WWII Emerging Scholars Symposium

The Eisenhower, Roosevelt, and Truman Presidential Libraries launched our inaugural emerging scholars symposium to commemorate D-Day in June 2021. This virtual symposium focuses on specialized topics related to the Allied effort during World War II. The 2021 theme is unsung heroes and lesser known subjects. Each program wraps up with a Scholar Spotlight where we get to know a little bit more about each of these up and coming scholars.

The 2022 theme emerges from famed World War II reporter Ernie Pyle’s work “Here Is Your War.” This symposium seeks to examine the reporting of the war from the front, news of home to those fighting, and war propaganda that helped unite the two. Our goal is to enhance the future of WWII scholarship by examining lesser-known topics and showcasing new and emerging scholars. 

 2022 Theme: "Here Is Your War: Military, Press, and Homefront Visions of War"

Wednesday, June 1: 

Thomas Arnold
"Learning How to Love America in 1941: Building the US Army's WWII Public Relations Machine"

Thursday, June 2: 

Tyler Bamford, Ph.D.
"The Spoils Of War: US Soldiers' Souvenirs of World War II in Wartime Reporting"

Thursday, June 2: 

Ryan Poff
"Unduly Harrowing": Film Media Portrayals of Combat in World War II"

Friday, June 3: 

Nataliia Zalietok
"Periodicals As a Source For the Research on the Women's Service in the Soviet Armed Forces (1941-1945)"


2021 Series: Unsung Heroes and Lesser-Known Subjects

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Children and Dogs for Defense
Hannah Palsa
Dogs for Defense formed in 1942. The organization convinced owners to donate their pets for military service. American children wrote letters to donate pets, and saved allowance money to purchase their dogs a military rank through the War Dog Fund. Children’s literature and popular movies about war dogs explained how dogs were used in the war effort and why they were needed. This presentation will examine how children understood and engaged with the Dogs for Defense organization during the United States’ involvement in World War II.

Flight Neuroses in World War II
Jorden Pitt
Many flyers feared they were cowards because of their mental illness in World War II. Adding to the men’s anguish, officers often agreed with this label because the airmen did not evince the masculine qualities necessary to represent the Air Forces. Officers declared that sufferers “lacked moral fiber” and “intestinal fortitude.” Ultimately, this stigmatization of psychological distress in the Army Air Forces exposes a link between broader gender concerns about masculine fortitude and mental health.

How D-Day Shaped GI Joe
Kendall Cosley
War reporters captured the danger, action, and perseverance of the GIs who secured the beaches on D-Day, yet their contributions often go unacknowledged. This presentation will explore the experiences of war correspondents who witnessed the efforts of the Allied troops. Adding their stories into the narrative of D-Day will demonstrate how the reporters depicted and solidified the iconic image of the tired, dirty, and war-hardened GI who endured in the face of great odds.


Flight Nursing in WWII 
Amanda Hess
Necessitated by truly global conflict, a highly-specialized sub-field of the military nursing profession was successfully integrated into the Medical Air Evacuation mission during World War II. This presentation will examine the history of the flight nurse specialty from its civilian roots to its incorporation as a key element of the Medical Air Evacuation Squadrons and the institutional roadblocks that mass air evacuation would overcome to become one of the most successful advancements in military medicine.



More D-Day Resources

Last Revised Date
June 06, 2022