Citizenship CartoonOverview


What is a citizen? How has citizenship changed over time? In what ways have “crises”—such as war or economic downturn—impacted understandings as well as practices of citizenship?

These and related questions frame our multi-year interdisciplinary initiative program on “citizenship and crisis,” which is organized around enduring questions about citizenship and about crisis and the relationship between the two.


Starting in the fall of 2014 we take the centenary of WWI as our starting place to think deeply, discuss, and debate questions about the rights, obligations, and changing definitions of citizens and citizenship. Our wide-ranging inquiry focuses on citizenship at times of crisis, particularly in wartime, with special reference to contemporary challenges and long-term patterns.

WW1 soldiers in the trenches

As part of the program, we are organizing town halls and a community outreach conversations series, as well as viewings of classic WWI films combined with expert and audience discussions, and a wide array of panels and talks.

We are thrilled to have a number of internationally recognized scholars visiting the Corvallis campus and Portland’s OSU Center to share their cutting edge research findings about citizenship, crisis, and WWI. At OSU we have planned interdisciplinary panels that draw on OSU and regional faculty and thinkers for panels and roundtables related to new scholarship on WWI and innovative thinking about citizenship and crisis with fresh perspectives drawn from visual culture, artifacts and archival research, literature, music, film. Panels and talks will explore such concepts as “martial masculinity,” “constitutional metaphors,” human rights, international law, and much more.

For more information please contact Professor Christopher McKnight Nichols
Director of the Citizenship and Crisis Initiative

Are you doing all you can?


Sponsored by the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion
with additional support from the College of Liberal Arts,
the School of Writing, Literature, and Film,
the School of Language, Culture, and Society,
the School of Public Policy,
the School of Arts and Communication,
the Special Collections and Archives Research Center,
the Valley Library,
the OSU Peace Studies Program,
the Hundere Endowment in Religion and Culture,
and the Horning Endowment in the Humanities.