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Classrooms in Conflict: Oregon State College and The Korean War Public Deposited

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  • This presentation examines how the Korean War influenced academic life at Oregon State College and later Oregon State University. By profiling students and faculty involved in the conflict, new insights emerged into how war transforms higher education. Three Oregon State perspectives encapsulate the turbulent 20th-century geopolitics of the Korean peninsula. Each member of this diverse group—a Korean international student, an American debate champion, and a USAF navigator who would go on to become the dean of OSU’s College of Liberal Arts—illustrates a different period and voice of the U.S.-Korea strategic partnership. Ultimately, the Korean war produced patriotic rhetoric and bilateral opportunities in academia. Warring nations exerted influence over scholars to achieve the goals of military campaigns. Utilizing primary sources from SCARC, “Classrooms in Conflict” provides a nuanced account of voices left out in traditional narratives of America’s ‘Forgotten War.’ Originally presented at the inaugural Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference, an event coordinated by The School of History, Philosophy and Religion & The School of Writing Literature and Film.
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  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
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