Postcards from the Trenches

Honors Remembers the Great War

This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The words of the poet W.B. Yeats (writing about a related event) come to mind when considering its global impact: Our civilization was "changed, changed utterly" by WWI. As Honors history professor Dr. Rob Zaretsky said in a recent essay, "Road signs welcoming motorists to Verdun and Ypres should also welcome them to the 20th century. Deep inside that tortured soil, deep below the ossuaries piled high with countless bones, runs the source of our modern and postmodern lives."

Dr. Zarestsky and his colleague Dr. Irene Guenther have taken the lead in helping the Honors community (and indeed the wider Houston and national communities) remember the Great War. This semester they are team teaching an upper-division class on the subject. Dr. Zaretsky is reflecting on the conflict and its meaning in a number of notable publications and speaking engagements.

Meanwhile, Dr. Guenther is co-curating an exhibition (and labor of love) that we are proud to announce as the signature event of our Honors Remembers the Great War season: Postcards from the Trenches, which opens in Houston at the Printing Museum on Oct. 23 and runs until Feb. 14, 2015. In conjunction with the exhibit, Honors will be hosting three very special lectures on campus, including a talk given by one of the most eminent historians of the First World War, Dr. Jay Winter from Yale University.