The Veterans in Society at Virginia Tech and the Veterans Studies Association will host an online symposium centered on veterans studies.

“Conversations in Veterans Studies” will be held via Zoom on May 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. The registration link is available here.

The symposium is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the Center for Humanities.

Following a brief orientation, the symposium will feature a keynote panel discussion centered on Willard Waller’s historical sociology of veterans. Waller’s 1944 book, Veteran Comes Back Home, aimed to help Americans better understand the vast number of veterans who would soon return to society from World War II.

Panelists will address Waller’s legacy and his book’s adequacy as a guide for the 21st century. The discussion will also address questions such as:

  • What emphases, assumptions, and omissions in Waller’s account should today’s policymakers, scholars, and citizens confront?  
  • Which of his ideas have stood up as bases for inquiry into veteran-society interplay through other interpretive lenses?

Speakers will include the following members of the Veterans in Society and Veterans Studies Association:

  • Jim Craig, associate teaching professor in sociology, University of Missouri at St. Louis;
  • Nancy Dallet, associate director, Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement, Arizona State University;
  • Jim Dubinsky, associate professor of English, Virginia Tech;
  • Eric Hodges, assistant professor of political science, Longwood University; and
  • Bruce Pencek, college librarian for social science and history, Virginia Tech.

Following the panel discussion, the symposium will enter breakout sessions. Attendees may choose a session based on the topic of their choice. Topics include:

  • Research methods, collaborations, and questions;
  • Veteran identity;
  • Media representations and cultural productions;
  • Patriotism; and
  • Publishing in veterans’ studies.

Attendees will then reconnect to discuss what they’ve learned and learn details about the 6th annual Veterans in Society conference at Arizona State University scheduled for 2022.

The Veterans in Society at Virginia Tech began in 2013. The organization is committed to researching and engaging the enduring questions raised by military veterans, including questions of identity, role in society, and how past veterans’ experiences can inform today’s policies and action.

The Veterans Studies Association is a nonprofit organization that encourages and disseminates rigorous scholarship about the interactions of military veterans and their families with civilian societies in order to inform public understanding, teaching, service, and advocacy.

Follow this link to learn more about the Conversations in Veterans Studies event schedule.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation for the symposium, contact  Joe Forte at 540-231-2677 or 540-358-0859 or during regular business hours prior to the event.