Campus reflects on how WWI made today through a series of events this fall

Last year, Associate Professor of Communication Joe Sheller began exploring ways in which the campus community could reflect upon the 100th anniversary of the “war to end all wars” – World War I.

“The response was enthusiastic,” Sheller said. “Numerous faculty members from many disciplines, as well as key staff members, have become involved in a series of informal meetings this spring semester to think about what such a remembrance might look like.”

The result is a Fall 2014 semester-long compilation of discussion, music, literature, film and historical display that examine the 1914 war’s influence on society, even a century later. Sheller and planning committee have named the series, “A Century of Glory and Shame: Mount Mercy Reflects on How World War I Made Today.”

“It wasn’t America’s bloodiest war, nor the world’s. But World War I had a profound impact,” Sheller wrote in a June 21, 2014, guest column for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “It ended a 19th-century sense of optimism, and initiated the era that we live in now. It redrew the world map, often in capricious and ineffective ways, setting up problems that bedevil us today.”

The series will open in late August with the help of professors and faculty from across Mount Mercy’s wide gamut of programs including nursing, English, music and communications. The kick-off event will include an evening panel discussion that takes a broad look at the historic and cultural legacy of WWI and a reception to highlight the historical displays in the Busse Library.

The series will host bi-monthly events through November 11, Veterans Day, but also Armistice Day marking the end of WWI in 1918. The campus community as well as the greater Cedar Rapids community will be invited to attend all events.

Keep a watchful eye on Mount Mercy’s event calendar, which will list all events as details are confirmed.


Written by Kelli Sanders