Before the outbreak of World War II, Barnard’s Committee on Instruction met monthly to discuss practical academic concerns, and to debate the essential components of an undergraduate liberal arts education. But in the early 1940s the Committee’s conversations underwent a marked shift, as the Second World War increasingly intruded on the requirements and routines of college life. This talk by Karen Seeley, Lecturer in Anthropology at Columbia University, will examine Barnard College’s response to this “total war.” Based on her research in the College archives and elsewhere, Dr. Seeley will discuss the Barnard’s attempts to mobilize students to contribute to the war effort, as well as the war’s implications for a sheltered women’s college.
Karen Seeley’s interests lie at the intersections of psychology and anthropology, and her interdisciplinary training informs her approach to research and teaching. She is a Lecturer in Anthropology at Columbia University, where she teaches courses such as “Trauma,” “Psychoanalysis, Colonialism and Race,” and “The Bomb”; she also teaches “Cultural Psychology” at Barnard College. Dr. Seeley is the author of Cultural Psychotherapy: Working with Culture in the Clinical Encounter, which critically examines Western psychotherapies and proposes new modes of practice for intercultural treatments. Her recent book, Therapy after Terror, explores New York City psychotherapists’ clinical work after 9/11. She currently is conducting research on women’s friendships.