The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced that the Clemente Course in the Humanities is among its 2019 grant recipients, awarding two grants totaling $198,930 to expand its work in the NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War initiative. One grant, for approximately $99,000, will establish a two-year Clemente Veterans’ Initiative (CVI) program in Providence run by UMass Dartmouth Professor Mark Santow (History), in partnership with Trinity Reparatory Company, University of Rhode Island’s College of Arts and Science, and Operation Stand Down RI.
CVI was developed in 2014 to provide a meaningful intellectual community to veterans who are struggling to adapt to civilian life. Providence’s first CVI class began in January 2019 as a 12-week program, also funded by the NEH, and hosted by Trinity Rep.
Dr. Mark Santow, History Department Chair at UMass Dartmouth and a member of the Providence School Board, will direct the course.
With the new grant, that program will expand to operate for the full academic year, in both 2019-20 and 2020-21. A group of 15-20 veterans will enroll in an interdisciplinary course taught by faculty from the University of Rhode Island and UMass-Dartmouth. Veteran scholars will study history, literature, philosophy, art history, and writing/public speaking in a supportive seminar. Texts from the Ancient Greeks to contemporary literature will explore themes of war and reconciliation, considering universal human experiences and questions.
The course will be offered free of charge to participants. Books, childcare, and transportation assistance will be provided at no cost. Transferable college credit will be available from Bard College.
“The Providence Clement Veterans’ Initiative provides an amazing opportunity for our servicemen and women to learn about themselves and their peers through the historical lens of war, the humanities and the experience of transitioning from battlefield to home,” said Tyrone Smith, Director of Employment of Operation Stand Down RI. “This free college credit course provides a challenging and rewarding experience and eliminates the common costs often associated with college.”