Hello and thank you for your attention. Now that I have it, I’d like to make two brief introductions.
Introduction 1: My name is Mariana Grohowski. I am an Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University Southeast. I was recently appointed to the Coalition’s Advisory Board and I have been a proud member of the Coalition since 2013. In 2014, I helped to assess the Coalition’s use of social and digital media.
Introduction 2: The second and more important introduction I seek to facilitate is to introduce the Coalition to the inaugural issue of the Journal of Veterans Studies (JVS). I founded JVS in November 2015 after 3 years of receiving journal article rejections based on the focus of my research on women veterans. Indeed, I noticed a lack of referred publication venues for interdisciplinary research and writing on and about the issues and experiences of military veterans. JVS is the only refereed, open access, interdisciplinary, online journal focused on veterans studies.
I published the inaugural issue, thanks to the help of generous reviewers and an amazing editorial board, in July 2016. I hope many members of the Coalition will find the articles to be of interest. The inaugural issue contains eight original research articles and three reviews: two of books and one on a work of new media). The entire issue is available online (open access) at veteransstudies.org/journal
Because I suspect that the Coalition may be unfamiliar with the term “veterans studies,” please allow me to briefly explain my use of the term. We might think of veterans studies, Coalition, comparable to our interest in gender studies. Whereas feminists identify the ways in which gender shapes intellectual and social norms, including its intersections with power structures (i.e., race, class, and sexuality), veterans studies scholars are interested in studying how society views and treats “the veteran” as well as how “the veteran” views him/herself.
In short, veterans studies is an multi-faceted, scholarly investigation of military veterans and their families. Topics oftentimes include, but are not limited to: combat exposure, reintegration challenges, and the complex systems that shape the veteran experience. Veterans studies, by its very nature, may analyze experiences closely tied to military studies, but the emphasis of veterans studies is the “veteran experience,” i.e., what happens after the service member departs the armed forces. Scholars of veterans studies pursue their work in such fields as Rhetoric and Composition, Literature, History, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Student Affairs (among others). Likewise, the work of veterans studies occurs in and outside of formal education–by current members of the military, leaders of nonprofits, independent artists, grassroots activists, and students taking courses in veterans studies–indeed, “veterans studies” designated programs have been established at four public universities in the U.S.
Questions that drive veterans studies scholars and are the sorts that the Journal of Veterans Studies seeks to promote may include:
- Who is “the veteran in society?”
- How do power structures like race, class, gender, and sexuality affect the veteran from claiming his/her “veteran-ness”?
- Who “counts” as a veteran?
Three articles in the inaugural issue Coalitionists may find most interesting are summarized briefly:
(1) “A Theoretical and Applied Review of Embodied Restorying for Post-Deployment Family Reintegration” by Jeanne Flora, David M. Boje, Grace Ann Rosile, and Kenneth Hacker (New Mexico State University).
This article shares the team’s innovative theoretical approach to working with veterans and their families through storytelling. According to the authors’ approach, storytelling is utilized to reframe and recreate narratives held by veterans and their family members. Compellingly, the authors substantiate the importance of storytelling and the role family members play in the veteran’s process of reintegration post-deployment.
(2) Leland Spencer’s (Miami University) “Faculty Advising and Student Veterans: Adventures in Applying Research and Training By critically reflecting on his experiences academically advising undergraduate student veterans.”
In this article, Spencer engages personal narrative to share his journey of learning (by stumbling and tons of research) to effectively advise undergraduate student veterans. I think Coalition readers could view Spencer’s writing style as employing feminist strategies, as he is as quick to admit to what he doesn’t know as he is to providing answers. The author provides five suggestions that readers–who are teachers, administrators, and staff who work with student veterans in postsecondary educational settings–will find valuable.
(3) “The Other, Other Students: Understanding the Experiences of Graduate Student Veterans” by Glenn Allen Phillips (UT Arlington)
Phillips shares the experiences and perceptions of graduate students with military experience. Not only does he present long experts from his interviews with eleven graduate student veterans, but he also situates his findings within five key areas. As Phillips points out, his research is a first of its kind in its focus on the mechanisms of support (five of which he identifies from his interviews) advanced-degree seeking student veterans desperately need.
In closing, there are three ways all Coalitionists can work in #solidarity to promote and sustain JVS:
- Spread the word about the journal your friends. Even those you think might be tangentially interested. Let them know the journal is live. Encourage your friends to subscribe and contribute. Share this convenient URL http://tiny.cc/jvs and “Like us on Facebook” (https://www.facebook.com/journalveteransstudies/)
- Consider submitting an article, announcement, book or media reviews, interviews, and program or organizational profiles to the journal for publication. JVS only succeed if people take time to send us their ideas. (Full submission guidelines are available at http://tiny.cc/jvssubmit). Coalitionists might be intrigued by the December 1, 2016 call for papers for a special issue in which former CCCC presenters are asked to contribute their (slightly) modified presentations (related to veterans studies).
- Make the effort to cite articles published in the journal. As we know, Coalition, the power of citations makes an impact (i.e., to an author’s legitimacy and a journal’s credibility). Please consider: Is there a way you can integrate a source published in JVS in your article, review, presentation, etc.?
Thank you, Coalition, for your support of this scholarly endeavor. Please feel free contact me, Mariana Grohowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mariana Grohowski, CFSHRC Advisory Board Members