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“Look, But Don’t Touch” American Women as Military Entertainment (Public Lecture)
January 24, 2014 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
In every twentieth century war the U.S. military sent women entertainers to warzones. They opened canteens where soldiers could find a friendly face, performed on stage, played games and engaged in conversation, and brought a momentary reprieve from the war to the battlefield. This presentation examines the history of these programs, the military’s intentions for the women, and the meanings women ascribed to their work. It reveals the ways that feminine sexuality formed a central part of the state’s efforts to maintain an effective fighting force, construct martial masculinity, mobilize homefront support, and export American culture to foreign countries.
Kara Dixon Vuic is a historian of the twentieth-century United States whose research bridges the history of wars and militarization, the history of gender and sexuality, and social and cultural history.
Co-Conveners: UNC-Chapel Hill: Center for European Studies, Department of History, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; Institute for Arts and Humanities • Duke University: Department of History • Research Triangle Series on the History of Military, War and Society • Triangle Institute for Security Studies