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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

Dr Bruce Pencek

College Librarian for Social Science & History

University Libraries (MC 0434)

3050 Newman Library

560 Drillfield Dr

Blacksburg, VA   24061

(540) 231-2140


Contact information




Dr James Dubinsky

Director, Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society

Department of English (MC 0112)

340c Shanks Hall
181 Turner St NW
Blacksburg, VA   24061

(540) 231-1939




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What does it mean to be a veteran

To whom? For whom?


This NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers focuses on the meanings and implications of the deceptively simple, profoundly liminal category, veteran, not only as it is used in today’s discussions of U.S. military personnel returned from fighting wars of recent memory but also in light of selected works about and by veterans that cross historical eras, national boundaries, and creative and interpretive genres.   [See Virginia Tech press release.]


For three weeks, our institute will be a learning community looking at veterans and society, though not necessarily in ways societies or veterans valorize.  But we are also citizens, of whom a significant portion will identify themselves as veterans.  While we are together we will aim to increase and enrich the understanding of veterans in their societies – civilians’ understanding of veterans, veterans’ understanding of society, and veterans’ self-understanding – which we can apply in our scholarship, classroom teaching, and/or civic engagements.  


While many of the topics and works we address use veteran in familiar ways and settings, we hope that very familiarity will call attention to gaps and inapt generalizations, hierarchies of persons and experiences,  and misperceptions of contexts and contingencies.    [READ MORE...]


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

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