Veterans and community members to participate in 'Dialogues on the Experience of War'

Published: August 12, 2016
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The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities is launching "Dialogues on the Experience of War," a reading-discussion program on World War I and the Vietnam War, in six communities throughout the state. The center was one of 17 recipients of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, or NEH, for programs that bring perspective and context to the experience of war through the study of literature.

The six Alabama communities participating are Auburn, Collinsville, Ozark, Phenix City, Valley and Wetumpka. The program will begin in September and end in March 2017. Veterans and community members are invited to sign-up for the free program by finding their community representative at http://cla.auburn.edu/cah/programs/dialogues-on-the-experience-of-war/. Recent veterans of the global war on terror are particularly encouraged to participate.

The program provides an opportunity to discuss the experience of war in World War I and the Vietnam War from the perspective of memoir writers and fictional characters in stories and film. World War I resources include the memoir of Congressional Medal of Honor winner John Lewis Barkley; a short story anthology; and the popular 1925 silent film "The Big Parade." Vietnam War resources include Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"; a journalistic account "Dispatches"; and the Academy Award-winning film "Platoon."

Funding for this project from the National Endowment for the Humanities is 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."

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities strengthens the bonds between the College of Liberal Arts and the public by creating and implementing arts and humanities programs that explore our individual and collective experiences, values and identites through the past, in the present and for the future. Based on the extension ideal of our land-grant institution, the center was established by Auburn University in 1985 to develop and offer programming in Alabama schools, towns and communities.

For more information about Dialogues on the Experience of War, or to find a reading-discussion program near you, go to http://cla.auburn.edu/cah/programs/dialogues-on-the-experience-of-war/.