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Scholar to Speak on Kansas-based World War I Film Pioneer & Photographer Donald Thompson

Saturday, March 11, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host a speaker in the latest of a series of lectures related to commemorating 100 years since World War I. David Mould, professor emeritus of media arts and studies at Ohio University, will give a lecture titled “Images of World War I: The Films of Pioneer Kansas Photographer Donald Thompson” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 13, in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Memorial Union.

On the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, media historian David Mould traces the career of Thompson, the photographer from Topeka who filmed on every front in World War I and in Russia in 1917.  The first major war to be covered by motion pictures raised issues that media, governments and audiences have faced in every subsequent conflict. Should photographers be allowed in the war zone? Is censorship justified? Are our images of war real, or are they staged? What is the effect of a “mediated war” on the public and policy agendas? Mould’s presentation will include excerpts from Thompson’s films, "Somewhere in France" and "With the Russian Army" (1915) and "War As It Really Is" (1916) and stills from "Petrograd" in 1917 and the "Allied intervention in Siberia" in 1919.

Born in the United Kingdom, Mould worked as a newspaper and TV journalist before moving to the U.S., earning his master’s degree in radio-TV-film from KU in 1980. He is the author of "American Newsfilm, 1914-1919: The Underexposed War" (Garland 1983, Routledge 2015) and articles on motion picture and television coverage of war. He has written for Times Higher Education, The Christian Science Monitor, History Today, American Heritage, History News Network, Transitions Online, and other print and online outlets.  His latest book, "Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia," was published by the Ohio University Press in March 2016.

On March 14, Mould will speak at the CREES Tuesday Brownbag lecture, on “Publish and Maybe Perish: The Dangers of Journalism in Central Asia,” at noon in 318 Bailey Hall.

These lectures are sponsored by KU’s Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, the European Studies Program, the Department of Film & Media Studies, the Department of History and the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies. 

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