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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

Preliminary bibliography


We ask all participants to acquire and review the preliminary readings listed on the syllabus and to view the audio-visual materials before the first session of the 2016 institute.   This bibliography will remain open after the institute so we can add resources recommended by our participants.


Once the institute begins, we will also distribute a reading packet in print and electronic form that includes materials to be read/viewed/listened to during the following three weeks. We have also put together an extended list that represents selected material our faculty know well and may integrate into sessions for discussion.


If you are undecided about applying to this institute, the readings on the points of departure page give a taste of the genres and topics we will address.  


The literature pertaining to veterans in society is rich historically and constantly growing around the world.  We invite participants to contribute specialized bibliographies and instructional materials as resources for classroom or research use by the veterans studies community.

Entries here provide DOIs and other persistent addresses to articles and ebooks when we have been able to determine them; your ability to access proprietary resources from your home institution depends on your library's licenses.  See the syllabus for links specifically to Virginia Tech's licensed online articles and ebooks or to the Virginia Tech library catalog records for print books and DVDs. 

Required and/or provided materials
  • American Sniper. Dir. Clint Eastwood. Burbank, CA : Warner Home Video, 2015.

  • Astor, Gerald. The Right to Fight: A History of African Americans in the Military. Boston: Da Capo Press, 2001.

  • Bouvard, Marguerite Guzmán. Invisible Wounds of War: Coming Home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2012.

  • Bowden, Lisa, ed. Powder: Writing by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq. Tucson, AZ: Kore Press, 2008.

  • Brodsky, Marc, and Bruce Pencek. “Is the Library Ready for an Emerging Field? The Case of Veterans Studies.” In Beth R. Bernhardt, Leah Hinds, and Katina P. Strauch, eds. Too Much is Not Enough; Charleston Conference Proceedings, 2013. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2014.

  • Brown, Thomas J. The Public Art of Civil War Commemoration: A Brief History with Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004.

  • Buckley, Gail Lumet. American Patriots: The Story of Blacks in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm. New York: Random House, 2002.

  • Busch, Benjamin. Dust to Dust: A Memoir. New York: Ecco Press, 2012.

  • Buzzell. ​Colby.  “My Life Driving Uber as an Iraq Veteran with PTSD.”  Vice, June 7, 2015.

  • Calica, Lovella, ed. After Action Review: a Collection of Writing and Artwork by Veterans of the Global War on Terror.  Chico, CA: Warrior Writers. 2011.

  • ---. Warrior Writers: a Collection of Writing and Artwork by Veterans. Chico, CA:  Warrior Writers. 2014. 

  • Casey, John A. New Men: Reconstructing the Image of the Veteran in Late Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. New York: Fordham University Press, 2015.

  • Chandra, Anita, et al, “Children on the Homefront: The Experience of Children from Military Families.” Pediatrics. 125.1 (2010): 16-25.  DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-1180

  • Dubinsky, James. "Lighting a Lamp Against a Darkening Mental and Moral Vision" in Teaching the Sociology of Peace and War: A Curriculum Guide. Eds. John MacDougall, Morten G. Ender, Helen M. Raisz. Washington, D.C.: American Sociological Association, 1998. 26-36.

  • ---. "War and Rumors of War in Frost." The Robert Frost Review 5 (1995): 1–22.

  • Ellis, Deborah. Off to War: Voices of Soldiers Children. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2010.

  • Fountain, Ben. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. New York: Ecco, 2012.

  • Frost, Robert. The Complete Poetry of Robert Frost. Edward C. Lathem, ed. New York: Holt, 1969.

  • Gambone, Michael D. The Greatest Generation Comes Home: The Veteran in American Society. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2005.

  • Grohowski, Mariana. “Moving Words, Words That Move: Language Practices Plaguing U.S. Servicewomen.” Women and Language, 37.1 (2014): 121-130.

  • Harris, M. Keith. Across the Bloody Chasm: The Culture of Commemoration among Civil War Veterans. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2014.  Ebook:

  • Hart, D. Alexis. “Inquiring Communally, Acting Collectively: The Community Literacy of the Academy Women Ementor Portal and Facebook Group." Community Literacy Journal, 6.1 (2011): 79-90.  DOI: 10.1353/clj.2012.0003

  • Hayslip, Le Ly with Jay Wurts. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places. New York: Penguin, 1989.

  • Homer. The Iliad. Robert Fagles, trans. New York: Viking, 1990.   

  • ---. The Odyssey. Robert Fagles, trans. New York: Viking, 1996.  

  • Howard, Ron, and Francis Martin.  Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots. Eleventh Day Entertainment, 2014. DVD/streaming video. Part I: II:

  • Janney, Caroline E. Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.  Ebook: or Virginia Tech copy of ebook.

  • Jordan, Brian Matthew. "Marching Home”: Union Veterans and their Unending Civil War . New York: Liveright, 2014

  • Kingston, Maxine Hong. Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace. Kihei, HI: Koa Books, 2006.

  • Klay, Phil.  “The Citizen Soldier:  Moral Risk and the Modern Military,” Brookings Essays, 2016.

  • ---. Redeployment. New York: Penguin, 2014.

  • Knauer, Christine. Let Us Fight As Free Men: Black Soldiers and Civil Rights. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.

  • Koelsch, Beth Ann.  "The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project (WVHP)."  NC Library Association "Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian" webinar series.  February 2, 2012.

  • MacLean, Alair, and Glen H. Elder.  "Military Service in the Life Course."  Annual Review of Sociology 33.1 (2007): 175-196.  https://www-annualreviews-org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.soc.33.040406.131710 

  • Maguen, Shira, and Brett Litz. “Moral Injury in Veterans of War.” PTSD Research Quarterly 23.1 (2012): 1–6.

  • Marten, James. America’s Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014. Virginia Tech copy of ebook

  • ---. Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.  Ebook:

  • Mettler, Suzanne. Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

  • Morris, Davd J.  Evil Hours : A Biography of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  New York: Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 

  • NPR. “Moral Injury is the ‘Signature Wound’ of Today’s Veterans.” Fresh Air. Broadcast. Nov. 11, 2014. 4/ / /36328834 /moral-injury-is-the-signature-wound-of-today-s-veterans.

  • Mulhall, Erin. Women Warriors: Supporting She Who Has Borne the Battle. Issue Report. Washington, DC: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.  2009.

  • Nalty, Bernard C. Strength for the Fight: A History of Black Americans in the Military. New York: The Free Press, 1986.

  • National Broadcasting Company. “The Veteran Comes Back,” Words at War, episode 63. Broadcast Sept. 5, 1944. [selection 52 in built-in audio player, begins at :30].

  • National Conference on Citizenship, America’s Greatest Assets: How Military Veterans are Strengthening our Communities. 2015 Veterans Civic Health Index.

  • Nesbit, Rebecca. “Soldiers to Citizens: The Link Between Military Service and Volunteering.” Public Administration Review 71.1 (2011): 67–76. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2010.02307.x

  • Nobles, Heidi Gabriell. Stories We Didn’t Know to Tell: A Collective Memoir from a Lost Tribe.  Denver, CO: Brats Without Borders, 2017.

  • Palmer, Dave Richard. Summons of the Trumpet: A History of the Vietnam War from a Military Man’s Viewpoint. New York: Ballantine Books, 1978.

  • Pash, Melinda L. In the Shadow of the Greatest Generation: The Americans Who Fought the Korean War.  2012.

  • Phillips, Colyn.  “Pension for Soldiers’ Widows: Congressional Attitudes During the 19th Century.  Readex Report 1(4), 2006.

  • Phillips, Kimberley L. War! What is it Good For? Black Freedom Struggles and the U.S. Military from World War II to Iraq. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. Ebook:  

  • Pollock, David C., and Ruth E. Van Reken, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. Boston: Nicholas Brealey, 2009.

  • Powers, Kevin. The Yellow Birds. New York: Back Bay Books, 2013.

  • Rancourt, Suzanne . Women Veterans and Multi Modal Post-Traumatic Growth: Making the Tree Whole Again.” Combat Stress 5.1 (2015).   

  • Rouse, Kristen. “America Must Stand for Freedom, Not Torture,” True Boots, Dec 16, 2014.

  • Scranton, Roy. “The Trauma Hero:  From Wilfred Owen to 'Redeployment' and 'American Sniper.'"  Los Angeles Review of Books, Jan 25,  2015. 

  • ---. “'Star Wars' and the Fantasy of American Violence,” The New York Times, July 2, 2016.

  • --- and Matt Gallagher, eds. Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. Boston:, Da Capo Press, 2013.

  • Shakespeare, William, and John Logan. Coriolanus. Dir. Kathryn Bigelow. 2011.  Beverly Hills: Weinstein Company Home Entertainment, distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2012.

  • Shay, Jonathan. Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character. New York: Scribner, 2003.

  • ---. Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming. New York: Scribner, 2002.

  • Stiehm, Judith Hicks. Arms and the Enlisted Woman. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1989.  Ebook:

  • Truscott, Mary R. Brats. New York: Dutton, 1989. 

  • Turner, Brian. Phantom Noise. Farmington, ME: Alice James Books, 2010.

  • Wertsch, Mary Edwards. Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress. St. Louis, MO: Brightwell Publishing, 2011.

  • Whitfield, Donald H., ed. Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian. Chicago: Great Books Foundation, 2013.

  • Unsung Heroes: The Story of America’s Female Patriots.  Dir. Frank Martin.  Mill Creek Entertainment. DVD. 2014. Streaming version available: Part I:;  Part II:

  • Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. “Coming Home: Veterans in America,” BackStory with the American History Guys. Broadcast Nov. 11, 2011.

  • Williams, George Washington.  A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 . New York: Harper and Brothers, 1888.;view=1up;seq=5

  • Wright, James. Those Who Have Borne the Battle. A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them. New York: Public Affairs, 2012.

  • Yonkman, Mary McNaught and John Marshall Bridgeland. All Volunteer Force: From Military to Civilian Service. Washington, DC: Civic Enterprises, 2009.


Toward a bibliography of veterans studies

The following works do not compose a rigorously selected list but rather our starting point for building a systematic bibliography from sources identified by the institute co-directors and faculty.  Over the course of the institute - and we hope afterward - participants will identify additional works, suggest better categorization and classification, and consider how they could be used to further research, teaching, and outreach in the emerging academic field of veterans studies.

Literary treatments
  • Blumenthal, Michael. “The Things They Still Carry: A Post-Vietnam Story.” Agni 38 (1993): 146–171. [Access restricted to affiliates of JSTOR-subscribing institutions.]

  • Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two. New York: Speak, 2006.

  • Chaucer, Geoffrey. “The Knight’s Tale.” The Canterbury Tales. Trans. Nevill Coghill. New York: Penguin, 2003: 22–27.
  • Doerries, Bryan. The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan. Random House Inc, 2016.
  • Davis, Britton, and Milo M. Quaife. The Truth About Geronimo. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1929. 

  • Garvie, A. F., and Malcolm M. Willcock. Sophocles Ajax. Warminster, England: Aris & Phillips, 1998.

  • Goldensohn, Lorrie, ed. American War Poetry: An Anthology. New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

  • Graham, Winston. Ross Poldark : A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787. London: Bodley Head, 1960.

  • Grenville, Kate. The Lieutenant. New York: Grove, 2010.

  • Komnene, Anna. The Alexiad. Ed. Peter Frankopan. Trans. E. R. A. Sewter. New York: Penguin, 2009.

  • Marlantes, Karl. Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010.

  • McGinty, Jim. Right to Kill: A Brooklyn Tale. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse Com, 2012. 

  • Morrison, Toni. Home. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.

  • O'Brien, Tim. The Things they Carried: A Work of Fiction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

  • Remarque, Erich M.  The Road Back. 1931. Trans. Denver  Lindley. Safety Harbor, Fla: Simon Publications, 2001.

  • Scranton, Roy, and Matt Gallagher. 2013. Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War.  Boston: Da Capo Press, 2013.

  • Shepherd, Jean. Shep’s Army: Bummers, Blisters, and Boondoggled.  Ed. Eugene Bergmann.  Tuxedo Park, NY: Opus, 2013

  • Silko, Leslie M. Ceremony. New York: Viking Press, 1977.

  • Solzhenitsyn, Alexander. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. New York: New American Library, 2009.

  • Vargas Llosa, Mario. The Time of the Hero. London: Faber & Faber, 1998.

Personal narrative, biography, and documentary
  • "Lost in translation: The unsung war heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan."  AEI Events. Podcast. Feb 6, 2017.

  • Chung, Donald. The Three Day Promise: A Korean Soldier’s Memoir. Tallahassee, FL: Father & Son, 1989.

  • Cousineau, Medric. Further Than Yesterday: That's All That Counts. Halifax, NS: Invictus Maneo Publishing, 2013.

  • Đặng, Thùy T. Last Night I Dreamed of Peace. Trans. Andrew X. Pham. New York: Three Rivers, 2008.

  • Finkel, David. Thank You For Your Service. New York: Sarah Crichton Books, 2013.

  • ---. The Good Soldiers. New York: Picador, 2009.

  • Greitens, Eric.  The Heart and the Fist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.  [See also teaching resources regarding its use as the Virginia Tech common book, 2015-17.]

  • Heard, Barry. Well Done, Those Men: Memoirs of a Vietnam Veteran. Brunswick, Victoria, Australia: Scribe Publications, 2012.

  • Jünger, Ernst. In Stahlgewittern [1920] and Kampf als inneres Erlebnis [1922], in Sämtliche Werke. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1978.

  • Keegan, John. The Face of Battle. New York: Penguin, 1976.

  • Kyle, Chris. American Sniper. New York: Harper, 2012.

  • McDonald, Cheryl Butler.  "First Black Woman in the Corps of Cadets: Cheryl Butler McDonald."  Oral history.  Interview by Tamara Kennelly.  Blacksburg: Virginia Tech. University Archives, 1998.

  • Ott, Gil. “Tran Van Tra.” Viet Nam Generation Journal & Newsletter  4(1-2): 43-46  (1992).

  • Russell, Reese M.  "Transcription of diary of Sgt. Reese Melvin Russell, with memoir and notes by his daughter Frances Russell." Washington: Library of Congress Veterans History Project,.

  • Tohe, Laura. Code Talker Stories [Nihizaad bee nidasiibaa']. Tucson, AZ: Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2012

  • Where Soldiers Come From. Dir. Heather Courtney. Austin, TX: Quincy Hill Films, and San Francisco: ITVS, 2011.

  • Wood, David. “A Warrior’s Moral Dilemma.” Article series. Huffington Post. March 18-20, 2014.


Performing arts


Nonfiction works (many fields) 
  • Barker, Martin. A 'Toxic Genre': The Iraq War Films. London: Pluto Press, 2011.

  • Beidler, Philip. “Testaments of Youth: Writing the US War in Vietnam” in War. Ed. Alex Vernon. Critical Insights series. Ipswich, MA: Salem, 2013. 89–105.

  • Brown, Melissa T. Concepts and Context: Masculinity, Citizenship, and the Creation of the All Volunteer Force. Oxford University Press, 2012

  • Copp, Terry, and Mark O. Humphries. Combat Stress in the 20th Century: The Commonwealth Perspective. Kingston, Ont: Canadian Defence Academy Press, 2010.

  • Curtis, Paulette G. “Stewarding a Living Collection: The National Park Service and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Collection.” Museum Anthropology 33.1 (2010): 49–61.

  • Doerries, Bryan. The Theater of War: What Ancient Greek Tragedies Can Teach Us Today. New York: Knopf, 2015.

  • Early, Emmett. The Alienated War Veteran in Film and Literature. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2014.

  • Eikenberry, Karl W. “Reassessing the All-Volunteer Force.” Washington Quarterly 36.1 (2013): 7–24.

  • Ender, Morten G. Military Brats and Other Global Nomads: Growing Up in Organization Families. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002.

  • Gambone, Michael D. The Greatest Generation Comes Home: The Veteran in American Society. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2005.

