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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

ODI and LGBTerriers bring “Paper Bullets” author Jeffrey Jackson to campus

Photo courtesy of Workman Publishing.
A hard copy of Paper Bullets from Jackson’s website. Published in November 2021, his most recent work has already received critcal acclaim.
Photo courtesy of Workman Publishing. A hard copy of Paper Bullets from Jackson’s website. Published in November 2021, his most recent work has already received critcal acclaim.

The latest in a line of speakers brought to Wofford College, Professor Jeffrey Jackson has a story to share. A professor of history at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Jackson brings a new book with him, one he describes as “a World War II story you’ve never heard before.” 

Bringing Jackson to campus was a joint effort on the part of the LGBTerriers and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, including its new Chief Equity Officer, Dwain Pruitt. 

“Dr. Jackson is a personal friend and was my colleague in Rhodes College’s Department of History,” Pruitt said. “But I also wanted Jeff here because of the story his book tells. Paper Bullets tells a story that many people cannot even imagine—two queer women fighting against the Nazis.”

“My vision for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is that we will work to help the Wofford community hear more unimaginable human stories,” continued Pruitt.

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“Paper Bullets” tells the story of Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe as they assume the identity of “The Soldier With No Name,” in order to demoralize occupying soldiers and lead a psychological resistance against the Nazis in World War II. 

Jackson, who was speaking via Zoom, read excerpts from his new book, emphasizing its significance and the importance of telling the stories of Schow and Malherbe. 

“Their efforts speak to us today about the power of creativity and imagination and persistence, even in trying times,” said Jackson. “They’ve left us with a story about how even small acts of protest and refusal can have significant effects that are hard to see until later.”

The story focuses on a “ground-level view” of the massive historical events of World War II. 

“And they remind us why history matters,” Jackson continued. “Because in the midst of our present day difficulties, we can look back to the stories of people who had it far worse but somehow still survived.”

One of the most astonishing things about the story is that both women survive, despite being imprisoned and sentenced to death. 

Savannah Basnet ‘23, the co-president of LGBTerriers, had more insights to share on bringing the book to Wofford. 

“We heard about Paper Bullets as Dr. Pruitt was friends with the author, and he mentioned the book to us,” said Basnet. “We found the topic incredibly interesting and relevant to LGBTerrier’s goals, which is to increase awareness of LGBT repression throughout history.”

The LGBTerriers and ODI will be working together again in the future. According to Pruitt, the office “plans to relaunch the Diversity Speakers Series.” The goal of this series is “defining ‘diversity’ as both subject and viewpoint diversity. We welcome community suggestions on topics and speakers.” 

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