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 to discuss the war that changed the world. In-person registration is currently still available, but for those unable to attend in person, all sessions will be livestreamed and available for audiences to watch online free of charge.

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. The Conference also features a daylong, pre-conference symposium, “Pearl Harbor at 80.” The two subsequent days of Conference sessions will explore an array of topics, including the Wannsee Conference, female WWII correspondents, fighting the Pacific War, and the "Bomber Mafia."

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. In-person registration is currently still available, but for those unable to attend in person, all sessions will be livestreamed and available for audiences to watch online free of charge. Purchase tickets below, or register for free virtual access to all sessions for the November Conference.

Program Schedule
(Subject To Change)

Pre-Conference Symposium – Pearl Harbor at 80

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

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

9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

  • Symposium Welcome and Opening Remarks – COL Peter D. Crean, USA (Ret.), Vice President, Education and Access

9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Session 1
Pearl Harbor: The Road to War—The Americans

  • Chair – Adam Givens
  • The Long March to December 7 – Rob Citino
  • Those in Charge: The Commanders – Richard Frank

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

  • Break and book signing

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Session 2
Pearl Harbor: The Road to War—The Japanese

  • Chair – Richard Frank
  • Emperor Hirohito and Japan’s Decision to Go to War with the United States – Noriko Kawamura, PhD
  • Kidō Butai Attacks! – Jon Parshall

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

  • Break, book signing, and lunch

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Session 3
Dorie Miller, Double V, and the Effects of Pearl Harbor on African Americans 

  • Chair – Stephanie Hinnershitz, The National WWII Museum
  • African Americans’ Responses to Pearl Harbor – John Morrow, PhD
  • The Use and Misuse of Doris Miller in World War II and After – Robert Chester

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Break and book signing

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
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

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 – Roberto Bravo, Senior Director, Pritzker Military Museum & Library

Session 1
OPENING SESSION – Lessons of World War II for the 2020’s

  • Introduction – Michael Bell, PhD
  • The Lessons of World War II for the 2020’s – Niall Ferguson, DPhil

7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • Book Signing

Conference Day 2

The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center Arcadia Terrace and Ballroom, 2nd Floor
November 19, 2021

6:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

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

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Session 2
By Land, Sea and Air: The Experiences of Fighting the Pacific War – A roundtable discussion

  • Chair – Rob Citino, PhD
  • Panelists – John McManus (Land); Ian Toll (Sea); James Scott (Air)

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

  • Break and book signing

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Session 3
Double V Deferred: African American WWII Veterans and the Civil Rights Movement

  • Chair – Adrian Lewis, PhD
  • From War in France to War at Home: Civil Rights in the Interwar Years – John Morrow, PhD
  • Forward Observers in the Battle for Democracy:  World War II, Black GIs, and Civil Rights from 1941 to 1948 – Robert Jefferson, PhD

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

  • Break, book signing, and lunch

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Session 4
Behind and Beyond Barbed Wire: Japanese Americans at Home and at War

  • Interviewer - Jason Dawsey, PhD
  • Stephanie Hinnershitz, PhD

1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

  • Break and book signing

1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Session 5
Out of the Shadows: Heroines of World War II

  • Chair – Jennifer Popowycz, PhD, 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 Course of World War II – Major General Mari Eder

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

  • Break and book signing

3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Session 6
Navigating the Troubled Waters of WWII History – A Roundtable Discussion

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

4:45 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

  • Book Signing, followed by Museum Open House

Conference Day 3

The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center Arcadia Terrace and Ballroom, 2nd Floor
November 20, 2021

6:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

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

8:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Session 7
The Wannsee Conference: War and Genocide

  • Chair – Guenter Bischof, PhD
  • The Master Plan for the Final Solution – Alexandra Richie, DPhil
  • America, France and the Fate of Europe’s Jews – Michael Neiberg, PhD

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

  • Break and book signing

9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Session 8
Dateline Liberation: Female Correspondents Reporting the End of the War 

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

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • Break, book signing, and lunch

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Session 9
The Gen. Raymond E. Mason Distinguished Lecture on World War II – Citizen Soldiers: From Minutemen to GIs – A discussion with Rick Atkinson and Rob Citino

  • Interviewer – Rob Citino 
  • Rick Atkinson

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Break and book signing

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
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, PhD
  • Stalin’s War – Sean McMeekin, PhD

2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

  • Break and book signing

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
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, PhD and Conrad Crane, PhD

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

  • Book Signing

7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Session 12
Closing Banquet and Presentation – US Freedom Pavilion: Boeing Center

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

All programs are listed in Central Time.

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With additional support from:

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