SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA — The Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center is partnering with the Minnesota Humanities Center, which was announced this week as one of three recipients of a grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities’ Dialogues on the Experiences of War Program, which supports the study and discussion of humanities sources that address the experiences of military service and war from a wide variety of perspectives, and encourages Veterans and civilians to reflect collectively on such topics as civic engagement, Veteran identity, the legacies of war, service, and homecoming.
The Minnesota Humanities Center was awarded $100,000 for their project, “Examining Military Service From the Margins” which encourages veterans and community members taking part in the discussion series to consider the experiences, and limitations placed upon, those who have served in the United States military that were women, immigrants, African American, LGBTQ, American Indian, or others serving bravely from the margins despite discrimination and frequent erasure.
Discussion groups will take place at three partner locations across Minnesota in 2024: University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, the Winona County Historical Society, and at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
The McGillicuddy Humanities Center is one of two partner institutions that will test a national expansion of the Minnesota Humanities Center’s program in 2025; the other is the African American Military History Museum in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The goal is to build a flexible framework that could be replicated and locally tailored anywhere in the U.S. in future years, from VFWs to college classrooms. Announcements will be made in late 2023 to recruit participants and paid discussion leaders.
“We at the McGillicuddy Humanities Center anticipate that partnering with the Minnesota Humanities Center, with its long history of work in the veterans community, will be a fruitful connection to our work with communities in and around our campus in Orono, Maine, using the humanities to explore the human condition,” says MHC director Beth Wiemann.
“The ‘Examining Military Service from the Margins’ project fits into our center’s mission very well given our location on the homeland of the Penobscot Nation, and our work with that community, as well as our public outreach in the State of Maine more broadly, which has among the highest percentage of veterans among its population in the United States.”
Guiding this initiative is former McGillicuddy Humanities Center Humanities specialist and current historian and Minnesota Humanities Center humanities officer Karen Sieber, and U.S. Army Veteran and educator Miki Huntington. A team of top scholars and humanists currently embedded in similar work are also contributing to the project, including Beth Bailey, University of Kansas; Charissa Threat, Chapman University; Máel Sheridan Embser-Herbert, Hamline University, U.S. Army and Army Reserve; John Little, University of South Dakota; and David Mura, noted memoirist, poet and documentary producer. MHC’s Veterans Advisory Board, and partners in the veterans community, will also provide insight throughout the project.
For more information about the Examining Military Service from the Margins project, contact email@example.com.
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at neh.gov.