GOSHEN — Dr. Duane Stoltzfus, a professor of communication at Goshen College, will be joined by several interpretive readers and other colleagues in presenting the 2023 C. Henry Smith “illustrated peace lecture” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the Umble Center. The free lecture is titled “Love of Country Distilled to a Question: When Pacifism Became a Litmus Test for Citizenship.”
In the wake of World War I, the U.S. Bureau of Naturalization inserted a new question into the application for prospective citizens: “If necessary, are you willing to take up arms in defense of this country?” Dozens of conscientious objectors — including Mennonites with ties to both Goshen College and Bluffton University — soon found their pathway to citizenship blocked because of their steadfast convictions against killing.
This illustrated lecture will tell some of their stories — including that of a “nurse without a country” from Bluffton and “the most powerful woman in the world” from Chicago, Ill., — in a compelling chapter in the history of conscientious objection.
Stoltzfus, the author of “Pacifists in Chains: The Persecution of Hutterites during the Great War,” will be joined by four colleagues from Goshen College and another from Fairfield High School: Doug Liechty Caskey ’82, professor emeritus of communication and theater; Rocio Diaz ’14, director for community engagement and adult outreach; Suzanne Ehst, a professor of education and Core director; Jim Graves ’86, a German teacher at Fairfield High; and Kevin Miller ’85, major gift officer. Stoltzfus is also the director of Adult and Graduate Programs at Goshen College and a former staff editor at The New York Times.
The illustrated lecture will be livestreamed at goshen.edu/live. Refreshments will be served in the Yost Room immediately following the hour-long presentation.
The lecture will also be presented at 11 a.m. Feb. 7, at Bluffton University in Ohio. The C. Henry Smith Peace Lectureship is jointly sponsored by Goshen College and Bluffton University.
The C. Henry Smith Peace Lectureship honors the late professor and Mennonite historian who taught at Bluffton for 35 years, from 1913 to 1948, after spending 10 years at Goshen. The lectureship is awarded each year to a faculty member from one of the Mennonite colleges, with priority given to Goshen and Bluffton faculty.