Cost of War Symposium


Responsibility, Morality and The Cost of War: PTSD, Moral Injury and Beyond
November 12-14, 2015
The Drake Event and Performance Center and The Wexner Center for the Arts

By Kevin McClatchy, Assistant Professor and Janet Parrott, Associate Professor

Presented by The Ohio State University Department of Theatre “Responsibility, Morality and the Costs of War: PTSD, Moral Injury and Beyond” was a major multidisciplinary symposium that spoke to a defining issue facing our nation today — the myriad costs of war and our response to those costs, especially the challenges that confront returning veterans. Seeking unique and dynamic ways to explore and understand the costs of war, this event included panel discussions by a range of scholars and artists, an art installation, an art exhibit, a documentary film screening, a solo theatre performance, lectures, paper presentations, an interactive Shakespeare workshop and staged readings of three short plays. The keynote speaker was Dr. Jonathan Shay, a pioneer in treating combat trauma in veterans. Dr. Shay is a recipient of the MacArthur “Genius Grant” and author of the bestselling Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming. Other featured participants included international theatre and film scenographer Simona Rybakova, who collaborated with Ohio State faculty and students on a world premiere installation/performance for the symposium; filmmaker Heather Courtney, who screened her documentary Where Soldiers Come From, which has won Emmy and Independent Spirit awards; combat veteran and founder of American Women Veterans, Genevieve Chase, who delivered a featured presentation; retired Army colonel Peter Mansoor, professor of Military History at Ohio State and CNN military analyst; playwright/actor Bianca Sams, who directed an excerpt from her latest play Rust on Bone; Kevin McClatchy, Ohio State Department of Theatre faculty member, who performed Scrap Heap, based on the real-life experiences of a Special Forces veteran. The symposium brought many other leading scholars, medical personnel, military personnel, veterans, veterans advocates and artists from around the world together with the Ohio State University population and the Central Ohio community to activate new discourse, awareness and engagement concerning the costs of war. The aim of the symposium was to act as a gateway toward impacting the national/international conversation about the costs of war.

Through the generous support of the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, as well as the Wexner Center for the Arts and The Ohio State University Medicine and the Arts Program this event was free and open to the public.