Bergen Continues Dialogues on War Series

PARAMUS, N.J. – As part of a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Bergen Community College’s Center for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation along with the Center for Veteran and Military Affairs will continue an open-ended discussion series on military literature with “No Man’s Land: Dialogues on the Experience of War.” The program will resume with three Monday sessions Nov. 11, 18 and 25 in room S-134 at the College’s main campus at 400 Paramus Road in Paramus. All events are free and open to the public, though guests should RSVP by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

The “No Man’s Land” series will feature a work of military literature during each of its dialogue sessions: Jacob Siegel’s “Smile, There Are IEDs Everywhere” (Nov. 11, 6:30 p.m.), Mariette Kalinowski’s “The Train” (Nov. 18, 6:30 p.m.) and Paul Crenshaw’s “Cadence” (Nov. 25, 11 a.m.). Student and non-student veterans, their families and interested members of the community can attend the discussions to discuss the works and share their own experiences.

The programs reflect the College’s prioritization of providing support for U.S. military veterans by encouraging the community to study the issues raised by war and military service. Thomas LaPointe, co-director of the “No Man’s Land” project and associate professor of composition and literature, said, “Examining and exploring the experience of war also offers an extraordinary opportunity to engage in discussions about the impact of trauma in our local Bergen community – and globally.”

The events, made possible by the NEH grant, are sponsored by the Center for Peace, Justice and Reconciliation and the Center for Veteran and Military Affairs. NEH offers the “Dialogues on the Experience of War” program as part of its current initiative “Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War.” Established in 2015, the highly competitive national grant has been awarded to an average of 15 organizations per year.

There are approximately 150 self-identified student veterans enrolled at Bergen and more than 31,000 veterans who live in Bergen County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2013, the College opened its Veterans and Military Affairs Center at the main campus. Through the center, the College offers veteran-specific counselors and advisers, and information on benefits, events and resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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