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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

Participants and events

Take a look at these biographical sketches     of our participants, faculty (1, 2, 3, 4), and co-directors.

July 13.  After his own talk on moral injury and its treatment, Jonathan Shay (left, tan shirt) was a participant observer with us in an exercise by Nancy Short about stressors in American veterans' reintegration.  After the group portrait below, he joined us for the public screening of Ralph Fiennes's interpretation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus.  He returned for a short talk July 15 after leading an eventful discussion at the Salem VA medical center.

July 17-18. Paul Quigley, director of the Virginia Civil War Center, led a visit and discussions about the commemoration of Confederate veterans at the Our Soldiers' Cemetary in Mt Jackson, Va. (left) en route to Washington.  At Arlington National Cemetary he (below, red shirt) his explained the range of memorialization, from the earliest use of the property as a Union cemetery and freedmen's settlement to the 21st century grave marker for recovered crew from the USS Monitor.  The tour of Arlington was, followed by a classroom session in Virginia Tech's Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church.  Weather throughout the field trip to Washington was hot and humid.

July 15. Civil War historian James Marten (Marquette) discusses his approach to veterans' history in his book Sing Not War.   Professor Marten was unable to attend becuase of a family emergency, so he presented his two talks via Skype to our media-rich meeting room in Virginia Tech's Newman Library.

July 19.   Morning in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  Below, Owen Rogers and several of his colleagues in the LOC Veterans History Project described the VHP collection and their processes for acquiring veterans' historical materials and making them available,  At left, historian David Cline (Virginia Tech) described and fielded many questions about his approach to oral history, illustrated with examples from the VHP collection he has used in his research on African-American veterans of the Korean War.

July 20.  Continuing the theme of memorials as expressions of social attitudes of veterans, institute participants took a special guided tour of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., on the return leg from Washington.  Earlier, Eric Hodges (University of South Florida) spoke to us about his research into US veterans' civic engagement.

July 22.  Co-director Jim Dubinsky and his wife Robin (left) hosted a concert of veteran-related folk music at their home.   Musician Nathan Bell had led a discussion in our classroom earlier that day. Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam (center) welcomed institute participants.

Institute faculty:  1  2  3  4

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.

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