Speaker series will focus on Americans at war

Story provided by City of Stillwater and Stillwater Public Library

This year, Stillwater Public Library and Oklahoma State University Department of History are collaborating to offer a six-part speaker series designed to engage the community in conversations about “Americans at War.”

The series runs from Sept. 9, 2019-April 13, 2020.

Distinguished scholars with expertise in military themes ranging from the experiences of soldiers and veterans to the impact that war has on society at home, will give hour-long presentations followed by question and answer sessions. All six programs take place on Monday nights starting at 6 p.m. The complete list of speakers and topics includes:

·         Sept. 9: “Blood on Ice: Weather and the Winter of 1861-62 in the Civil War West” with Dr. Kenneth Noe, Auburn University

·         Oct. 14: “Whispers in the Monkey House: An Unnatural History of Zoos in World War II” with Dr. John Kinder, OSU

·         Nov. 11: “Thank You For Your Service: American Soldiers and American Veterans” with Dr. Jennifer Murray, OSU

·         Feb. 10: “Paying for Unpreparedness: The United States Military and the Great War” with Dr. Justin Prince, OSU

·         March 9: “Selling the American Way: U.S. Propaganda and the Cold War” with Dr. Laura Belmonte, Virginia Tech

·         April 13: “Who Can Say They Are Apathetic and Listless Now? Native Americans at Home and Abroad in WWII” with Dr. Douglas Miller, OSU

According to Dr. Jennifer Murray, military historian and assistant professor at OSU, war is one of humankind’s most fundamental and recurring events that Americans have a strong desire to understand.

“Popular culture reinforces our interest in war with a constant stream of films and television shows,” Murray said. “I hope that we can build on this interest and engage our community in meaningful conversations about the impact of war.”

Oklahoma State University provided Murray with a grant to help pay for visiting speakers and to purchase additional books on related topics that will be made available for checkout from the Stillwater Public Library.

“Each speaker is selecting a few books that they think are essential to their topic,” Murray said. “The complete book list will be available on the library’s website and paper copies will be distributed at the events. The library will also feature them on displays throughout the year.”

The first speaker, Dr. Kenneth Noe, is visiting from Auburn University in Alabama. He has written or edited seven books on the Civil War, served on the Advisory Board of the Society of Civil War Historians and was a consultant on the NBC series “Who Do You Think You Are?”

“I’m very pleased that we’re able to bring notable historians to Stillwater for this series,” Murray said. “Dr. Noe is a very well-known Civil War historian and will be sharing his recent research on a book he’s writing about the fascinating and unexpected impact weather had on the Civil War.”

All community members are welcome to attend one or all six programs. Registration is requested to help facilitate seating, light snacks and other accommodations. Please sign-up to on the library’s website at http://library.stillwater.org.

This series is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Stillwater Public Library’s website, call (405) 372-3633, or email [email protected].

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.