Proceedings of the Second Conference on Veterans in Society: Humanizing the Discourse
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The second conference on Veterans in Society represented ongoing growth and continuity in our research program. Our first conference, “Changing the Discourse” (2013), marked the first academic conference solely focused on veteran-related research and brought together scholars from across the humanities and social sciences to start a conversation on the relationships between veterans and the broader society. Papers included work on the arts as therapeutic and expressive acts for veterans, U.S. citizens’ right to lie about military service, and discourse analysis of language affecting servicewomen. For this 2014 conference, our theme’s title, “Humanizing the Discourse,” speaks to a two-fold aim: We hoped to foster increasingly sophisticated dialogue regarding veterans, which required recognizing the individual humanity of people who can sometimes be turned into one-dimensional caricatures behind headlines, statistics, and stereotypes. To support this goal, we invited contributors to draw on the tools of the humanities, as well as the arts and social sciences, in addressing veterans’ issues and shaping policy. We hosted five panels of research projects from contemporary scholars—on topics including international veterans, veterans as intercultural educators, and the role of writing and film in expressing veterans’ experiences—and featured a series of relevant special events including live theatre, film screenings, and a featured panel on military-civilian dialogue. The proceedings that follow include all available print copies of papers and accompanying slides, along with the full original conference program. Due to the live nature of many events, as well as accompanying copyright issues, some written materials are not available.