Former Denison Faculty Member Returns to Give Lecture on World War II
Posted: September 20, 2000
Frederick M. Wirt, a former chair of the political science department at Denison and an active Granville community member, returns to campus to give a lecture on "World War II and the Uses of History" at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 26) in Olin Auditorium. Wirt will address generational differences in understanding the history of the Second World War, particularly the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This lecture and the reception following will be free and open to the public. The lecture is co-sponsored by the departments of political science and history and the Denison Lecture Series.
A World War II veteran, Wirt joined the Denison faculty in 1952 as an instructor, eventually earning the rank of full professor. While at Denison Wirt taught a wide range of courses, chaired the political science department, served on numerous college committees, directed the Denison Lecture Program and coached the fencing team. He and his wife, Betty, also took an active part inaffairs, managing the Opera House Movie Theater and improving the Granville public library. Wirt returned to Denison in the 1980s as a guest lecturer.
He earned his bachelor's degree from DePauw University in 1948 and his master's and doctoral degrees from the Ohio State University. After leaving Denison in 1969, Wirt served as a research political scientist at the Institute of Governmental Studies and as a lecturer at the School of Education, both at the University of California, Berkeley. He has also directed the Policy Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Maryland. In 1975 Wirt joined the University of Illinois political science department. He retired this year and was named professor emeritus. Wirt's distinguished career includes visiting professorships at Ohio State, the University of California, Nova University, the London School of Economics, and Melbourne University in Australia.
Professor Wirt is the author or editor of 14 books, numerous monographs, and many book chapters and journal articles. One of his books "We Ain't What We Was" received the prized V.O. Key Award from the Southern Political Science Association in 1998 for the year's best book on southern politics. Other books by Wirt focus on urban politics, community power structure, school desegregation and education policy. His current project is a study of the G.I. bill, education and generational results as measured by census data.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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