November 4-5, 2016

1916 | Total War

  Explore the pivotal year of 1916, where global socio-political tensions created by World War I continued escalation and irrevocably changed the economic, military, and cultural landscape of the world.

Two years into the World War, both Allied and Central Powers suffered devastating military and civilian losses. Confronting the reality of total war and grimly determined to see it through, 1916 was the year of great battles. Nations no longer sought to prevail by brilliant strategic assaults, resorting to bloody battles of attrition on the Western Front at Verdun and the Somme and on the Eastern Front in the Brusilov Offensive. Great Britain and France redrew the map of the Middle East despite suffering repeated defeats there. In the North Sea, for the first and only time in the war, the British and German battle fleets clashed. Throughout the year the warring nations kept a wary eye on the United States, where pacifism competed with preparedness and President Wilson won another term because “he kept us out of war.”

Including presentations by:

Volker Berghahn (Professor of History, Columbia University), Stephen Bridges (British Consul General), John Curatola (Professor of Military History, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College), Robert Dalessandro (Deputy Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission and Chairman of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission), Paul Jankowski (Professor of History, Brandeis University), Michael Kazin (Professor of History, Georgetown University), John Kuehn (Professor of Military History , U.S. Army Command and General Staff College), Vejas Liulevicius (Director of Center for the Study of War and Society, University of Tennessee-Knoxville), Robert Nelson (Department Head and Associate Professor in History, University of Windsor), Lee Pollock (Executive Director, The Churchill Centre), and Annessa Stagner (Historian and Dean, Lamar Community College.)

Full Schedule, Presentation Information, and Biographies



All who have a general to professional interest in the periods prior to, during and after World War I should attend this symposium. It especially applies to historians and members of organizations that study these periods and to those who are engaged in planning projects and programs for the war’s centennial between 2014-19.

Symposium Fee

The registration for the symposium is:
            $195 early bird pricing (Deadline October 1, 2016)
            $245 per person (After October 1, 2016)  

The registration provides attendees:
            • Admittance to the presentation
            • Lunch at the Museum and Memorial on Friday, November 4
            • Dinner with two complimentary drinks on Friday, November 4
            • Lunch at the Museum and Memorial on Saturday, November 5
            • Admittance to the Museum and Memorial's exhibits including They Shall Not Pass, 1916

Refund policy

The Museum and Memorial will honor a 50-percent refund on registration fees until October 1. After October 1, no refunds will be granted. Attendees may contact Mark Gunter at 816.888.8103 to request a refund.


Thursday, November 3: Check-in available at the Museum (3 - 5 p.m.)
and the Marriott (6 - 8 p.m.)
Friday, November 4: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; 6:30 p.m. Cocktail hour, dinner and presentation featuring Stephen Bridges (at the Marriott)*
Saturday, November 5: 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
* Non-Symposium attendees may purchase tickets to attend the Friday evening dinner/presentation.


A block of rooms is set aside at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza. Please contact the hotel for availability, further rate information, and to make your reservation. To receive the special rate of $140 a night, reservations must be completed by Oct. 19.



The Symposium is presented by the National WWI Museum and Memorial and the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission in partnership with The Churchill Centre and the Command and General Staff College Foundation, Inc. and sponsored by the Charles Bacon Fund. Special thanks to our presenting sponsors, Bill and Laura Frick.

For information or questions, please email

See past Symposiums:

2015 Symposium

1915: Empires at War, Churchill's Gallipolli & an America Divided

Watch Presentations

2014 Symposium

1914: Global War and American Neutrality

Watch Presentations