Guys Like Me: Six Wars, Six Veterans for Peace

Michael Messner, Professor, Department of Sociology and Gender Studies, University of Southern California

Colloquium, The School for Advanced Research, 660 Garcia Street, Santa Fe

Wednesday, June 29, 2016, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

Michael Messner, 2016 Summer ScholarMichael Messner, 2016 Summer ScholarPhoto courtesy of Michael Messner.Michael Messner, 2016 Summer ScholarPhoto courtesy of Michael Messner.

In this time of apparently permanent warfare, U.S. men continue to return home from wars—many with physical and psychological injuries. Yet little scholarly attention is paid to the veteran whose combat experience results in a commitment to peace. Since men, masculinity, and militarism are so often seen to be in such close (and mythically heroic) correspondence, the war veteran-as-peace-advocate is sometimes viewed as an oxymoron. This is precisely what interests Dr. Messner. “Guys Like Me” is a life-history study of six U.S. men, combat veterans of WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, who became lifelong advocates for peace. Supplemented with archival and secondary research on each war, the study foregrounds the six men’s first-person narratives as windows into the salient ways that wartime trauma, embedded in the body and in memory, punctuates the entire life course of a war veteran-turned peace advocate.

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