Day Two – Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Lecture – “What You’re Fighting For: American Women in World War II” by Kara Dixon Vuic

Lecture – “African American Soldiers’ Experiences in U.S. Wars” by Françoise Hamlin

Objectives: Complete assigned readings on World War II to support Faculty presentations. Recommended readings are provided to explore additional content. Also see Day One reading collections for recommendations.

Key Questions

  1. How did soldiers view the “Good War” as they served in it?
  2. What motivated soldiers of different backgrounds to serve in the war?

Assigned Readings

Assigned readings provide support for Faculty and Staff presentations on their respective days.

  • Kara Dixon Vuic, Excerpts from The Girls Next Door: Bringing the Homefront to the Front Lines (2019)
  • Françoise N. Hamlin, Select primary sources from These Truly Are the Brave: An Anthology of African American Writings on War and Citizenship (eds. Jimoh, A. Yemisi and Françoise Hamlin) (2015)

Recommended Readings

Recommended readings include additional material to expand upon faculty presentations, Choices Program curriculum units, and other content focused on teaching about war.

  • Françoise N. Hamlin, Excerpt from Crossroads at Clarksdale: The Black Freedom Struggle in the Mississippi Delta after World War II (2012)
  • Choices Program, Japanese American Incarceration in World War II  (Note: We encourage you to browse through our curriculum’s Student Text and Teacher Resource Book, but we are not asking you to read the entirety of the curriculum.)

Additional Readings

Part I of the Framework: World War II Collection (combined into one reading)

  • Gerhard Weinberg, “The Global Threat and the Case for War,” an excerpt from A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994)
  • Walter LaFeber, “The Economic Origins of the Pacific War,” an excerpt from The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations Through History (1997)

Part II of the Framework: World War II Collection

  • Allan Bérubé, “Marching to a Different Drummer: Lesbian and Gay GIs in World War II” and “Coming Out Under Fire” in My Desire for History: Essays in Gay, Community, and Labor History (eds. John D’Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman) (2011)
  • Ellen D. Wu, “GI Joe Nisei: The Invention of World War II’s Iconic Japanese American Soldier” in Warring Over Valor: How Race and Gender Shaped American Military Heroism in the 20th and 21st Centuries (ed. Simon Wendt) (2019)
  • Kimberly L. Phillips, “Where Are the Negro Soldiers? The Double V Campaign and the Segregated Military” in War! What Is It Good For? Black Freedom Struggles & the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq (2012)
  • Silvia Alvarez Curbelo, “The Color of War: Puerto Rican Soldiers and Discrimination during World War II” in Beyond the Latino World War II Hero: The Social and Political Legacy of a Generation (ed. by Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez) (2009)
  • Leisa D. Meyer, “Creating G.I. Jane: The Regulation of Sexuality and Sexual Behavior in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II,” Feminist Studies (1992)

Part III of the Framework: World War II Collection

  • John Bodnar, “The Victors” in The “Good War” in American Memory (2010)
  • Robert S. Burrell, “Making Heroes into Legends” in Ghosts of Iwo Jima (2006)
  • Mark Selden, “Remembering ‘The Good War’: The Atomic Bombing and the Internment of Japanese-Americans in U.S. History Textbooks” in The Asia-Pacific Journal (2005)
  • Patricia Portales, “Tejanas on the Home Front: Women, Bombs, and the (Re)Gendering of War in Mexican American World War II Literature” in Latina/os and World War II: Mobility, Agency, and Ideology (eds. Maggie Rivas-Rodríguez and B. V. Olguín) (2014)
  • Erika Doss, “Gratitude: Memorializing World War II and the ‘Greatest Generation’” in Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America (2010)


Day One
Day Three
Day Four
Day Five


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