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World War I and the Humanitarian Awakening

Saturday, June 20th at 1:00 p.m. four scholars will be at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum to speak about the international humanitarian response to people who faced starvation during World War I.  At this time, Herbert Hoover began his public service career by leading the Commission for Relief in Belgium.  Many joined him in this effort to relieve human suffering.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with our summer exhibit The Making of the Great Humanitarian: Hoover and World War I.  Historians Branden Little, Jeffrey Miller, Tammy Proctor and Thomas Westerman will provide insight into the band of crusaders who worked with Hoover to feed those in need.  The audience will appreciate the wide and enduring impact of these ‘most effective human angels’ who shared the work of the CRB.

Travel grants from the Hoover Presidential Foundation have supported the research of Little, Proctor and Westerman.  This symposium gives them the opportunity to share the fruits of their research with others.  After the presentations, audience questions will be answered.

Admission to the symposium is free with paid museum admission.

Branden Little Portrait.jpgBranden Little
The First World War and the Ongoing Revolution in Humanitarian Affairs
Branden Little is an Assistant Professor of History at Weber State University (WSU) in Utah, where he researches the international history of the United States and especially humanitarian interventions in the era of the First World War.  He also specializes in U.S. national security policy and the modern history of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.  He is an award-winning author and teacher, and a recipient of many research fellowships including two from the Hoover Presidential Library (2007 and 2011).  Little earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley (2009) and an M.A. in national security affairs from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (2002), receiving prizes for his dissertation and thesis.  Professor Little has published numerous essays and reviews on humanitarian relief and aspects of naval history and has spoken regularly at scholarly conferences and to community organizations in the United States and overseas.  He is completing a book manuscript titled Band of Crusaders: American Humanitarians and the Remaking of the World, 1914-1964, which examines American-led relief and reconstruction activities during two world wars and the early Cold War.  He is also contributing to several international projects for the centenary of the First World War that focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Jeff_Miller.jpg-222x300.jpgJeffrey B.  Miller
Early Days of the War and Tales of Some First Responders
Jeffrey B. Miller has been a writer, editor, and author for nearly forty years. His career includes starting six magazines (city, regional, and national), being editor-in-chief of five inflight magazines, and director of communications for AAA Colorado. He is also the author of Stapleton International Airport: The First Fifty Years, which was the first history book about a major U.S. airport; and co-author with Dr. Gordon Ehlers of Facing Your Fifties: Every Man’s Reference to Mid-life Health, which was one of only three health books that Publishers Weekly included in its Best Books of 2002. His most recent nonfiction book, Behind the Lines, begins to tell the story of Herbert Hoover’s Commission for Relief in Belgium. It has been included in Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014 and is a history finalist in the 17th annual Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards.

Tammy Proctor.jpgTammy Proctor
The Work of the People: Belgian Contributions to Hoover’s Work, 1914-1918

Tammy M. Proctor is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and a graduate of the University of Missouri (BJ Journalism/BA History 1990) and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (MA/PhD History 1995).  She is presently employed as Department Head and Professor of History at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.  Her previous university positions include the H.O. Hirt Professor of History Wittenberg University in Ohio and Assistant Professor at Lakeland College in Wisconsin.

Dr. Proctor's teaching areas include Modern World, Modern Europe, World War I and II, gender, and Victorian Britain. Her research areas of interest are the social and cultural history of World War I, youth, and gender in transnational perspective. Dr. Proctor’s b
ooks include: Female Intelligence Women and Espionage in the First World War, Civilians in a World at War 1914-1918, Scouting for Girls: A Century of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and On My Honor: Guides and Scouts in Interwar Britain.

Westerman Photo.jpgThomas Westerman
The Most Effective Human Angels I’ve Ever Known: Maurice Pate and other ‘Hoovermen’ in World War I Belgium
Thomas D. Westerman, Ph.D., is an upper school history teacher at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC, where he teaches ninth and tenth grade world history. He joined Porter-Gaud in August 2014 following the completion of his Ph.D. in history at the University of Connecticut, where his research focused on American humanitarian efforts in Belgium during the First World War. In 2014 Dr. Westerman published an article, “Touring Occupied Belgium: American Humanitarians at ‘Work’ and ‘Leisure,’ (1914-1917)” in the journal First World War Studies. While studying at UConn, Dr. Westerman developed and taught a variety of courses in U.S. and U.S. diplomatic history at both the Storrs, CT and Stamford, CT campuses, as well as at Adelphi University and Brooklyn College. Dr. Westerman was a Lawrence Gelfand-Armin Rappaport Dissertation Fellow through the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2011 and lived in Belgium for a year as a Belgian-American Educational Foundation Fellow in 2009-2010. He graduated from Adelphi University in 2003 with a BA in History.

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