What It Means to Be a Citizen: Student Veterans in History Classrooms

AHA Session 77
Friday, January 5, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Thurgood Marshall West (Marriott Wardman Park, Mezzanine Level)
Paul Ortiz, University of Florida and United States Army
Steve Arionus, University of Michigan and United States Marine Corps
Eladio Benjamin Bobadilla, Duke University and United States Navy
Kate Dahlstrand, University of Georgia and United States Army
Paul Ortiz, University of Florida and United States Army

Session Abstract

Since 2008, when the Post-9/11 GI Bill became law, colleges and universities have seen a surge in their veteran student populations. Today, approximately one million such student veterans are enrolled in colleges and universities across the country. With unique skills, perspectives, and insights, student veterans have much to contribute to history classrooms in particular. But challenges limit the potential impact of those students to historical pedagogy. Veterans are regularly enticed into enrolling at for-profit institutions where humanities are not valued. And even when they are enrolled in reputable institutions, they often experience isolation and feel stigmatized and stereotyped, preventing them from fully engaging in the humanities. This panel seeks to advance a conversation about veterans’ place in the college history classroom and about how the discipline and its practitioners can best serve, teach, and learn from those veterans. What do history faculty need to know about the veteran experience? How can we encourage student veterans to contribute their knowledge and skills to our discipline? What can veterans teach us about the past and about politics, imperialism, violence, gender, and war and peace? This panel explores these and other questions and invites historians to think about the ways in which veteran students might enrich our discussions, our teaching, and our discipline at large.
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