German and U.S. Second World War Soldiers Cemeteries in Italy - Cultural Perspectives
Lecture | April 10 | 12-1 p.m. | 201 Moses Hall
Birgit Urmson, Art Historian
Styles of soldiers commemoration reveal national self-images. In this talk, Dr. Birgit Urmson analyzes US WWII military cemeteries in Italy and their German counterparts as art-historical artifacts. Their aesthetics, together with results of archival research, reveal a self-assured US united in values, projecting victory and Pax Americana, while a struggling Germany searches for its democratic identity and a place within the community of civilized nations. Urmson's talk is based on her recently published book, German and United States Second World War Military Cemeteries in Italy - Cultural Perspectives. (Peter Lang, 2018)
Speaker: German/American art historian Birgit Urmson studied art history in Munich, Paris, Vienna and at UC Berkeley, CA. She holds a MA in environmental design, a MA in art history from UC Berkeley, and a PhD in American Cultural History from the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. She has been giving cultural historical courses at different venues including the UC Berkeley extension for many years. Her recent publications include a novel, Germaine, (Königshausen / Neumann, Würzburg 2003) (in German), and the article "United States and German Military Cemeteries in Italy - Cultural Perspectives" in the special issue of RIHA journal "War Graves/Die Bauaufgabe Soldatenfriedhof, 1914-1989," eds. Christian Fuhrmeister and Kai Kappel.