ERIC Number: EJ771055
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
The Place of the Humanities at a Military Academy
Flammang, Lucretia A.
Academe, v93 n4 Jul-Aug 2007
The author, a captain in the U.S. Coast Guard and professor of English at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, argues in this article that, contrary to images perpetuated in popular culture, military officers do not eschew the arts as exemplified in such films as "Platoon" and "Full Metal Jacket" where the audience is expected to identify with an Everyman who prevails against both a sadistic trainer and the enemy in combat. Such films suggest an ideal of masculinity that values action over thought. Such images, along with the general devaluing of the humanities in American culture today, have powerfully influenced conception of the military, helping to establish the conditions in which the humanities are taught at the military academies. It is a further myth that military service necessarily precludes appreciation of, let alone participation in, the arts. Novelist Erich Maria Remarque, and author and film director Jean Renoir, both fought in World War One. The author concludes by presenting several examples of how the Coast Guard Academy incorporates the arts and humanities. For example, in 2003, the academy's engineering department hosted the first art exhibition on campus, highlighting works created by civil engineering students enrolled in a reinforced concrete glass. In the author's literature courses, she searches for ways to expose the cadets to the arts beyond the classroom. While there will always be students who resist the humanities at military academies and at universities, the author states that what she finds amazing about teaching humanities at a military academy is not overcoming such challenges, but finding every semester the cadets and midshipmen who will not be limited by cultural images, icons, or myths.
Descriptors: Humanities, Military Schools, Higher Education, Humanities Instruction, Art Education, Popular Culture, Military Service
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut