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World War I novel is foundation of final two exhibit-related museum programs

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The final two special programs at Kauffman Museum connected to its current special exhibit will deal with a particular novel set during World War I.

For the first of these, Brad Born, Bethel College professor of English, will speak on “Voices of Conscience in Pat Barker’s Regeneration,” Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. in a Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program.

“In her historical novel Regeneration, Booker Prize-winning author Barker explores the crises of conscience experienced by British officers and the doctors treating them for shell shock in Craiglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh, during World War I,” Born said.

“Focusing on the antiwar poet Siegfried Sassoon, whose declaration against the war landed him in psychiatric treatment, and on W.H.R. Rivers, the psychoanalyst who treated Sassoon, Barker explores both men’s conflicted consciences as they struggle with competing duties to the war, to men under their care, and to their own compassion and conscience.”

Born added, “I plan on teaching the book as if the audience has not yet read it – so I intentionally will introduce the novel and lay out some themes and topics, but not give a final interpretation. My hope is that some audience members will be interested enough to read it then.”

In about 2½ weeks, on Nov. 16, Kauffman Museum will sponsor a screening of Behind the Lines, the film adaptation of Regeneration, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the museum auditorium.

Born will lead a discussion following the showing of the film.

Born’s talk at Kauffman Museum is connected to the current special exhibit, “Voices of Conscience: Peace Witness in the Great War.”

The “Voices of Conscience” exhibit and its associated programs are supported in part by a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council, a nonprofit cultural organization that connects communities with history, traditions and ideas to strengthen civic life.

Designed as a traveling exhibit, “Voices of Conscience” is currently at Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City, Kansas, through Oct. 29. It returns to the museum Nov. 1, remaining through Jan. 21, 2018.

Born’s talk and the film night are free and open to the public. The museum is located on the Bethel College campus at the corner of Main and 27th streets in North Newton.

Regular Kauffman Museum hours are 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission to the special exhibit and the permanent exhibits – “Of Land and People” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” (“Mirror of the Martyrs” is currently traveling) – is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16 and free for Kauffman Museum members and children under 6.

To learn more about exhibits, programs or museum membership, call during 316-283-1612 during open hours, or visit the Kauffman Museum website,, or Facebook page.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.