James Lollar Hagan Internship

PROJECT TITLE: Objectifying the Great War

Gradually and tentatively, our museum initiatives are helping to generate programs and exhibitions that reflect more accurately the great diversity of American people. Recognizing the potential of these generative initiatives to shape, rather than simply reflect, social relations and realities, we are striving to highlight through material culture the previously under-recorded history of the military roles of all women in American history, which include not only service in the military but a wide range of military related activities.  Even though the military as an institution interacts and draws resources from all of society, war is generally historicized by accounts centered on combat and battles, often independent of other traditional history.  A large event like the global war of 1914-1918 widely affected the entire population. The James Lollar Hagan Intern project examines Smithsonian collections relating to the Great War to fill in the gaps left by primary history sources.  It complements a current Institution-wide Grand Challenge Award proposal on the Great War Centenary, which encompasses a constellation of programs and activities during 2014-2019 to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I.

Especially abundant in Smithsonian collections are 20th and 21st century artifacts that illuminate women’s roles in military activity during World War I, artifacts that represent a broadly defined military history.  Included is women’s work in war industries and in War Department clerical offices, war service volunteers in the dozens of secular and religious organizations that proliferated in WWI, along with the first women who were actually inducted into the American armed forces. In accordance with the Museum’s mission to reflect the history of all American people, it is particularly relevant to identify these resources in order to achieve greater presence and visibility of women in American history.

The proposed Objectifying the Great War: Illuminating artifactual evidence of women’s military roles in American history not only in the military but war industries, War Department clerical offices, war service volunteers, maintenance of the home front and a wide range of military activities in the period 1914-1924:

We are seeking the James Lollar Hagan internship for the fall of 2014, to support an intern who majors in history, American studies, museum studies, anthropology or related subject. The intern project calls for work with curators in the Division of Armed Forces History and other divisions and units of the Smithsonian on a multi-faceted curatorial project comprising artifact research with a digitization component and also planning for an exhibition and scholarly programs associated with the Grand Challenge Award proposal, The Great War Centenary. Intern responsibilities center on researching collections in all units of the Smithsonian to identify artifacts and documentary evidence of women's wartime roles in American history in the period 1914-1924. Using research results, the intern will develop a contextual object group of SI holdings on women in WWI military activities; this will provide an online resource for Great War Centenary commemorations that will burgeon in late 2014 in the U.S. and abroad. Intern will coordinate with an archivist in the armed forces division who is developing the Archive of Women's Military History as an element of the Grand Challenge award proposal, to integrate the object group data into the archive. Further, as part of the Grand Challenge, the Hagan intern will participate in framing an exhibition and organizing a scholarly symposium on the topic of volunteerism in early 2015.


This internship offers an opportunity to conduct specialized object research under curatorial guidance and to work with on-line content staff in New Media to utilize research results by producing an up-to-date digital contextual object group. Intern will also gain knowledge of archival practices, exhibit planning, and organizing a scholarly symposium.

The Hagan Intern supervisor will be Margaret Vining, Curator, Division of Armed Forces History, NMAH. The Intern work station will be Vining’s office.


To Apply:
Please go on SOLAA, the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system to apply for the James Lollar Hagan Internship. The program choice is NMAH Internship Program and the project choice is Hagan - Women's Military History (Fall 2014). The deadline is Tuesday July 1, 2014.

The stipend is $6000 for ten weeks full-time or for twenty weeks part time.

For further questions please contact Omar Eaton-Martínez, Intern & Fellows Program Manager, 202-633-3556.