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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Dec 2021
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Wed, Dec 8, 2021

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  Postponed: Reenlisting After the War: Veterans as Public Poets and Ministers of Culture  

Dr. James Dubinsky is interested in the works of poets who were also war veterans. For this short talk, he will focus on Archibald MacLeish, a WWI combat veteran. Despite being awarded three Pulitzer Prizes, MacLeish's reputation has suffered due to his dedication to the principles of democracy, broadly writ. From 1939 to 1946, he served the federal government in three different positions ranging from Librarian of Congress to Assistant Secretary of State to support the principles for which he advocated.

Relying primarily on his texts (poems, prose and drama), Dubinsky will explain the public nature of MacLeish's art and demonstrate its interoperability with the policies he and other poets helped to shape during governmental service. One question Dubinsky will raise is whether or not artists and poets can or should escape/avoid public duty. As one of MacLeish's critics framed it: is public poetry a contradiction in terms?

James Dubinsky, as associate professor in the Department of English, is the founding director of the Professional Writing Program and was instrumental in helping shape the first liberal arts PhD at VT (in Rhetoric and Writing). He is also the founding director of the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships (now VTEngage) and the lead faculty member in the Veterans in Society initiative.

The Virginia Tech Center for Humanities presents a series of talks by faculty research associates who will discuss their work, with a Q and A to follow. All talks are free and open to the public and we invite anyone to attend. To register, please click the "more information" link or the title of this talk. Please RSVP by May 12th.

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Location: Zoom
Price: Free
Sponsor: Center for Humanities
Contact: E-Mail: humanities@vt.edu
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