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Virtual: ‘Nourishing the Volk: Nutrition, Health, and National Belonging in Germany’s Long Great War’

April 9, 2021 at 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Join the North Carolina German Studies and Workshop Series for a discussion on Germany’s Great War.

This talk examines Germany’s “long” Great War (1914-1924) through the lenses of food, health and gender.  Whereas most scholars have focused on how hunger and deprivation in war-time Germany contributed to social unrest and female politicization, this research focuses instead on how male nutritional scientists forged relationships with female philanthropists, women’s groups and housewives’ organizations to re-shape national ideas about food and identity in the struggling German nation.  Moreover, it shows how despite the demobilization of the nation’s (male) military soldiers in 1918, the ongoing resource scarcities in Germany between 1918-1923 necessitated the continuous mobilization of the nation’s “kitchen soldiers” during the often-overlooked periods of occupation, humanitarian intervention and national re-building.

Heather Perry is an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her specialty is the history and culture of the First World War; however, she focuses more broadly on the study of German and European history, the history of medicine and the body, and the history of war and society. Her recent publications include the monograph “Recycling the Disabled: Army, Medicine, and Modernity in WWI Germany (2014) and the volume “Food, Culture and Identity in Germany’s Century of War (2019), which she edited with Heather Merle Benbow. Currently, she is working on a book project titled “Feeding War: Nutrition, Health, and National Belonging in Germany, 1914-1924“.

Moderation: Konrad H. Jarausch, Department of History, UNC-Chapel Hill

Co-Convener: Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense, UNC-Chapel Hill

The Zoom URL for each NCGS seminar will be communicated two weeks before the event via the NCGS listserv.

If you are not on this listserv please contact the NCGS organizers Max H. Lazar, ( and Michael Skalski, ( and ask them to be added this listserv or request the URL for the specific event.