News

Follow up from 4C16 and Prep for 4C17 for Standing Group “Writing with Current, Former, and Future Members of the Military”

Colleagues:

We hope this finds you well, just three weeks shy of the 4C17 proposal deadline. We look forward to seeing everyone in Portland, OR in 2017. In the meantime, we hope to sustain interest year-round interest in our Standing Group’s mission to “[support] instructors who work with veterans, ROTC and Academy cadets and midshipmen, and currently-serving members of the military, and [help] composition instructors and composition as a discipline respond to the strengths and needs of those connected to the military. . Due to this tall order, this email is rather lengthy. Thank you in advance for reading all the way through the four (4) items we present for your consideration and action and for reviewing the attached documents (the Annual Report and a CFP). Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or recommendations. 

Item 1: Call for Proposals for Standing Group Sponsored Session or Workshop

The CCCC Standing Group Writing with Current, Former, and Future Members of the Military seeks proposals for its 2017 Sponsored Standing Group Panel and/or Workshop for CCCC in Portland, OR. 

Details below (proposal deadline: Monday, May 2, 2016 end of day).

Considering the theme for the 2017 CCCC, “Cultivating Capacity, Creating Change,” the CCCC Standing Group “Writing With Current, Former, and Future Members of the Military” issues a call for a session or workshop proposal, which presents efforts (pedagogical, grassroots/community-based, departmental, programmatic, institutional, or research studies) that sustain and expand veterans studies within rhetoric, composition, literacy, and writing studies. 

What: The Standing Group is allotted one guaranteed sponsored workshop or session in the CCCC 2017 program. If you wish your proposal to be considered for the Standing Group’s  sponsorship, send your proposal by end of day, Monday, May 2 to both Alexis Hart, Sr. Officer, (hartandthompson.warriorwriters@gmail.com) and Mariana Grohowski, Jr. Officer, (mgrohow@gmail.com

for review. Email notifications of acceptance from the Standing Group will be sent no later than Friday, May 6, 2016 along with instructions on how to indicate “sponsored” status on the proposal. 

Item 2: Pre-Conference Workshop  

If you are interested in proposing a pre-conference workshop for 2017, please email Mariana and she will share with you the successful proposal from 2016 as well as the  successful 2012 proposal, prepared by Lisa Langstraat. 

Item 3: CFP: Special Issue of the Journal of Veterans Studies // invitation to submit any time to JVS

 Attached, please find a call to submit modified CCCC 2016 conference presentations for the Winter 2016 issue of JVS

 That said, you are always invited to submit to JVS (anytime). And if you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please contact Mariana. 

Item 4: Staying in touch via digital / social media and contributing materials to the Group’s website 

Here’s information to stay in touch with colleagues from the Standing Group throughout the year: 

  • Find us on Twitter @veteransstudies
  • Find us on Facebook (Facebook group  Allies of Veterans in Academia)
  • On the Web (http://veteransstudies.org)
    • Add to the materials contributed by Lydia Wilkes, Cate St. Pierre, Sue Doe, Lisa Langstraat, Mark Blaauw-Hara, Cassandra Branham, Tara Hembrough, Mallory Rosalia, Marion Wilson, Corrine Hinton, and Liam Corley on the Readings & Links page 

Our Best,
Mariana and Alexis 

News

Veterans Day

By Dylan Medina and Mariana Grohowski

On Veterans Day we should pause for a moment to not only thank veterans for their service, but also to reflect on what we do everyday to live that gratitude for their service. The VFW argues, [e]ach citizen must work to ensure that America fulfills its promise to provide our veterans with the benefits and entitlements they’ve earned and deserve.” They continue to remind us “[o]ur veterans deserve our lasting gratitude and respect.” The key here is “lasting,” which means we must extend our concern for veterans beyond the holiday. In general, this means creating social spaces that are welcoming to veterans regardless of our opinions about the military decisions of the country, and delegating the resources necessary to support veterans’ transition into and lives in those spaces. For scholars and teachers this means approaching our work with concern for veterans both in our studies and in our classes.

In the past five years, Composition Studies has become increasingly concerned with veterans, but the field has a historical legacy of showing gratitude for veterans’ service. In fact, CCCC’s late founder, John C. Gerber organized the first CCCC in 1949, as a reaction to the “sudden influx of veterans on the GI Bill” (Lloyd-Jones, “In Memoriam” 221) after World War II. The over two million student veterans that pursued higher education after WW II prompted major changes to college composition instruction (Bond; “In Memory” 22; Lebduska). Gerber responded to the unique needs and abilities student veterans brought to college campuses in general, and composition courses in particular.

During and after the Vietnam War, James Berlin and Richard Ohmann advocated the importance of discussing the politics of war in the Composition classroom and in published scholarship. A noted concern in both Berlin and Ohmann’s work was on the social and cultural influences of the Vietnam war on Composition instruction. As Ohmann put it, “English classrooms are the front line of culture” (23); ignoring the “reality” of the war’s influence on Composition instruction was something both scholars worked hard to combat–an effort CCCC picked up on in their 2003 resolution 3 to “encourage communication about war.” Because war and the U.S. military can facilitate politically-charged conversations, contemporary Composition scholars have shifted away from an explicit discussion on war and U.S. military conflicts, back to Gerber’s vision of accommodating student veterans. These efforts were most notably ushered in by Marilyn Valentino in her 2010 CCCC Chair’s Address, but were furthered by the efforts of D. Alexis Hart and Roger Thompson’s CCCC White Paper, as well as the CCCC Veteran’s Task Force and their position statement on working with student veterans.

While all of this has been done at the disciplinary level, we can go forward considering what we can do as teachers and scholars to make room for veterans and their experiences in our classrooms, and we can work publicly toward the fulfillment of the promise our society has made to the members who have served.