an initiative at Virginia Tech
About the ViS initiative
People returning from military experience are in society, but can they be entirely of it? The Veterans in Society initiative at Virginia Tech encourages interdisciplinary scholarship to understand the rich diversity among veterans, their families, and their interactions with civilian societies.
We start with simple questions that on examination do not yield simple answers, such as"What does it mean to be a 'veteran'?" and "Who counts as a 'veteran'?"
We encourage new ways of thinking that take seriously veteran-ness as a category of analysis in its own right -- looking at veterans not only as people on the receiving end of public policies or cultural trends but also as agents whose experiences affect and inform civilian societies. We are particularly interested in research into people, experiences, and practices that fall outside common stereotypes and historical and cultural blinders.
Grounded in the social sciences, humanities, and creative arts, we are committed to encouraging scholarship that addresses enduring questions raised by military veterans -- of any era, any allegiance, any mode of service -- from their first separation from the armed forces through their lives and into memory, myth, and representation. In understanding them we may deepen our intellectual, moral, and instrumental knowledge of the veterans among us here and now.
We value rich scholarship in all disciplines and genres that meaningfully engages the world beyond academia. Our network comprises university faculty and students, professionals with other callings, staff and caregivers, and clients in a growing network of institutions. We include veterans, military family members, and civilians, all committed to the important work of contextualizing and making connections among the experiences of veterans in society.
As the Veterans in Society concept has expanded beyond Virginia Tech, we use this site to call attention to projects we have assisted, including the rotation of the ViS conferences among other host universities, the Journal of Veterans Studies, and the establishment of an international umbrella scholarly society, the Veterans Studies Association.
Beyond ViS conferences and other formal kinds of scholarly communication, we encourage you to contribute your ideas about research on veterans in society through the Veterans Studies Conference Group on Facebook.