The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $1.5 million in grants for 17 discussion-based programs for veterans that will bring perspective and context to the experience of war through the study of literature, philosophy, history, and other fields of the humanities.
These are the first awards made under the agency’s new Dialogues on the Experience of War grant program, which was created in July 2015. This grant program is a part of the Standing Together initiative, which emphasizes the innovative ways in which the humanities can engage military veterans and communities.
“Because veterans account for only 7 percent of our country’s population, there is a pressing need for community programs that bring veterans and non-veterans together in conversation,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “NEH’s Dialogues on the Experience of War grants will allow veterans and community members to explore together the experiences of war using humanities texts as the means of deeper understanding.”
Dialogues on the Experience of War includes grant awards of up to $100,000 to organizations to support the recruitment and training of discussion leaders and the convening of discussion programs. The discussion groups take place on college and university campuses, at veterans centers, public libraries and museums, and other community venues. Discussion groups may be made up exclusively of military veterans but may also include men and women in active service, military families, and interested members of the public. Discussion groups use readings and other sources from history, philosophy, literature, visual arts, and film, as well as testimonials of those who have served.
- $99,667 to the Clemente Course in the Humanities for a project that will support veterans dialogue programs in four locations across the country. One of the programs, in Phoenix, will be open to women only and focus on the unique experiences women face in the military.
- $74,127 to Auburn University for a literature and film program, focusing on WWI and Vietnam, for veterans in Alabama communities. The project will also offer two semester-length courses in Alabama correctional facilities. According to a special report, completed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 2011-12 veterans accounted for 8 percent of state and federal prisoners.
- $82,248 to the Maine Humanities Council for a series of discussion groups for Maine veterans based on classical Greek and modern humanities sources. The veterans discussion groups will be located at VA centers, a VA clinic, a state university, and a county jail.
- $200,000 in two grants to the Operation Opportunity Foundation for discussion programs at eight major universities across the country. These discussion programs will be integrated into the successful Warrior Scholar Project that recruits veterans for a weeklong academic boot camp that is grounded in humanities texts and writing assignments, and prepares veterans for college.