I am thrilled to have been awarded a new grant from the NEH program Dialogues on the Experience of War, part of the Standing Together initiative. Along with project co-director Andrae Marak, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at GSU, I look forward to an exciting year of programming on the theme of “War Memory and Commemoration in the Humanities.” I will update this page as the project develops, and related material can be found on Twitter via the hashtag #ENGL4080.
In the spring of 2017, I received funding from the NEH program Dialogues on the Experience of War with project co-director Andrae Marak, Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at GSU. Our project, “War, Trauma, and the Humanities,” unrolled over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. The centerpiece of the project was a for-credit class, run under an English programs special topics number, which featured a team of five student-veteran discussion facilitators. The student-veterans were selected in a competitive process and for the six weeks prior to class, the project directors conducted training that introduced some of the humanities materials and offered pedagogical foundations and practice. The Twitter hashtag #ENGL4080 offers a glimpse of project activities, links to related material, and my photos from museums and other cultural heritage sites.
Chicago regional coverage of the project includes articles in the Daily Southtown (4/14/17) and the Citizen Suburban Times (9/27/17), and Dennis Sullivan, author of the April story on the project, visited class in November for a follow-up story in the Daily Southtown (11/10/17). The Michigan State University College of Arts & Letters (10/12/17) published an alumna profile of me that focuses on the project, and GSU’s Angela Denk wrote a profile of the student-veteran team for the GSU Newsroom (10/30/17). The culminating event of the class, open to the public, was recorded in the GSU TV studios on December 4, 2017: click for the 60-minute edit of Veterans Speak: War, Trauma, and the Humanities posted to YouTube. In May 2018, student-veteran team member Victor Garcia gave the central address for the Crete, Illinois Memorial Day observances, an honor he lived up to with an eloquent speech; read more in the Daily Southtown article (5/29/18).
CONTRIBUTING TO THE CONVERSATION:
In February of 2018, I gave a talk on our grant-project work as public humanities at the University of Washington’s Simpson Center for the Humanities (sponsored by UW Scandinavian Studies and the Fielding Endowment for Norwegian Studies). In May, I was one of two project directors invited to offer “notes from the field” during the public portion of the NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War project directors’ meetings in Washington, D.C.: Lela Hilton, National Program Director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, and I presented our projects’ successes and challenges to new grant recipients and a public audience. Project co-director Andrae Marak and I will be presenting on our NEH grant projects at the World History Association Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in June, 2018 and at the War, Literature & Arts Conference at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado in September, 2018.