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2016 NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers

Veterans in Society:

Ambiguities & Representations

10-29 July 2016


Blacksburg, VA,   and   Washington, DC

Outputs: contributions to veterans studies

Institute participants drafted instructional materials and prepared annotated bibliographies relating to their research agendas.  They presented preliminary versions in July 2016 and then polished them for public access here.

Authors retain copyright in all the materials they created in conjunction with the institute.

Instructional resources

In their capacity as college and university teachers, participants worked in groups to create and present instructional modules for use in higher education.

1:  Using Oral Histories With Multiple Audiences on the Topic of Student Veterans

Units consolidated in a single PDF

  • Using Veteran Oral Histories in Scholarly Research. Meredith Oyen

  • Using Veteran Oral Histories in Green Zone Training. Meredith Oyen

  • Using Oral History in an Undergraduate Sociology of War and Peace Class. Louis Hicks

  • Using Oral Histories in Undergraduate Literature. of War Class. Hilary Lithgow

  • Transitions Course for Newly Enrolled Student Veterans. Andrew Boysen

2:  What is a Veteran?  Exploring veteran-ness from four perspectives

PowerPoint overview

  • Memorial Inquiry.   Susan L. Eastman  (Topical PDF)

  • Veteran Status and Public Policy.  Jim Craig (Topical PDF)

  • Textual Analysis of The Gendered Veterans Body in Self Representations.  Norma Honaker  (Topical PDF)

  • Veterans in World Literature: Contextualizing Wolfgang Borchert's The Man Outside.  Howard Hastings.  (Topical PDF)

3:  Contestation and Change: Veteran Depictions Across Time, Medium, and Genre 

Units consolidated in a single PowerPoint

  • Depicting Veterans in Early American Literature.  Liam Corley  (Topical PDF)

  • Contestations for the Title of Veteran.  Sarah Myers (Topical PDF)

  • Representations of Veterans after the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  Kim Theriault (Topical PDF)

  • Representations of Veterans in the Music of Bruce Springsteen.  Matthew Moses

4:  The Stresses of Military Service and Veteran Reintegration

Overview in PDF

  • Cultural Uses of Ritual for Reintegration.  Christopher Webb  (Forthcoming)

  • Moral Injury and Recovery Strategies.  Rita Nakashima Brock (Topical PDF)

  • The Arts as a Response to the Costs of War.  Tara Leigh Tappert (Topical PowerPoint and PDF)

  • Poetry and Prose of Walter McDonald, USAF (ret.).  Leslie Kennedy Adams (Topical PDF)

5:  Veteran Oral History: Voice and Representation

Units consolidated in a single PowerPoint  (Very large PPT file may require downloading before it can be viewed.)

  • Oral History Theory, Practice & Methodology.   Andrew Darien

  • Oral History on the Web.  Beth Ann Koelsch

  • Telling Our Stories:  Honoring our Veterans by Moving Societal Margins.   Elizabeth Desnoyers-Colas

  • Alternative Approaches: New Models for Collaborating with Veterans.   Nancy Dallett

6:  “We Can Do Better”: “Listening” to the Voices of Veterans in Interviews, Memoirs, Literary Texts, and Memorials

Alexis Hart, David Noon, Elena Friot, Kristin Kelly. 

PowerPoint overview

Topical modules (consolidated in a single PDF)

  • Veteran Authorship and the Politics of Standpoint. 

  • Veterans and the Meaning of War

  • Female Veterans' Voices. 

  • Witnessing War Means Listening to Soldiers


Annotated bibliographies 


Leslie Kennedy Adams.  Remembering Fighter Pilots of Vietnam War

Andrew Boysen.  Oral History

Rita Nakashima Brock.  Moral Injury and Veterans

Liam Corley.   Literary Representations of Veterans in the 19th Century

Jim Craig.   Veteran Public Policy and Advocacy

Nancy Dallett.   Interdisciplinary and International Inquiry for Veterans Studies

Andrew Darien.  Veterans' Oral Histories

Susan L. Eastman.  War Memorials/Veteran Memorials

Elena Friot.  Diversities of Commemoration

Alexis Hart.  Student Veterans in Higher Education

Howard Hastings.  Soldier vs Veteran in Ernst Jünger and Wolfgang Borcher

Louis Hicks.  Starting Points for Veterans Studies

Norma Honaker.  Gender Troubling the Tradition of Women in Service

Kristin Kelly.   Poetry, Prose, and Healing from PTSD

Beth Ann Koelsch.  Gender Issues in the U.S. Military

Hilary Lithgow.  Teaching War, Veterans and Military Experiences

Matt Moses.  Representations of Veterans in the Music of Bruce Springsteen (discography)

Sarah Myers.  Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)

David Noon.  Veterans, Violence, and the 2000-2008 Presidential Campaigns

Meredith Oyen. Student Veterans (Past and Present)

Tara Leigh Tappert.  Arts as a Response to the Costs of War: WWI ... Iraq/Afghanistan

Kim S. TheriaultVietnam Veterans Memorial

Christopher WebbTraumas, Cultures, Veterans

Post-institute collaborations


How Society Remembers Veterans, 1945-2016  Panel presented at the annual meetings of the American Historical Association, Washington, DC, Jan 4, 2018.  Recording by C-SPAN.

  • Meredith Oyen

  • Elena Friot

  • Sarah Myers

  • Andrew Darien


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The Veterans in Society: Ambiguities and Representations 2016 summer institute for college faculty is a project of
Virginia Tech's Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society and the University Libraries.  

The 2016 Veterans in Society summer institute has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.  Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this the institute or this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities nor Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

© 2015 by Virginia Tech.         Site created with

  • ViS institute Facebook group
  • ViS Twitter hashtag #ViSNEH2016
  • ViS LinkedIn conference group
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