October 23, 2014  

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McCarthy Series Lecture to focus on British Military and Shell Shock during WWI

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Dr. Andrew Wiest

Dr. Andrew Wiest, professor of history and founding director of the Center for the Study of War and Society at The University of Southern Mississippi, will give the final presentation in the 9th annual McCarthy Lecture Series — "We shall defend our Island: the British Experience of the World Wars." The talk is today, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. in room 101 of the Liberal Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus.

Wiest's talk, "Shocking Behavior: The British Military and Shell Shock in World War I," looks at combatant nations in the Great War and their reactions to what seemed to be a new phenomenon – shell shock. Originally believed to be a physical malady caused by compression of the brain caused by shell detonations, British medical professionals began to come to the new conclusion that the malady was more of a mental health issue.  

However, with mental health care in its relative infancy, there were tremendous arguments concerning the nature of the problem, with catastrophic effects for many of the British soldier patients.

For more information, contact Dr. Allison J. Abra, Fellow, Center for the Study of War and Society at: allison.abra@usm.edu. For information about the McCarty Lecture Series, visit http://www.usm.edu/war-society/richard-mccarthy-lecture-series.