Dear History Graduate Students,

As some of you know, Meredith Lair and I have spent several months assembling a film festival examining the ways in which Hollywood war films have depicted twentieth-century American conflicts.  The result, "War on the Silver Screen," is a four-night program that will present four full-length feature films and bracket them with an interactive discussion of the ways that these movies have influenced American attitudes towards war, culture, and memory.  We hope to use the films to show students the kinds of insights they can glean through active viewing, and to help them discover how sophisticated messages can be tucked into movies that seem straightforward.

The festival itself is fast approaching.  We'll be screening Saving Private Ryan on Monday, Feb. 9; Twelve O'Clock High on Tuesday, Feb. 10; Platoon on Wednesday, Feb. 11; and We Were Soldiers on Thursday, Feb. 11.  Showtime will be at 7:00pm in the Johnson Center Cinema (except the final night, whose venue has yet to be announced.)  We'll begin each evening with a some remarks to provide context for the film and some key themes to watch for; after the movies, we'll explore with the audience the subtle and unsubtle lessons these films carry.
Since the quality of the discussion will be in large part a function of attendance, we hope to draw a sizable crowd each of the four nights.  Posters are going up all over campus, and we've advertised in a variety of other venues as well.  But there is no better audience than current history students--undergraduates and graduates.

A copy of our flier is attached to this e-mail.  If you have any questions, Meredith and I are pleased to answer them at [log in to unmask] or [log in to unmask].  With many thanks for your support--

Christopher Hamner and Meredith Lair


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Mack P. Holt
Professor of History
Director of Graduate Studies
George Mason University
Mail Stop 3G1
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030-4444
Direct office phone: (703)-993-1259
Fax: (703)-993-1251