Virtual archives and the democritization of access - The Vietnam War GI Press and the International Antiwar Movement

20 November 2021


Venue: Common House Unit 5E Pundersons Gardens Bethnal Green, London E2 9QG

Organiser: TBC

Dr. James Lewes got his PhD from the University of Iowa in 2000. His dissertation, Protest and Survive: Underground GI Newspapers in the Vietnam War was published by the Praeger Imprint of the Greenwood Press in 2002. In 2005 he was the senior researcher for the award winning documentary Sir! No Sir! And has been the sole employee of and driving force behind the GI Press Project. Currently he is a nomadic digitarian, living for now in Barcelona where he is close to finishing preparing the materials collected for the GI Press Project for the Internet.

Between 1966 and 1973, the United States military experienced widespread dissent and disaffection as an increasing number of GIs openly challenged their involvement in the Vietnam War and helped In the 40 years since that war ended, this movement has been effaced from public memory and exiled from official histories of the war. As has been the case throughout American history, these dissidents published a great many leaflets and pamphlets, newspapers and newsletters as well as posters and petitions. The GI Press Project has preserved more than 930 newspapers, newsletters and news releases as well as 1100 pieces of ephemera published in 19 different countries by more than 400 organizations. When completed the GI Press Project will be accessible for free as a text searchable database through the Wisconsin Historical Society and the ~International Institute of Social History. This will be a unique public resource that returns to the central stage of history those GIs who in full recognition of the personal cost to themselves and their families, chose to speak out against the war upon their return to the “world”.