The 14th International Conference on World War II

The International Conference on World War II is the premier adult educational event bringing together the best and brightest scholars, authors, historians, and witnesses to history from around the globe to discuss key battles, personalities, strategies, issues, and controversies of the war that changed the world.

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The International Conference on World War II is the premier adult educational event bringing together the best and brightest scholars, authors, historians, and witnesses to history from around the globe to discuss key battles, personalities, strategies, issues, and controversies of the war that changed the world. Joining the featured speakers are hundreds of attendees who travel from all over the world to learn to connect with each other through engaging discussions, question-and-answer periods, book signings, and receptions throughout the weekend.

The 14th International Conference on World War II features a daylong, pre-conference symposium “Pearl Harbor at 80.” Two subsequent days of Conference sessions will explore an array of topics, including the Wannsee Conference, female WWII correspondents, WWII historical fiction, WWII espionage, and more.

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Program Schedule
(Subject To Change)

Pre-Conference Symposium – Pearl Harbor at 80

The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center Arcadia Terrace and Ballroom, 2nd Floor
November 18, 2021 

As the country and the world begin to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, this pre-Conference symposium will focus on the latest and greatest findings and works on this launching point of American entry into the war. Find an early look at the day’s schedule below.

6:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

  • Breakfast in the Higgins Hotel & Conference Center: Arcadia Terrace, 2nd Floor
  • Followed by Symposium Welcome and Opening Remarks – Stephen Watson, President & CEO

Session 1
Pearl Harbor: The Road to War—The Americans

  • Chair – Allan Millett
  • The Long March to December 7 – Richard Frank
  • Those in Charge: The Commanders – Russell Hart
  • Followed by a break and book-signing

Session 2
Pearl Harbor: The Road to War—The Japanese

  • Chair – Richard Frank
  • Japan 1941 – TBD
  • Hirohito and His Commanders – TBD
  • Followed by a break and book-signing

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

  • Lunch break
  • Continued book-signing

Session 3
Dorie Miller, Double V, and the Effects of Pearl Harbor on African Americans 

  • Chair – Stephanie Hinnershitz, The National WWII Museum
  • The Use and Misuse of Doris Miller in World War II and After – Robert Chester
  • “America's got lots of problems, but Hitler won't fix them”—African Americans’ Contributions to Victory – John Morrow
  • Followed by a break and book-signing

Session 4
Pearl Harbor “What Ifs”—A Roundtable Discussion

  • Chair – Conrad Crane
  • Panelists – Allan Millett, Jon Parshall, Ian Toll

4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

  • Symposium closing remarks
  • Attendees exit for Conference Opening Reception

Conference Day 1

The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center Arcadia Terrace and Ballroom, 2nd Floor
November 18, 2021 

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

  • Opening Reception

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  • International Conference on World War II Opening Keynote Address
  • Opening Remarks – Stephen Watson, President & CEO, The National WWII Museum
  • Welcome Remarks – Representative from Presenting Sponsor, Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Session 1
OPENING SESSION – Pearl Harbor at 80: Lasting and New Legacies

  • Speakers TBD

7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • Book Signing

Conference Day 2

US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center
November 19, 2021

6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

  • Breakfast in the Higgins Hotel & Conference Center: Arcadia Terrace, 2nd Floor

Session 2
By Land, Sea and Air: The Experiences of Fighting the Pacific War – A roundtable discussion

  • Chair – James Scott
  • Panelists – John McManus (Land); Ian Toll (Sea); TBD (Air)
  • Followed by a break and book signing

Session 3
Double V Deferred: African American WWII Veterans and the Civil Rights Movement

  • Chair – TBD
  • John Morrow – University of Georgia
  • Robert Jefferson – University of New Mexico

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  • Lunch break
  • Continued book signing

Session 4
The Gen. Raymond E. Mason Distinguished Lecture on World War II – The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food

  • Lizzie Collingham 
  • Interviewer – Jason Dawsey, The National WWII Museum
  • Followed by a break and book signing

Session 5
Out of the Shadows: Heroines of World War II

  • Chair – Jennifer Popowicz, The National WWII Museum
  • The Nine: The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived The Worst of Nazi Germany – Gwen Strauss
  • The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the of World War II – Major General Mari Eder  
  • Followed by a break and book signing

Session 6
Navigating the Troubled Waters of WWII History

  • Chair – Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller
  • Panelists – John Morrow, Alexandra Richie, Richard Frank, Donald Miller 

4:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • Book Signing, followed by Museum Open House

Conference Day 3

US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center
November 20, 2021

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

  • Breakfast in the Higgins Hotel Conference Center: Arcadia Terrace, 2nd Floor

Session 7
The Wannsee Conference: War and Genocide

  • Chair – Guenter Bischof
  • The Master Plan for the Final Solution – Alexandra Richie
  • The Global Ramifications of Pearl Harbor – Gerhard Weinberg
  • Followed by a break and book signing

Session 8
Dateline Liberation: Female Correspondents Reporting the End of the War 

  • Chair – Donald L. Miller 
  • Martha Gellhorn – Janet Somerville  
  • Lee Miller – Hilary Roberts

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Lunch break
  • Continued book signing

Session 9
The Gen. Raymond E. Mason Distinguished Lecture on World War II – Citizen Soldiers: From Minutemen to GIs

  • Rick Atkinson 
  • Interviewer – Rob Citino 
  • Followed by a break and book signing

Session 10
Fast Friends and Future Foes: Germany, the Soviet Union and the West

  • Chair – Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller
  • Faustian Bargain: German-Soviet Relations in the Interwar Years – Ian Johnson
  • Stalin’s War – Sean McMeekin 
  • Followed by a break and book signing

Session 11
The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War

  • Presenter – Malcolm Gladwell
  • Roundtable discussion with Donald Miller and Conrad Crane
  • Followed by book signing

5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  • US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center closed

6:00 p.m.

  • Optional screening of Beyond All Boundaries in the Solomon Victory Theater (limited capacity—first come, first served)

7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

  • Dinner

Session 12
Closing Banquet and Presentation

  • A Conversation on the Works of Best-Selling Author Jennet Conant with Rob Citino, PhD
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