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Homecomings and the Humanities: Standing Together with American Veterans

May 27, 2016

Join the National Endowment for the Humanities for a public presentation on NEH's Standing Together initiative, which seeks to promote the understanding of the military experience and to support returning veterans. Created in 2014, Standing Together supports projects that explore war and its aftermath, promote discussion of the experience of military service, and support returning veterans and their families.

On May 27 directors of three NEH Standing Together pilot projects will share their experiences and insights with the public and project directors of NEH's newest veteran-serving grant program, Dialogues on the Experience of War.

This public panel discussion is part of a meeting of representatives of 17 organizations awarded the first round of NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War grants to recuit and train discussion leaders to convene humanities-based discussion groups for military veterans, their families and members of the public that promote serious exploration of issues related to war and military service, such as questions about the nature of duty, heroism, suffering, loyalty, and patriotism.

Presenters:

William D. Adams, NEH Chairman and Vietnam War veteran

Sidney Ellington, Warrior Scholar Project

Elizabeth Sinclair, Maine Humanities Council

Peter Meineck, Aquila Theatre

Allison Blakely, member of the National Council on the Humanities and Vietnam War veteran

About the NEH Standing Together pilot projects:

The Warrior-Scholar project is an intensive two-week, humanities-based “academic boot camp” hosted at some of America’s top universities to facilitate veterans’ transition from the military to college. Under the guidance of world-renowned professors and veteran mentors, students in the Warrior-Scholar Project develop the analytical reading, writing, and discussion skills critical to academic success while also learning about challenges to expect on campus. Student veterans tackle humanities classics such as Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War, and Herodotus’ The History.  They practice dealing with academic fundamentals:  close reading of primary sources, text-based discussion, study skills appropriate to a large volume of reading, note taking, exam preparation, course selection, time management, family relations, and confidence-building. The program would be expanded from its founding site at Yale to Harvard University and the University of Michigan. 

Literature and Medicine is a reading and discussion program to help the medical and administrative staff of Veterans Affairs hospitals understand and handle the special pressures and challenges of treating veterans. The Standing Together initiative intends to extend successful programs now underway in twenty VA hospitals to include discussion programs for veterans groups.  The programs are administered through the Maine Humanities Council, which pioneered the effort in 1998.  New syllabi will be distributed to nine state humanities councils with prior experience in running Literature and Medicine programs: Arizona, California, Maine, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Vermont. These states will craft programs to broaden the reach of their Literature and Medicine programs at venues across the nation. 

YouStories builds on the success of previous NEH grants for Aquila Theatre’s programs interpreting classical Greek drama. Aquila conducts special outreach to American veterans and their families with programs that draw on powerful portrayals in Greek drama of soldiers returning home from war. As participants in the programs, veterans find parallels and develop insights into their own experiences of the trauma of war and the challenges of re-entering civilian life. Ten additional theater programs will focus on women’s military experience and its consequences for women, men, and families, through two works by Euripides, Herakles and The Women of Troy.

Please RSVP to Rachel Poor (rpoor@neh.gov) by Friday, May 20

NEH is located at 400 7th St. SW.  If you are arriving via metro, there is an exit from L’Enfant Plaza station direction to our building, marked 7th and D.  The Constitution Center is Real ID compliant, so you will need an appropriate government-issued photo ID to enter the building. 

For more information regarding this event:

Time: 11:00 am

Contact: Rachel Poor E-mail: rpoor@neh.gov
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 7th St. SW
Washington , DC
United States
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