March 31, 2006
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Nostoi Project will present a symposium on “The Ethics of War and the Ethics of Peace” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. The symposium is free and open to the public.

The panelists will be Randy Kehler, peace activist and founder of the Traprock Peace Center; Al Miller, Vietnam veteran, farmer and poet; Jonathan Shay, M.D., psychiatrist and author of Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming; and Lt. Col. David T. Vacchi, Iraq veteran and coordinator of Army ROTC at the Five Colleges and Springfield. The panel will be moderated by Kristin Henderson, a military spouse and author of While They’re at War: The True Story of American Families on the Homefront.

The Nostoi Project is a spring semester event organized by Hampshire College professor of epic drama and religion Robert E. Meagher using ancient literature, particularly concerning the Trojan War, as means for addressing the needs of today’s returning veterans. The project takes its name from the lost ancient Greek epic, “Nostoi,” meaning “the return home,” which recounts the Greek soldiers’ return from the Trojan War. The many speakers will include veterans, a psychiatrist, a poet, military professionals, a journalist, an author and a playwright. Six documentaries dealing with veterans returning from war will also be shown, along with a play performed by Hampshire College students and an exhibit of Pulitzer Prize-winning photos of Iraq. See The Nostoi Project Website.

The Nostoi Project is collaboration of Hampshire College, The Veterans Education Project and the American Friends Service Committee with institutional support from Amherst College, Smith College, the Five Colleges Humanities Fund, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, Mount Holyoke College, The University of Massachusetts, Springfield College School of Social Work and Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield.