FOURTH VETERANS IN SOCIETY CONFERENCE
Veterans, globalized: veterans and their societies in international perspective.
26-28 March 2018
Roanoke, Virginia, USA
Arts and veterans
Presentation. Wednesday, 28 March. 9:00 am
Washington Lecture Hall
Open to the public; get free ticket at registration site
Devin Mitchell, photographer
Devin Mitchell (born April 14th, 1987) graduated from Arizona State University in 2017 with a bachelors of science in sociology and a minor in organizational Leadership. His academic interests are sociology, public policy and organizational psychology.
A self described journalistic illustrator with an artistic passion for creativity, he uses components of academic research in tandem with content creation to achieve and encourage communal discourse.
Arizona State University commissioned Mitchell three consecutive years as part of its Salute to Service, 2015-2017, to photograph students, staff, faculty, and community veterans.
During the 2018 ViS conference 15 of those photographs will be on exhibit, and Mitchell will talk about the project's origins and future.
Rashaad Thomas, poet and essayist
People of color are often invisible at academic conferences unless they sacrifice their lives during battle for the greater good. We risk moral injury, social and physical death in order to survive daily. We only are invited to academic conferences when we are the topic of conference discussion, trending in mass media, or the entertainment. We are not taken seriously when invited to present a paper or work that critically analyses the America and people who make up both the dominant culture and the conference audience.
Moral injury leads to moral and social death because we, as immigrants in our country, are not seen as citizens substantially contributing to American society, but filling white myths with denigrating concepts and images.
As a black veteran, poet, and aspiring scholar, I present an unconventional and innovative methodology using creative writing and poetry reading to catalyze audience discussion that avoids re-traumatizing individuals of the disenfranchised communities, but perpetuates healing, rejuvenation, and the reimagining of their lives as black bodies in America’s future as citizens. I believe this will support the conference’s guidelines and objectives while also providing a voice of the silenced and disenfranchised veterans within the veteran community.
Rashaad Thomas is a USAF veteran, essayist, poet, and Voices of Our Nation’s Art Foundation (VONA/Voices) alum, who resides in South Phoenix, AZ. He is an associate editor for Hayden Ferry Review and Four Chambers Press. He is also a contributor for MyClickUrban.com. Rashaad is the recipient of the 2016 City of Phoenix Mayor’s Art Award for Language Artist. He is a Spring 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow and Winter 2017 Writer In Residence at The Alice Gallery in Seattle, WA. His work can be found in the book Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong,The Rumpus, HeartJournal Online, Columbia Poetry Review, and and others.