May 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm

Ping Institute for Teachers Summer Workshop | Remembering the Great War, June 13-15


world war i photo of bombed out, denuded forest with five soldiers walking

The Charles J. Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities presents a free three-day summer workshop for secondary teachers on “Remembering the Great War” from Wednesday, June 13, through Friday, June 15, at Ohio University.

The First World War—at its outset dubbed “the war to end war” by H.G. Wells—wrought devastation the likes of which had never been seen. With nearly 40 million military and civilian casualties, it was one of the deadliest conflicts in human history. Afterward, Gertrude Stein would declare even the war’s survivors a “lost generation:” aimless, disoriented, and alienated from their cultural inheritance.

Timed to occur just a few months before the centenary of the Armistice, this Ping Summer Institute offers teachers a chance to explore the geopolitical causes and consequences of the war; the war’s military history; the wealth of literature produced by soldiers; the experiences of women on the home front and on the front lines; and the souvenirs brought home by soldiers from Southeastern Ohio.

Over the course of three days the institute offers five sessions: one of these will take place at Ohio University’s Alden Library, and another will be held at the Southeast Ohio History Center. Alden’s Special Collections holds the personal book collection—nearly 10,000 volumes—of one of the Great War’s most prolific poets and memoirists, Edmund Blunden. From this collection participants will study books that British soldiers and veterans gifted each other during and after the war—books inscribed and annotated by Blunden, Siegfried Sassoon, and Robert Graves—as well as books that record Blunden’s war trauma in less obvious ways: a copy of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, for example, in which Blunden jots marginal notes likening scenes of Satan’s rebellion to the horrors of the Somme. At the Southeast Ohio History Center participants will examine WWI artifacts and documents donated by local veterans and their families.

Altogether, this Ping Summer Institute will enable teachers across disciplines to explore crucial aspects of the First World War and to develop ideas for teaching its historical and cultural impact in a variety of classroom settings.

Institute Leaders

Dr. Nicole Reynolds is Associate Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio University. She is the author of Building Romanticism: Literature and Architecture in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2010).

Dr. David Curp is Associate Professor of History at Ohio University and the author of A Clean Sweep: The Politics of Ethnic Cleansing in Western Poland, 1945-1960 (2006).

Cyrus Moore holds a master’s degree in military history from Kent State University. He currently serves as the Ohio History Service Corps representative at the Southeast Ohio History Center.


Enrollment is limited to 15 teachers on a first-come, first-served basis. The workshop is free of charge. Housing will be paid for by the participants.

To register, please email your name, school, and home address to

For more information, contact Bryan Baur by email at with any questions.

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