WWII Italian POWResearch at Camp Monticello, the World War II Italian Prisoner of War Camp east of Monticello, will be the discussion topic at the September 2 meeting of the Tunican Chapter of Arkansas Archeological Society.

Dr. Jodi Barnes

Dr. Jodi Barnes

Dr. Jodi Barnes, a Research Station Archeologist with the Arkansas Archeological Survey and Research Assistant Professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, will talk about ongoing research at Camp Monticello, the Italian Prisoner of War camp located east of Monticello.

The camp opened as a training facility for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943 and served as a POW camp for Italians from 1943 to 1946. [See more photos, a video and read more about the Italian POW camp in this Seark Today feature story.]

In a place where the spatial arrangement, architecture, and material culture were structured according to the central principles of surveillance, discipline, and control, inmates of Camp Monticello lived in a world of enforced conformity, with their food, clothing, and possessions provided by the institution. Yet archeology shows that the POWs attempted to regain some of their individuality through acquisition or creation of personal or unique items. This research yields new information about Arkansas’ role in World War II and the ways in which the Italian POWs adapted to confinement and expressed ethnic and cultural identity through daily practice.

The meeting is September 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Forest Resources Conference Room on the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus. The event is free and open to the public.