TO: Rhode Island veterans FROM: Memory vs. Representation Symposia The organizers of the upcoming Memory vs. Representation: Veterans’ Homecoming in History, Literature, and Memory symposia planned for this fall invite interested Rhode Island veterans to contact us regarding participation in the discussion panel which we hope to be the focal point of these symposia. The meetings, which will be open to the public, will be held in in Kingston (9/11), Providence (10/16) and Warwick (11/13). All ninety minute events are scheduled for Sundays at 2pm. Panel members will have read preselected fictional and historical materials and, if applicable, viewed videos that will be used to facilitate a discussion of veterans’ homecoming experience. All materials would be provided in advance. In addition, members will attend a brief pre and post symposia meeting allow panelists to feel comfortable with the format and to provide feedback to organizers on their experience. We hope to bring together approximately 5 veterans, and we especially encourage younger, female, and minority veterans to consider participating. The goal of this symposium will be to demonstrate the ability of humanities’ texts to provide a common space to interrogate and share intense human experiences constructed by war. Texts will address, among other experiences, pride, guilt, and alienation from civilian peers. Conversation will compare and contrast representations in literature and history with the homecoming memories of the veteran panelists. These representations found in humanities’ texts provide a needed bridge that can help to build understanding of the soldier’s reception in the larger community emphasizing the different public forms over the generations: from hero worship to scorn and shame to the more contemporary reaction which seems to mix the two--over politicization of the figure of the returning soldier, slightly paternalistic and yet, ironically, a willful ignorance to the reality of the obstacles this population faces when trying to reintegrate with the citizen population. Minority and women veterans will be encouraged to participate because of their unique perspective and their under representation in war literature. Please keep in mind that chosen panelists will be committed to participate in all three symposia and the two additional pre and post meetings. A small stipend will be available to panel members. Please respond no later than July 15th at email@example.com.
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