  • Hart, Alexis, and Roger Thompson. “War, Trauma, and the Writing Classroom: A Response to Travis Martin’s ‘Combat in the Classroom.’” Writing on the Edge 23.2 (2013): 37–47.

  • Headlam, Bruce, Colin Archdeacon, and Mike Shum.  "Theater of War: A Warrior's Last Words."  May 26, 2017.

  • Hicks, Louis, Eugenia L. Weiss, Jose E. Coll, and Robert A. McDonald, eds. The Civilian Lives of US Veterans: Issues and Identities. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2017.

  • Hutton, Robin. Sgt. Reckless: America's War Horse. Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, 2014.

  • James, William. “The Moral Equivalent of War.” 1910. Reprinted in Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 1.1 (1995): 17–26."

  • Special Issue: The Other Casualties of War." Journal of Religion, Disability & Health 12.3 (2008).

  • Kelly, Bernard. Returning Home: Irish Ex-Servicemen After the Second World War. Dublin, Ireland: Merrion, 2012.

  • Kershnar, Stephen. Gratitude Toward Gratitude toward Veterans: Why Americans Should not be very Grateful to Veterans. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014.

  • Keren, Michael and Holger H. Herwig, eds. War Memory and Popular Culture. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2009.

  • Leckie, William H, and Shirley A. Leckie. The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Black Cavalry in the West. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003. 

  • Junger, Sebastian. Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. New york: Grand Central, 2016

  • Kinder, John M. Paying with Their Bodies: American War and the Problem of the Disabled Veteran. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

  • Logue, Larry M, and Michael Barton, eds.. The Civil War Veteran: A Historical Reader. New York: New York University Press, 2007.

  • Martin, Travis L. "A Theory of Veteran Identity." PhD dissertation.  Lexington: University of Kentucky, 2017. 10.13023/ETD.2017.097.

  • McVeigh, Steven, and Nicola Cooper, eds.  Men After War.  New York: Routledge, 2015

  • Meadows, William C. Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche Military Societies: Enduring Veterans, 1800 to the Present. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999.

  • Meineck, Peter, and David Konstan, eds.  Combat Trauma and the Ancient Greeks.  

  • Moyd, Michelle. Violent Intermediaries: African Soldiers, Conquest, and Everyday Colonialism in German East Africa. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2014.

  • Neiberg, Michael S. Making Citizen-Soldiers: ROTC and the Ideology of American Military Service. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.

  • NPR.  “Veterans and Other-than-Honorable Discharges.”  Special series.  Broadcast Dec. 8-13, 2013.

  • O’Connor, John E., and Peter C. Rollins. Why We Fought: America's Wars in Film and History. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008.

  • Park, Nansook. “Military Children and Families: Strengths and Challenges during Peace and War.” American Psychologist. 66.1 (2011): 65–72.

  • Philipps, Dave.  "Other than Honorable."  Special series.  [Colorado Springs] Gazette, 2014.

  • Ralko, Katy. "A 'Toxic Genre': The Iraq War Films." Book review. Quarterly Review of Film and Video. 30.3 (2013): 276-79.

  • Salaita, Steven. “No, thanks: Stop saying ‘support the troops.’” August 25, 2013.

  • Schama, Simon. Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution. New York: Ecco, 2006.

  • Shellum, Brian. Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010.

  • Smith, R. Tyson and Gala True.“Warring Identities: Identity Conflict and the Mental Distress of American Veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Society and Mental Health 4.2 (2014): 147-161.

  • Karthik Venkatraj. "About Face: Mechanics, Progress, and Challenges Facing Veterans Trauma Courts." National Law Review. (2016): 2016-6.

  • ---. "Colorado's About Face:  Mechanics, Progress, and Challenges Facing Veterans Trauma Courts in Colorado."  University of Colorado Law Review 88.2 (2017): 385-427.

  • Waller, Willard.  The Veteran Comes Back.  New York: Dryden Press, 1944.

  • Wilson, John P, Zev Harel, and Boaz Kahana. Human Adaptation to Extreme Stress: From the Holocaust to Vietnam. New York: Plenum Press, 1988.

  • Xenophon. The Anabasis of Cyrus. Trans. Wayne Ambler. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008.




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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