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Witnessing War


Apr 11 2016


12:00 pm - 1:15 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

Witnessing War

Witnessing War: About War and Writing

A Conversation with Matt Gallagher

Join us for a discussion about "boots on the ground" in contemporary American military conflict. Duke Divinity School student and veteran Naval Officer Giovanna Meek moderates this conversation with acclaimed author and Army veteran Matt Gallagher about his experiences being a soldier and a writer. As an officer in the Army, Gallagher served in Iraq from 2007 to 2009. During six months of that time, he also maintained, under a pseudonym, a popular blog, "Kaboom: A Soldier's War Journal," which was ultimately shut down by his superiors. Gallagher later published his blog as a memoir, and has continued to write about war in the form of newspaper commentaries, short stories, and his recently-published novel, Youngblood. In this conversation, Meek will talk with Gallagher about the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by soldiers on the ground, the military/civilian divide in the United States, and the reasons for using different genres to write about war.

Free and open to the public. Light lunch served. Copies of Youngblood are available for purchase at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth Street, Durham. On Monday evening, April 11 at 7 pm, Matt Gallagher and writer, Iraq war veteran, and active-duty Army officer Jessica Scott will be at The Regulator talking about how they write about war.

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Witnessing War: Matt Gallagher and Giovanna Meek

"One day I woke up and could no longer wear my uniform. And then I could no longer go to the movies. And then I could no longer live in America. But of course trauma is everywhere. And so is suffering. War doesn’t have exclusive rights to these." —Robert Densmore, In Gratitude: Remembering War During a Pandemic, Forum Online


Matt Gallagher

Matt Gallagher is a former US Army captain and the author of the acclaimed Iraq war memoir Kaboom, based on the popular and controversial blog he kept while he was deployed. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia and has written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, the…...

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Giovanna Meek

Giovanna Meek has served in many leadership positions: as a military officer, arts entrepreneur, counterterrorism consultant, business operations manager, founder of a 501(c)3, competitive sailing captain, ordained clergy, mother, and wife. Issues around leadership have been a live discussion for Giovanna, even before she attended the US Naval Academy, where…...

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