In early May, 1915, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a medical officer in the British-Canadian armed forces, wrote the iconic poem “In Flanders Fields” on the battlefield at Ypres. It was published in the British periodical Punch on December 8, 1915, and appeared at a crucial cultural moment one that seemed to be witnessing the death of the long nineteenth century amidst the birth pangs of modernism. The poem became a touchstone for the First World War, particularly after the official entry of the United States into the conflict, and it would be set to music by dozens of composers including Charles Ives and John Philip Sousa.
The varied interrelationships between poetry, text, music, and conflict serve as a starting point for this symposium, 1915: Music, Memory, and the Great War, which offers two days of talks, musical performances and associated events, all of which are open to the public.
Events will take place in locations across campus, including the Krannert Art Museum, the Spurlock Museum and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.