Dr. Lynn Dumenil
Talk on September 29 at 12pm
Memorial Union Building, MTU
“Women & the Great War”
Professor Dumenil’s talk focuses on popular culture images of women in World War I. That conventional notions of womanhood persisted suggests the continuing power of expectations about women’s traditional roles in the family. The attention given to “modern” women’s war service and heroic activism offered dramatic evidence of boundary-crossing women. But the media’s fascination with the novelty of women at war undoubtedly led it to exaggerate the degree to which American women challenged gender conventions and helps us to understand why many observers believed — inaccurately — that the war would prove transformative in reshaping women’s lives.
Lynn Dumenil (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is Robert Glass Cleland Professor of American History, Emerita, at Occidental College. She has also taught at Berkeley, Whitman College, and Claremont McKenna College. She specializes in U.S. women’s history and cultural and social history since the Civil War. Dumenil is the author of The Second Line of Defense: American Women and World War I (2017); The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s (1995); and Freemasonry and American Culture, 1880-1930 (2014); and co-author of Through Women’s Eyes: An American History (2008); America: A Concise History, and America’s History (2006). Her current project is The Women Behind the Men Behind the Gun: Working Women in World War II (Bedford, 2019). She has lectured extensively in the United States, as well as internationally. She was selected for an OAH/Japanese American Studies Association two-week teaching residency in Japan (1998). In 2001-02, she held the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland and in 2008 was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Rome.
Image: Yeomanettes Drill, from the National Archives and Records Administration (RG165-WW-598B-1)