Nazi Party, which he witnessed first-hand in Berlin during the infamous “Night of Broken Glass,” he petitioned for permission to return to the United States to continue his education. Later, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, rose to the rank of lieutenant, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and investigated leaders of the Third Reich at the Nuremberg Trials, during which he served as a translator. He wrote about his experiences in his 2006 book, Hitler’s Soldier in the U.S. Army. A devoted historian, philanthropist and lecturer, Von Rosenstiel endowed a fund at UC that provides grant money for conference and research travel as well as language study to students specializing in modern European history. Students in other fields who have a research interest in modern Europe are also eligible to apply for support.

UC's history department hosts 25 faculty members who study and teach about the history of the world’s most pressing issues, from the War on Drugs to Russia’s military aggression against its neighbors to conflict between Muslims, Christians and Jews. More than 200 undergraduate history majors and 40 Masters and PhD students delve into these and other important questions in courses and research projects. Students learn how to conduct research; utilize the tools of Digital Humanities; write and speak more clearly and effectively; and gather, sort and analyze concisely the primary and secondary sources that constitute the field. These cognitive skills are among the most sought-after by prospective employers in manifold career fields today.