Siegel, Mona L.
Siegel, Mona L.
Education: University of Wisconsin at Madison, Ph.D., 1996.
Home—CA. Office—California State University, Sacramento, 6000 J St., Sacramento, CA 95819-6056. E-mail—[email protected]
California State University at Sacramento, Sacramento, assistant professor, 2003-08, director of graduate studies for the history department, 2007—, associate professor of history, 2008—.
Phi Beta Kappa, American Historical Association, Society for French Historical Studies, Peace History Association, Western Association of Women Historians.
Council for European Studies Pre-dissertation Fellowship, 1992; Peace Scholar, United States Institute of Peace, 1993-94; Research Fellowship, Centre de Recherche de l'Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne, France, 1994; Spencer Foundation Small Grant Research Fellowship, 1999; National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2001-02; CSUS Research and Creativity Award, 2004-05; History of Education Outstanding Book Award, 2006, for The Moral Disarmament of France: Education, Pacifism, and Patriotism, 1914-1940.
Contributor to journals including Radical History Review, French Historical Studies, and the Journal of Modern History.
Mona L. Siegel earned her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1996. She serves as an associate professor of history and as the director of graduate studies for the history department at the California State University in Sacramento, where she joined the faculty in 2003. Siegel's primary areas of research and academic interest include modern French history, the history of women and gender roles and relations, the link between history and memory, the history of peace, and the history of the two world wars. As part of her academic duties, she teaches a number of courses on topics that range from Western civilization since 1500, to Europe in the century that led up to World War I, to the development of democracy in France and the attitudes toward human rights during the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon, to the gender roles of women in modern Europe. In addition to teaching, Siegel is a member of several professional associations, including the American Historical Association, the Society for French Historical Studies, the Peace History Association, and the Western Association of Women Historians. She also contributes to various academic journals, such as Radical History Review, French Historical Studies, and the Journal of Modern History. Siegel's book, The Moral Disarmament of France: Education, Pacifism, and Patriotism, 1914-1940, was published in 2004.
The Moral Disarmament of France addresses the ways in which World War I affected France, both over the course of the engagements and in their wake, leading all the way up until France entered World War II. While many works look at the economic and political ramifications of the wars, Siegel's effort instead looks at a more long-term effect as it pertains to the population as a whole, considering changes to educational policies and structure, and attitudes toward both pacifism and patriotism within the national boundaries. In particular, she focuses on the school curriculum going into World War I and the attitudes of educators of the time, then proceeds to analyze the shifts in education and the ways in which educators served to alter that curriculum, linking many of their ideas and new agendas to their experiences during wartime and toward overall feelings of national unity that sprang up in the wake of the war. Teachers struggled during the war, as the lessons regarding national pride were considered more important than ever, but they could also be considered dangerous during a wartime situation. Some teachers stood against the war and did so openly through their lessons, facing arrest and prosecution. It was only later, as ideas regarding the war and the reactions of educators altered, that it became clear that patriotism and pacifism were not mutually exclusive concepts, and to be against a war and all of its details was gradually realized to be different from being against one's own country. By the 1930s, when it was apparent that peacetime was coming to a close, teachers suddenly found themselves discussing new concepts of militarism due to the rise of the Fascists and the Spanish Civil War, and eventually the rise of the Nazis. Siegel addresses the theory that it was the education during this time, which preached pacifism, that eventually resulted in the swift fall of France to Germany in World War II, claiming that in truth the defeat was purely military, and that instead it was the strong unification of France through their patriotic beliefs that helped the nation remain strong and able to maintain a massive underground resistance over the course of the war. Kevin J. Callahan, writing for the War Starts at Midnight Web site, found Siegel's effort to be "an excellent book on the complex relationship between pacifist activism and commitment to the ideals of internationalism and patriotism." John S. Hill, reviewing for the Canadian Journal of History, praised Siegel's extensive preparation for the book, remarking that "she both constructs a coherent chronology and draws out the engaging voices of participants. Readers can only admire the attentiveness and tenacity of Siegel's research."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, February 1, 2006, Norman Ingram, review of The Moral Disarmament of France: Education, Pacifism, and Patriotism, 1914-1940, p. 262.
Canadian Journal of History, March 22, 2007, John S. Hill, review of The Moral Disarmament of France, p. 124.
International History Review, March 1, 2006, Robert J. Young, review of The Moral Disarmament of France, p. 200.
Journal of Modern History, March 1, 2007, Judith Surkis, review of The Moral Disarmament of France, p. 196.
Times Literary Supplement, September 2, 2005, "Down to the Teachers," p. 25.
History Teacher,http://www.historycooperative.org/ (November 1, 2006), Susan Graysel, review of The Moral Disarmament of France.
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (September 1, 2005), Deborah D. Buffton, review of The Moral Disarmament of France; July 1, 2006, Kevin J. Callahan, review of The Moral Disarmament of France.
Mona Siegel Home Page,http://www.csus.edu/indiv/s/siegelm (June 24, 2008).
War Starts at Midnight,http://warstartsatmidnight.typepad.com/ (October 28, 2006), Kevin J. Callahan, review of The Moral Disarmament of France.