Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A04. Shadows of War

A hundred years ago this fall, in July 1914, saw the outbreak of the First World War, in which over 45 million soldiers and civilians died. Writing about the Menin memorial gate in 1928 the soldier-poet Siegfried Sassoon asked “Who will remember, passing through this Gate, / The unheroic Dead who fed the guns?” In this seminar we will use war literature, film, art, news media and museum exhibition to answer Sassoon’s question.

The seminar will investigate who is remembered and who gets forgotten or misrepresented in the process. Each class period we will share the news of the day (one hundred years ago) taking the point of view of a soldier, a civilian, a munitions worker, or an ambulance driver. The seminar will use the college archives to find out what Wheaton students did during the war, curate an online exhibition of war posters from Wheaton’s art collection, and make a replica of a trench dug-out for display on campus.

Claire BuckClaire Buck
Professor of English