Nation, College, Wartime: Archaeology at a WWI Student Army Training Corps Camp at New Hampshire College


During World War I, the U.S. War Department contracted with 157 universities to form the National Army Training Detachments whose mission was to train college-age draftees in 66 critical army trades (subsequently the Student Army Training Corps). This program is an overlooked part of First World War history and has received little to no archaeological inquiry. This paper investigates the New Hampshire College camp. Working between documentary and archaeological materials, this paper explores how the interrelated duties of educational institutions, businesses, government, and individuals merged with an American wartime imagined community here but also how in their lived experiences of the camp, people materialized the complications of balancing citizenship, difference, duty, and nation. The social lives of the lower-rank men who inhabited these camps, the composite communities formed at them, and the impact of the government’s assertion of control over institutions of higher education all carry material ramifications that deserve further investigation.


Earth Systems Research Center, Anthropology

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International Journal of Historical Archaeology



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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016