Title

Character, Crafts, and Physique: American Men and the Meaning of Masculinity in World War I

Date

6-1-2017 11:00 AM

End Time

1-6-2017 11:15 AM

Location

WUC Columbia Room

Department

History

Session Chair

Elizabeth M. Swedo

Session Title

History Senior Thesis presentations

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Kimberly Jensen

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In the immediate aftermath of World War I, many Americans were asking questions about what masculinity meant in the context of military service to the nation. American painter Herbert Andrew Paus’s poster “The United States Army Builds Men. Apply Nearest Recruiting Office” (1919), published by the , shows a golden-colored U.S. soldier with his eyes fixed on a globe, surrounded by three distinct figures labeled and representing . Historians have analyzed these characteristics of masculinity in World War I but have not articulated it by using these three categories. These three virtues were necessary qualifications for being a soldier and innate characteristics of American manhood. By applying these three virtues as models for American masculinity during and after World War I, I will examine their application to shell shock, venereal disease, race and eugenics, and post-war reconstruction. Further, I will highlight the inconsistencies I have found among these characteristics to deconstruct this model of World War I-era American masculinity as a whole.

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Jun 1st, 11:00 AM Jun 1st, 11:15 AM

Character, Crafts, and Physique: American Men and the Meaning of Masculinity in World War I

WUC Columbia Room

In the immediate aftermath of World War I, many Americans were asking questions about what masculinity meant in the context of military service to the nation. American painter Herbert Andrew Paus’s poster “The United States Army Builds Men. Apply Nearest Recruiting Office” (1919), published by the , shows a golden-colored U.S. soldier with his eyes fixed on a globe, surrounded by three distinct figures labeled and representing . Historians have analyzed these characteristics of masculinity in World War I but have not articulated it by using these three categories. These three virtues were necessary qualifications for being a soldier and innate characteristics of American manhood. By applying these three virtues as models for American masculinity during and after World War I, I will examine their application to shell shock, venereal disease, race and eugenics, and post-war reconstruction. Further, I will highlight the inconsistencies I have found among these characteristics to deconstruct this model of World War I-era American masculinity as a whole.