Clemente Veterans Initiative

We’re very excited to announce that the National Endowment for the Humanities has funded our proposal for a semester-long humanities class, for veterans and non-veterans, discussing great works of literature, history, philosophy and art centered around three major conflicts: Classical Greek wars, the American Civil War and the Vietnam War.

The class will be taught in a seminar style, with active discussion and participation expected.

Those who complete the course will be eligible for 3 college credits from Bard College, NY.

The cost for participants will be: nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

This class will be free, thanks to our NEH funding.

But although it is free for the students, that does not mean it is worth nothing. On the contrary, a lot of time and effort has gone into prototyping the class and learning from other classes to create a classroom experience that will be beneficial and educational to all participants.

Mini-course April 2018

In April of 2018, we ran a mini-course, a weekly discussion for five weeks.

It was small, starting with 5 participants and ending with 2, but we had some great conversations. The mini-course focused on art and literature. Some of the topics we discussed were:

  • Shakespeare’s St Crispin’s Day Speech
  • Different stereotypes between the branches
  • Paintings by Winslow Homer
  • Who owns an image
  • How do civilian experiences of war differ from that of soldiers?

I was nervous going in — what was this going to be? — but felt recharged and full of questions and new ideas after every class.

I’m still nervous about the class in 2019; I still don’t know what it’s going to be. But now that trepidation is leavened by the excitement of what I know can happen in the classroom.

More information about the mini-course can be found here.


We hope you’ll join us!

Let’s be upfront: we’ve never done this before, although we know friends and colleagues who have. This is an experiment, a blind date, an adventure.

We have some ideas of how having these discussions could be beneficial to participants but, honestly, those are just guesses.

We hope you’ll join us in this endeavor, come prepared to talk and to listen and then maybe you can tell us what was worthwhile about the experience.