I am looking for one more panelist for the 2003 Western History Association Annual Conference (October 2003, Fort Worth), for a session entitled "World War I, the West, and Patriotism." We wish to invite a third panelist whose paper would focus on the topic of World War I from the perspective of a western state (but not California). As the WHA proposal deadline is fast approaching, please respond by August 19, 2002.
My own research centers on the response of San Francisco's Jewish community to the war, including relief work prior to America's entry, contribution to the war effort at the local, state, and federal levels, and the particular difficulties the war raised for the city's Jews of German descent. For some, the war raised troubling questions of family loyalty. Others, after decades of acceptance, succumbed to pressure to anglicize their names. Most divisive of all, however, was the momentum gained during the War for a Jewish state in Palestine. This issue was especially problematic for members of Reform congregations, for whom war work was a demonstration of patriotism and "undivided loyalties." The divisions raised by this issue would only deepen in decades to come.
The second panelist, Diane M.T. North, (Ph.D., UC Davis, 2001) will focus on the work of the California branch of the American Protective League, whose hyper-patriotic volunteer citizen-spies were authorized to assist the Justice Department. The League regarded itself as the country's second line of defense, stretching the boundaries of the law even as its members used the rhetoric of democracy and the legitimate tools of the state. North's paper discusses the relationship between volunteerism and state-sponsored vigilantism and the consequences of the parallel rise of government and citizen-based domestic security operations.
If interested, please contact me off list at the address below.
Mary Ann Irwin
San Francisco State University, Diablo Valley College, Chabot College, Laney College
247 Brighton Avenue
Hercules, CA 94547
(510) 245-8326 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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