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Wednesday, February 02, 2022

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Now and Then Seminar: Dear John: Love and Loyalty in Wartime America
Ever since World War II, when US soldiers first coined the phrase 'Dear John' as slang for a breakup note sent by a woman to a man in uniform, these notorious missives have loomed large in American war-lore and popular culture. Drawing on research for her newly published book, Dear John: Love and Loyalty in Wartime America (Cambridge University Press, 2022), Susan Carruthers explores why these letters have been so ubiquitous in the stories Americans tell about men, women, and war, and also what's obscured by these dominant narratives.
NB: This talk will cover topics that are disturbing, including the often-repeated correlation between Dear John letters and lethal self-harm among military personnel and veterans.