SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo

Banner

Main Content Area

We Are a College at War

We Are a College at War

Women Working for Victory in World War II

Add to Cart

Mary Weaks-Baxter, Christine Bruun, and Catherine Forslund

$29.95

Hardcover
978-0-8093-2992-2
256 pages, 6 x 9, 20 illustrations
08/23/2010

 

Additional Materials

About the Book

We Are a College at War weaves together the World War II experiences of students and faculty at Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois, to provide readers with a better understanding of the role American women and college students played during this defining period in U.S. history. Drawing on the Rockford community’s letters, speeches, and campus newspaper archives, the authors demonstrate how women claimed the right to be everywhere—in factories and other traditionally male workplaces, and even on the front lines—and link their efforts to the rise of feminism and the fight for women’s rights in the 1960s and 1970s.

In analyzing how the war influenced women’s education, this fascinating study shows the then all-female student body of Rockford College concerned with the crises of the world and involved in volunteerism and political activities. The authors describe how college women supported the troops using the traditional feminine “culture of care” outside the home; highlight the women who themselves joined the armed services and explain their reasons for choosing to enlist; and investigate how the war affected courtship and marriage. A central theme is the legacy of humanitarian Jane Addams, an 1881 Rockford alumna who established Hull-House in Chicago and won the 1931 Nobel Prize for Peace. The authors show how Addams’s example inspired Rockford’s students during the dark days of a world war.

            Faculty, staff, students, and alumnae of Rockford College participated in all aspects of the war and pushed this small midwestern college to become a commanding catalyst for change during this pivotal era. We Are a College at War reveals how the war years influenced women’s history in the twentieth century by offering a glimpse of the present-day roles of women through the legacy of the contributions of Rockford College women to the war effort.

Authors/Editors

Mary Weaks-Baxter, Hazel Koch Professor of English at Rockford College, is the author of Reclaiming the American Farmer: The Reinvention of a Regional Mythology in Twentieth-Century Southern Writing.

                                      

Christine Bruun is Professor Emerita of Psychology and former department chair at Rockford College.

Catherine Forslund, Professor of History at Rockford College,is the author of Anna Chennault: Informal Diplomacy and Asian Relations.