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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52979
Doc. No:TL22933
Call number:‭3378479‬
Main Entry:Amy E. Milakovic
Title & Author:The National Endowment for the Arts' "Operation Homecoming": Shaping military stories into nationalistic rhetoricAmy E. Milakovic
College:Texas Christian University
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:270
Abstract:While the study of war rhetoric has traditionally concentrated on items such as speeches, memorial sites, propaganda artifacts, books, and films, this dissertation enlarges that discussion to demonstrate that the words of American troops are being used to resurrect the idea that war can be both personally and corporately ennobling. My study analyzes the National Endowment for the Arts' Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, a project to collect and publish first-hand accounts of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from military personnel and their families. Submissions were accepted through March 2005 from anyone who served in the armed forces on or after September 11, 2001; selected entries were compiled into a 374-page anthology which was released in September 2006. Much analysis has been performed on obvious propaganda commissioned by the War (and now Defense) Department, but this more subtle instruction from a government agency traditionally focused on fine arts calls for a deeper understanding because it is not typically thought of as a source of war rhetoric. Drawing on recent scholarship in epideictic theory, public memory, and the construction of the heroic, I analyze the how the project was conducted, the epideictic effect of the anthology's structure as an epic narrative, Preface and Introductory remarks by NEA officials, dominant themes throughout the anthology, the events of the project launch, book launch, and subsequent signing tour, and the Academy-Award nominated film based on the project. My dissertation demonstrates that Operation Homecoming ( OH ) resurrects the image of the heroic soldier to match the World War II ideal, which stands metaphorically for the image of America itself. By linking the war on terror to famed wars of antiquity and the country's own founding fight for freedom, OH creates a narrative which draws upon national mythic history to reinscribe a traditional vision of America and its place in the world. I situate my project as part of a body of scholarship dedicated to critiquing ways in which war in general and U.S. wars in particular are being framed, discussed, and commemorated in ways that support conservative, nostalgic ideology.
Subject:Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Military; National Endowment for the Arts; Operation Homecoming; Public memory; Rhetoric; War; American literature; Military studies; 0750:Military studies; 0681:Rhetoric; 0591:American literature
Added Entry:A. George
Added Entry:Texas Christian University