Public Program, Author Talk "What is Focus?" Margaret Hall's Battle Country 15 July 2014.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-Talk reception at 5:30pm Margaret Higonnet, University of Connecticut Comments by Susan Solomon and Suzanne Diefenbach

Between August 1918 and August 1919, Cohasset, Mass., native Margaret Hall served as a volunteer in the canteen service with the Red Cross in France. Using letters, diaries, and photographs, she created an unusual typescript, Letters and Photographs from the Battle Country, 1918-1919, when she returned home from the Great War. Pasted opposite the relevant sections of the narrative are roughly 281 photographs and other memorabilia. Starting in August 1918, Hall captured in rich detail her passage from New York to France, her pursuit of a Red Cross posting as close to the front as possible, and then her day-to-day experiences at a canteen at Châlons sur Marne, where she continued to work for a number of months following the Armistice in November 1918. Her photographs document a significant range of her war experience, from the quotidian life at Châlons sur Marne to the exploration of battlefields at Longwy and Verdun.

Margaret R. Higonnet, the volume’s editor, is a Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Connecticut, and an Affiliate at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies. At the intersection of feminist theory with history and comparative literature, she has published extensively on gender and World War I, editing Behind the Lines: Gender and the Two World Wars (1987), Lines of Fire: Women Writers of World War I (1999), and Nurses at the Front: Writing the Wounds of War (2001).

Susan Solomon is Yardımcı Doçent (or Assistant Professor) of Humanities, Western Languages and Literatures, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She will comment on her research into the life and photographs of Margaret Hall.

Suzanne Diefenbach is Margaret Hall's great niece. She will share her recollections  of "Aunts" and life with her at Paradise Hill Farm in Hull, Massachusetts.

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