Veterans in Society (ViS) 2015

The 3rd annual Veterans in Society (ViS) Conference took place 12-14 November, following Veterans Day 2015, at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.  Here is the Program.  You also can download a program for Speed Killed My Cousin.

Theme: “Veterans in Society: Race and/or Reconciliation.”

  • Thursday Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Marten, Marquette University, author of several books about veterans, to include America’s Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014).
  • Friday Luncheon Speaker: Secretary, John C. Harvey, Jr., Admiral, U.S. Navy, (RET.), Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • Theater Event–Friday night at 8 pm: Speed Killed My Cousin (playwright Linda Parris-Bailey just received a 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award).  Program
  • Saturday Plenary Speaker: Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried
  • Saturday panel focusing on the symbolism and legacy of the Confederate Battle Flag, featuring John Coski, director of the Museum of the Confederacy, and Wornie Reed, director of VT’s Race and Social Policy Research Center.

The third annual Veterans in Society conference is an interdisciplinary event featuring speakers from seven disciplines.  The conference schedule is available here.

As we noted last year, the topic of veterans’ reintegration into society has been challenging for governments and civilian society. Reintegration and reconciliation are intimately linked. Many of the deepest and most lasting wounds of war are a result of clashes between racial and ethnic groups, clashes that often do not fit Western conventions of what war is – and thus of who and what veterans are, what they need, and what they can offer after fighting has dropped from headlines. As a case study, the American Civil War provides a particularly powerful point of departure from which to explore veterans’ experiences with reconciliation when deep social divisions such as race and ethnicity cut across other sources of identity, notably shared military experiences.

Guest Speaker:  Dr. James Marten, Marquette University, author of

  • America’s Corporal: James Tanner in War and Peace (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014).
  • Children and Youth during the Civil War Era.  Editor.  (New York: New York University Press, 2012).
  • Sing Not War: Civil War Veterans in Gilded Age America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011). Alternate Selection, History Book Club.

Theater Event:   Speed Killed My Cousin — watch trailer

Hosted by the Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society (CSRS), the Virginia Tech University Libraries, the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention (CPSVP), the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, the Race and Public Policy Center, and the Virginia Tech Center for the Arts, all at Virginia Tech.

Current sponsors include the VT Center for the Arts; the VA Center for Civil War Studies; the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH); the VT University Libraries; the Office of the Provost; the VT Graduate School; the VT College of Architecture and Urban Studies; the VT College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS); the VT College of Natural Resources and Environment; the VT Pamplin College of Business; the VT Office of Inclusion and Diversity; the VT Office of Human Resources; the VT Office of Student Affairs; the VT Institute for Policy and Governance; the VT Student Success Center; the VT Veterans Caucus; the Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention; the Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement; the Race and Social Policy Research Center; the Virginia Tech departments of English, History, and Sociology; Women’s and Gender Studies Program; Student Veterans at VT (Vets@VT); the regional chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA); the Department of English’s Distinguished Alumni Board (DAB); the National Security Research Thrust (ICTAS); and Radford University’s McConnell Library.

Download the Call for Papers for the 3rd ViS Conference

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