C.V. Starr Center Fall Events: A Busy Season of Public Programs Lies Ahead

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 12.12.48 PMArmies will clash, tomahawks gleam, and bombs burst in air this semester at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. “We have a busy season of public programs ahead, many of them around the common theme of Americans in wartime, from the forests of colonial Virginia to the Pacific skies of World War II,” says Adam Goodheart, Hodson Trust-Griswold Director for the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

By Adam Goodheart
Hodson Trust-Griswold Director
C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience
Washington College

The exciting centerpiece of our semester is a special Starr Center series, “The Real War: World War II Veterans Speak,”documenting the experiences of individual Americans in the war against fascism. The programs in this series are designed and produced by Washington College students working closely with local veterans of World War II. The students have interviewed more than 40 local veterans over the past year through the Starr Center’s oral history program, StoryQuest, recording vivid firsthand accounts of these men and women’s experiences at the front lines and on the home front. These stories will be shared in an exhibition and multimedia performance, accompanied by a scholarly lecture and World War II film series. (Details below.)

Our fall season begins this afternoon at 4:30 with a talk by the Starr Center’s new writing fellow, James Rice, about the 1622 Indian assault on the fledgling Virginia Colony. Later in the semester, we’ll hear from Washington College’s own Ken Miller about POWs in the Revolution, and from Washington Book Prize winner Andrew O’Shaughnessy about the British leaders who “lost America.” (They’ve often been portrayed as blundering nincompoops at best, sneering sadists at worst — but the reality was quite different.)

All this and much more lies before us like an unstormed beach. (And there are even a few unwarlike events.) For your convenience, the list of highlights below can easily be printed out and refrigerator-magneted to your refrigerator or taped to your dorm-room door. Or you can be high-tech and click on this link: https://www.washcoll.edu/centers/starr/details/events_centers.phpEvery one of these programs is free and open to the public.

Fall Events at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience:

★Note: Events marked with this symbol are part of a special Starr Center series, “The Real War: World War II Veterans Speak,”documenting the experiences of individual Americans in the war against fascism. The programs are designed and produced by Washington College students working closely with local veterans of World War II. The students have interviewed more than 40 local veterans over the past year and gathered stories of these men and women’s experiences at the front lines and on the home front. These stories will be shared in an exhibition and multimedia performance, accompanied by a scholarly lecture and film series. See below for details of individual events.

Thursday, September 4
James Rice, At a Given Signal: The Powhatan “Uprising” of 1622
4:30 p.m., Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall
A little over a decade after the first English colonists settled at Jamestown, Virginia’s native inhabitants rose up in a bloody assault meant to drive the invaders from their shores. The attack killed as many as a third of the colonists and influenced the course of American history. James Rice is the Starr Center’s 2014-15 Patrick Henry Writing Fellow.

★Wednesday, October 1
Donald L. Miller, They Have Seen War: Stories from World War II
4:30 p.m., Norman James Theatre, William Smith Hall
This event and the accompanying exhibition opening (see below) lead off the Starr Center’s special series, “The Real War: World War II Veterans Speak.” Donald Miller is professor of history at Lafayette College and one of the nation’s leading historians of World War II. He will share stories of the wartime experiences that tested and transformed an entire generation of Americans.

★Wednesday, October 1
Exhibition opening: The Real War: World War II Veterans Speak
6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (immediately following Donald Miller event)
RiverArts Gallery, 315 High Street Exhibition to run through November 2
Gallery hours at chestertownriverarts.com or (410) 778-6300
For the past year, as part of the Starr Center’s ongoing oral history program, Washington College students have conducted dozens of interviews with local veterans of World War II. This multimedia exhibition, curated by the students, will feature those veterans’ stories.

★Sunday, October 5
Film screening: Saving Private Ryan (1998)
7:00 p.m., Norman James Theatre, William Smith Hall

Tuesday, October 14
David Mixner, Activism in Our Time
7:00 p.m., Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall
David Mixner is a nationally prominent activist and author best known for his work in the antiwar and gay-rights movements. He will share his experiences and reflections on present-day political activism.

★Sunday, October 19
Film screening: Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
7:00 p.m., Norman James Theatre, William Smith Hall

Thursday, October 23
Ken Miller, Dangerous Guests: Enemy Captives and Revolutionary Communities in the War for Independence
4:30 p.m., Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall
Far from the war’s front lines, another battle was fought over the fate of British captives in American hands. Ken Miller, associate professor of history at Washington College, has just published a book that is the basis of his talk. Reception and signing to follow.

Saturday, November 1
Maryland Emancipation Day
4:00 p.m., Janes United Methodist Church and Charles Sumner Post #25
Several events, hosted by Janes Church and the Sumner Post in downtown Chestertown and cosponsored by the Starr Center, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of emancipation in Maryland.

Thursday, November 6
Andrew O’Shaughnessy, The Men Who Lost America
5:00 p.m., Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts
Winner of the 2014 George Washington Book Prize, O’Shaughnessy has unearthed little-known stories of the British soldiers and politicians on the losing side of the American Revolution. A book-signing and reception will precede the talk starting at 4:00.

★Sunday, November 9
Film screening: Sahara (1943)
7:00 p.m., Norman James Theatre, William Smith Hall

★Tuesday, November 11
The Real War: World War II Veterans Speak
A multimedia performance and exhibition 7:30 p.m., Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts
This Veterans Day event caps off the Starr Center’s six-week program on World War II. An innovative performance piece, produced by Starr Center students working with the Trio Galilei, will present veterans’ stories in words, images, and music. A free dinner for all veterans (of any era) and exhibition will precede the main event.

November, date and location TBA
Marc Leepson, What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life
There was much more to Key than just “The Star-Spangled Banner” – including lifelong engagement with the issue of slavery. Leepson’s new book, published on the national anthem’s bicentennial, is the first biography of Key in more than 75 years.

More information on Starr Center programs is at starrcenter.washcoll.edu.