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Monday, September 28, 2020

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  Dr. James Dubinsky "'Reinlisting' After the War: Veterans as Public Poets and Ministers of Culture  

Dr. James Dubinsky is interested in the work of poets who were also war veterans. One question he will raise is whether or not poets and artists can or should escape/avoid public duty. To respond to that question, Dubinsky will focus primarily on playwright Archibald MacLeish, a WWI combat veteran, who served the federal government during WWII in positions ranging from Librarian of Congress to Assistant Secretary of State.

Relying primarily on MacLeish's texts (poems, prose and drama), Dubinsky will focus on the public nature of MacLeish's art and demonstrate its interoperability with the policies he and other artists helped to shape during governmental service. What Dubinsky finds intriguing is that despite being awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, MacLeish's reputation has suffered due to his attempt to create art in service of the principles of democracy, broadly writ. As one of MacLeish's critics framed it: is public poetry a contradiction in terms?

James Dubinsky is retired from the US Army and serves at VT as an associate professor in the Department of English. He was the founding director of the Professional Writing Program and participated in shaping the first liberal arts Ph.D. at VT (in Rhetoric and Writing). He was also the founding director of the Center of Student Engagement and Community Partnerships (now VT Engage) and currently serves as a lead faculty member in the Veterans in Society (ViS) initiative.

The Virginia Tech Center for Humanities presents a series of talks with Faculty Research Associates who will discuss their work. Please join us for this engaging talk with Dr. James Dubinsky. There will be a brief Q and A session following the presentation. This talk if free and open to the public and we invite anyone to attend.
More information...

Location: Center for Humanities YouTube LIVE
Price: Free
Sponsor: Center for Humanities
Contact: Dominique Francesca
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