Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Five Ways to Look at a Corpse: The Dead in Normandy, 1944

April 8, 2013 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Portrait image of Mary Louise Roberts seated at a glass table with her arms crossed and hand at neck wearing a blue shirt

Monday Seminar:

Mary Louise Roberts

Senior Fellow (2010-2014)

History, UW-Madison


We prefer to think of war as producing heroes, not corpses. Perhaps for this reason, military historians have rarely focused on the dead. In the Normandy invasion of 1944, the bodies of American G.I.s were often not visible. This is because, in an effort to maintain the morale of the troops, the U.S. military quickly removed corpses from the battlefield and kept them out of sight. At the same time, however, much can be learned about the war’s meaning for its combatants by exploring how corpses were perceived by American and German soldiers, military officials, French civilians, and the American public.


Mary Louise Roberts is the author of two books, Civilization without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1918-1928 (1994) and Disruptive Acts: The New Woman in Fin de Siècle France (2002). Roberts has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She has also received several teaching awards, most recently in 2008, the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Articles from her current project, entitled Liberators and Intruders: The American Presence in France, 1944-1946, have appeared (or will appear) in Le Mouvement socialTabur: Yearbook for European HistorySociety, Culture and Thought (in Hebrew), French Historical Studies, and the American Historical Review. Other articles on various subjects have also recently appeared in History and TheoryFrench Politics, Culture and SocietyEntreprises et HistoiresClio: Histoire, Femmes, Sociétes and Journal of Women’s History.


April 8, 2013
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States