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New Programs Focused on Veterans and War to Debut at 2014 SFB

Humanities Tennessee begins a new line of programming, supported by a special NEH initiative, centered on veterans and their experiences in war and at home

Tennessee is home to more than half a million veterans of wars ranging from the Second World War to our current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities' new initiative, Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War, Humanities Tennessee will be working with various groups around the state to coordinate new programs to engage those Tennesseans, as well as others, in questions about our roles and responsibilities in service to each other and our nation.

Standing Together banner

Using the occasion of the upcoming 26th annual Southern Festival of Books, Humanities Tennessee will launch Standing Together in Tennessee, a new, year-long initiative to present and support programs focused on the experiences of veterans and their families. This October 10-12, at the Legislative Plaza and downtown Nashville Public Library, we will present, in partnership with the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at Vanderbilt University and Nashville Public Television, a track of sessions throughout the weekend that will feature readings, discussions and authors presenting a range of topics related to experiences of war and the return home. The schedule for this special track is:

Friday, October 10

12:00-1:00 pm NPL Auditorium, Opening Session
Congressman Jim Cooper
State Senator Mark Green
Tennessee Dept. VA Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder
Will Pedigo, Nashville Public Television
Moderator, Tim Henderson

2:00-3:00 pm NPL Auditorium, Destruction and Creation: Poetry and Prose Inspired by War
Kevin Powers, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting
Laird Hunt, Neverhome: A Novel

3:00-4:30 pm, LP Room 16 (CSPAN Session), The Invisible Hands of War: Politics, Legality and Tactics in Modern Conflict
Lien-Hang Nguyen, Hanoi's War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam
Michael Newton, Proportionality in International Law
Ganesh Sitaraman, The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars

Saturday, October 11

10:00-11:00 am LP Room 16 (CSPAN session)
Anand Gopal, No Good Men among the Living: America, the Taliban and the War through Afghan Eyes

10:30 am - 12:00 pm NPL Conf. Room 2
MTSU Writers Corps, DMZ: A Journal of Contemporary Literature by Veterans

1:00-2:00 pm NPL Auditorium, What Happened There: Veterans' Stories in Literature
Phil Klay, Redeployment
Michael Pitre, Fives and Twenty-fives

2:00-3:30 pm LP Room 16 (CSPAN Session), The Long Shadow of War: Veterans' Experiences on the Homefront
Kenneth MacLeish, Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainly in a Military Community
Jennifer Percy, Demon Camp: A Soldier's Exorcism
Kayla Williams, Plenty of Time When We Get Home: Love and Recovery in the Aftermath of War

3:30-4:30 pm, Artober Performing Arts Stage
Stewartsboro High School Drama Club, Operation Homecoming

Sunday, October 12

12:00-1:00 pm LP Room 31
Annegret Fauser, Sounds of War: Music in the United States During World War II

2:00-3:00 pm, NPL Conference Room 3, Conversations Bureau, Work after War: Veterans Coming Home
This public discussion is based on a three-minute spot produced by Nashville Public Televisions for their Veterans Coming Home project, a national public media effort funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to support veterans in their successful transition to civilian life.
Moderator: Dr. Derek Frisby

Beginning next spring, Humanities Tennessee will also begin presenting a reading discussion series examining experiences of war and homecoming using the anthology, Standing Down, as a focal point. This program will consist of discussion series’ for veterans based on the Talking Service format, and copies of the anthology will be obtained from the Great Books Foundation and the New York Council for the Humanities and used by participants in each of the series. This series uses excerpts from works of fiction, poetry, memoirs, and historical documents as the impetus for 90-minute discussions focused on the experiences of veterans in-theater and after coming home.

More information will be forthcoming in the coming weeks. Please check for details about these and other programs.