Education Programs: Dialogues on the Experience of War

Period of Performance

5/1/2016 - 6/30/2017

Funding Totals

$99,725.00 (approved)
$99,725.00 (awarded)

From Ancient Greece to the Contemporary Middle East: Dialogues on the Experience of War

FAIN: AV-248478-16

University Enterprises Corporation at CSUSB (San Bernardino, CA 92407-2318)
Jennifer L. Andersen (Project Director: September 2015 to present)

A reading, viewing, and discussion program, at various sites in the Inland Empire region of California, on classical literature and the Greek-Trojan wars in dialogue with letters, articles, literature and documentaries about more recent conflicts.

Rumination about war has long been a significant part of public, civic culture in the West, as expressed in ancient Greek works such as Homer’s Iliad, Sophocles’ Philoctetes, and Euripides’ Hecuba -- which were recited or performed in the context of civic festivals. Using these ancient Greek texts as part of a dialogue, our proposed NEH program seeks to connect contemporary veterans to this longer tradition for thinking about the experience of war. Our program will foster conversations about some of the deepest, most intense and profound human experiences of fear, danger, risk, trust, betrayal, rage, alienation, guilt, loyalty and comradeship that human beings ever face – by means of fiction, documentary sources, and through the lives of military veterans. At each discussion, we will pair letters, articles, and documentary sources from more contemporary conflicts (the Vietnam War, Afghanistan War, Iraq War, Syrian Civil War) thematically with ancient sources.

Media Coverage

New Outreach Program for Veterans has Promising Outlook (Media Coverage)
Author(s): William Lewis
Publication: Reveille
Date: 7/30/2016
Abstract: This article was published on the front page of the CSUSB Veterans Success Center's electronic newsletter called the Reveille, Issue 31, July 2016

Literary dialogue helping veterans cope with war experiences, reintegration (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Anthony Victoria
Publication: Inland Empire Community News
Date: 11/28/2016
Abstract: The author interviewed two veteran discussion leaders, Edward Jones and Juan Hernandez, along with the Project Director, Jennifer Andersen, on 11/17/16. He posed 3 questions: 1) why is it important for veterans to reflect on their own experiences and those of past military conflicts? 2) what are some of the key pieces of literature being discussed by everyone in the group? 3) how do you believe civilians (non-veterans) could better understand the hardships veterans face?
URL: http://

Associated Products

Website for Discussion Facilitators (Web Resource)
Title: Website for Discussion Facilitators
Author: Jennifer Andersen
Author: Joseph P. Whatford
Abstract: This website was created for the use of Discussion Facilitators for our Training sessions in July 2016. The website provides twenty-eight links to various supplemental resources for trainees, including radio interviews, videos, news stories, dramatic readings, bibliographies, and blogs. Under the "Documents" tab, it also includes supplemental secondary readings on some of our central primary texts. For more general publicity, we created a blog feature that reports on some of our training days and visiting preparatory program trainers.
Year: 2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This is the link to the website.

Website for Veteran Participants (Web Resource)
Title: Website for Veteran Participants
Author: James Maya
Author: Jennifer L. Andersen
Author: Joseph P. Whatford
Abstract: This website present the primary face of the grant to the public. It describes the discussion program as a whole, lists individual discussions at three locations (San Bernardino Valley College, California State University, San Bernardino, and the Palm Desert Campus of CSUSB), and provides an interface for veterans to sign up for events.
Year: 2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: This is the link to the website.

Memoirs of War: Vietnam to Afghanistan (Course or Curricular Material)
Title: Memoirs of War: Vietnam to Afghanistan
Author: Jennifer L. Andersen
Abstract: This is a new graduate seminar which I will be teaching to English M.A. students in spring 2017. I am also seeking funding to support service learning opportunities for students in the course, where students would lead literature discussions for veterans and civilians at local libraries.
Year: 2016
Primary URL Description: spring 2017 courses are not yet listed on the CSUSB electronic class schedule.
Audience: Graduate

Coming Home from a Conflict Zone (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Coming Home from a Conflict Zone
Abstract: I received a grant of $1,000 from the CSUSB Intellectual Life Fund to invite NPR reporter Kelly McEvers, co-host of All Things Considered from NPR West in Culver City, California. McEvers will give a one-hour talk, followed by questions and discussion. The target audience will be military veterans and their families, CSUSB students, and the broader Inland Empire Community. The talk, entitled "Coming Home from a Conflict Zone," will cover frontline journalists who cover war and conflict close up. Kelly McEvers published the video journal, Diary of a Bad Year: A War Correspondent's Dilemma, after the deaths of several journalists in Libya and Syria starting in 2011 at a time when she was based in Beirut, Lebanon, covering the conflict in Syria.
Author: Kelly McEvers, reporter for NPR West, Culver City, CA
Date: 04/07/17
Location: California State University, San Bernardino
Primary URL Description: TBA -- the talk is scheduled for April 2017, so advertising has not yet begun. This entry is intended to confirm that I applied for an received grant money to bring the speaker to campus.