I have been busy planning for the our first traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine, entitled “Life and Limb: The toll of the American Civil War.” It is fascinating as it examines the lives of wounded soldiers in the years after the Civil War, and how society reacted to these maimed men as reminders of that awful war. Many men who survived the war had limbs amputated or other very visual scars. (See a YouTube video about 19th century amputation tools here.) The exhibit is on display in the atrium of Cushwa Hall on the YSU campus through January 31st. It is free and open to the public.
Related to this exhibit, Kelly Selby of Walsh University, will be presenting “Black Veterans: Redefining Citizenship in Post- Civil War Ohio” on Thursday, January 30th at noon in Cushwa Hall room B112. Her presentation is part of the Ohio Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. This lecture discusses how black veterans used their wartime service as a means to claim the new rights given to them in the 14th an 15th amendments. Light refreshments will be served. Hear the audio of her talk here.
Another veteran-related presentation will be given on Thursday, January 23rd by Dr. Sheena Eagan Chamberlin of University of Maryland University College. She will present “Historical Understandings of War Trauma and PTSD: an exploration of social history through cultural narratives.” This event will discuss how cultural narratives have shaped the history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), affecting how it has been understood as well as the way its sufferer’s have been treated. It also explores this shifting narrative from a gendered stigmatization to its medicalization and recently to an emerging hero-narrative. The audio recording of her lecture is available here.