ATHENS, W.Va. (Hinton News) – Concord University, in partnership with Marshall University, is inviting area veterans, their families, and friends to participate in Testament: Recovering Identity after War. This program, divided into three series to be held at three different locations in West Virginia, centers around the discussion of humanities texts about war and invites participants to share their stories, reflections, and experiences on the digital humanities platform Movable: Narratives of Recover and Place to “create a living testament not only to the pain from the past but to hope for renewal in the future.”
In partnership with the West Virginia Recovery Network, veteran discussion leaders attended a preparatory program at Marshall University and will facilitate discussion groups. Dr. George Williams, assistant professor of English and Concord’s Veterans Advocate, and two other local veterans will lead these two-hour discussions for five weeks of Saturdays beginning on February 18 at 10 a.m. in the State Room, located on the second floor of the Jean and Jerry Beasley Student Center.
“This is a great program and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Dr. Williams. “Testament provides a safe venue where veterans can have open and honest discussions with other veterans.”
Concord’s series—Series Two—will focus on American Civil War and the theme of memory and forgetting. Discussions will consider how veterans can forge the gaps in memory that result from traumatic experience, how embodied memories of war permeate the lives of those who’ve lived through it and the role of memory in the process of recovery.
Participants will read Civil War letters from Carroll’s War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars and Catherine Clinton’s Civil War Stories, both featuring perspectives often left out of the collective memory. Additional readings, including excerpts from Kenneth MacLeish’s Making War at Fort Hood and Brian Powers’ Full Darkness, will explore how embodied memories of war permeate the lives of veterans once they have returned.
For more information on the other series in this project and to register for discussion groups, visit https://www.marshall.edu/
This project is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.