Symposium Schedule

Unless noted below, all sessions will be held in the Abney Cultural Center Auditorium.


Thursday, March 14

12:30-1:45       “Women, Patriotism, and WWI”                 

Panelists: Dr. Keith Gorman, Dr. Janet Hudson, Dr. Kathryn Silva, Ms. Kathelene Smith

Moderator: Ms. April Akins

This panel showcases the roles of women during WWI and afterward to understand cultural and economic changes. It provides a case study of the work in N.C. women’s colleges and provides an overview of evolving social relationships by women and men during the early 20th century, including African-American who worked in textile mills. Panelists will also speak on promoting local history and mobilizing “citizen archivists.”


2:00-3:15         “The U.S. Military, Foreign Policy, and WWI”

Panelists: Dr. Ryan Floyd, Dr. Keith Gorman, Dr. Fritz Hamer, Dr. Courtney Tollison

Moderator: Dr. Stefan Wiecki

This panel considers the Wilson presidency and the movement toward U.S. involvement in WWI, the S.C. Council of Defense, military planning, and patriotism by women and men.  Panelists will discuss the impact of the South upon the U.S. military during WWI and beyond.


3:30-4:45         “Race Relations in the South and WWI”

Panelists: Dr. Jill Cooley, Dr. Matthew Downs, Dr. Janet Hudson, Dr. Kathryn Silva

Moderator: Dr. Kevin Witherspoon

This panel discusses white supremacy and the evolving roles of non-white persons and organizations such as the NAACP during the years before, during, and after WWI.  The panelists’ work has focused primarily on the history of Alabama and the Carolinas.


6:00-7:30          “Local Stories: WWI, Greenwood, and the S.C. Upstate”

Panelists: Mr. Welborn Adams, Mr. Dale Kittles, Mr. Trey Ward, Dr. Keith Gorman, Rev. Christopher Thomas, Dr. Courtney Tollison

Moderator: Dr. Ryan Floyd

This panel focuses upon the impacts of WWI locally, especially in race relations that emerged because of the war and understood with the case of Greenwood’s war memorial. Mr. Adams, Mr. Kittles, and Mr. Ward will discuss the case and the motivations for their actions. Rev. Thomas will offer his perspective as the coordinator for a new memorial to Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, a native of Greenwood County who became the first non-white and non-political leader to have a statue in the county. The scholars will provide analysis such that Dr. Floyd’s scholarship focuses on WWI and Southern history, Dr. Gorman studies the politics of commemoration, and Dr. Tollison is a public historian who publishes on S.C. history.



Friday, March 15

12:30-1:45       “Southern Agriculture and WWI”

Panelists: Dr. Jill Cooley, Dr. Ryan Floyd      Moderator: Dr. Lucas McMillan

This panel examines cotton farming, the textile industry, food culture and regulation, food spaces, and the structural changes to farming in the South related to sharecropping and machinery, from a social, economic, and political lens.


2:00-3:15         “The South’s Economy and WWI”
Panelists: Dr. Matthew Downs, Dr. Ryan Floyd, Dr. Jill Cooley

Moderator: Dr. Courtney Tollison

This panel focuses upon the manufacturing economy as well as how transportation advances, in roads and seaports, affected the South’s economic development, during WWI and afterward.


3:30-4:45         “Undergraduate Presentations, Sessions 1 and 2”
(Learning Ctr. 200 & 300)

Panelists: TBD (students from Lander University and Presbyterian College)         

Panel Chairs: Dr. Franklin Rausch, Dr. Stefan Wiecki

Discussants: To be chosen from visiting historians and faculty once papers are selected.


6:00-7:30         “Stories from across the South: How WWI Affects Our Region”

Panelists: Dr. Jill Cooley, Dr. Fritz Hamer, Dr. Janet Hudson, Dr. Kathryn Silva, Ms. Kathelene Smith                         

Moderator: Dr. Matthew Downs

This panel presents an “overview from the experts” on the broad impacts of WWI on the South, highlighting the economic, social, and political transformations that began during the war and continued after its conclusion. Scholars discuss changes in agriculture and manufacturing that affected the economy; shifts in women’s roles and the place of non-white citizens; and the South’s role in military planning through recruitment of soldiers, placement of military installations, and in shaping foreign policy decisions during WWI and in later conflicts.