World War II in the USA – a History of Emotions Approach

World War II in the USA – a History of Emotions Approach

Bill Issel (San Francisco State University), a spring 2018 Fulbright professor at the West University of Timișoara, introduced a history of emotions approach to World War II to 25 students at the Jean Louis Calderon High School in Timișoara. Students were fascinated to learn how Americans from many different ethno-cultural-backgrounds in Europe and Asia found ways to be patriotic and support the war effort despite the fact that many of them had strong feelings of cultural affiliation with, and loved ones who were living in and loyal to, the Axis powers and their allies during the conflict. They enjoyed the cartoons and posters from the war, such as Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” poster and a newspaper cartoon showing Lady Liberty opening her arms to “all my children” (including those whose parents and grandparents came from countries that were at war with the USA). The discussion continued well past the end of the class, something that teachers always enjoy.