Department of Classics

The Warrior Chorus

The Warrior Chorus

Professor Tom Palaima and Bart Pitchford (Ph.D. candidate in Theater and Dance) are pleased to announce that the Warrior Chorus Project UT Austin (NEH Aquila Theater) has opened recruiting for veterans. The Austin node of Warrior Chorus follows upon New York and Los Angeles. Interested veterans inside and outside the University are invited to join. Stipends for participating are described in the announcement here on the Classics Web site. To enroll go to:

INTRO: This program supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities is seeking veterans and serving members of the US military to join an arts and humanities training and public program called The Warrior Chorus. 

WHO SHOULD APPLY? Any US veteran or serving US military personnel who have an interest in developing their skills in the arts and humanities and having their work placed in a major new public program. Relevant skills are, but not limited to, acting, directing, writing (poetry, fiction, drama, screenplays etc.), photography, visual arts, producing, stage management, arts and humanities programming. ***Prior experience in arts or humanities is not required. You do not need to be or aspire to be an artist. We are looking for veterans who are interested in working with other veterans to communicate with non-veteran civilian audiences.***

HOW TO APPLY. Please visit and complete the brief form found there under “Join”. While experience or interest in arts or humanities is not required, if you have a special skill or interest in either please let us know.

DATES: Warrior Chorus now meets regularly Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6:30.
Do not hesitate to check us out or sign up through October 19.

LOCATION: UT Austin. Waggener Hall. WAG 116.

HONORARIA: $500 for training completion, $150 for Austin area public programming, $250 plus hotel and transport for any outside of area public performances.

ACADEMIC CREDIT: Course credit at the Graduate level (and upper level UG) may be available depending on individual circumstances. If appropriate, please inquire about this in your initial e-mail of interest.

PROGRAM COORDINATOR: Bart Pitchford. Bart Pitchford is a PhD candidate in Performance as Public Practice and a Teaching Excellence Fellow for 2015-2016. His dissertation will examine the intersection of performance and citizenship with displaced Syrians living in Jordan. On a broader scope Bart is interested in locating diacritic markers of post-national citizenship in cultural performance. Prior to entering the PhD program at University of Texas Bart was stationed as a soldier in the A CO 8th MISB 4th MISB (Military Information Support Group) at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. During his 8 years in Psychological Operations, Bart deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; Sana’a, Yemen and Islamabad, Pakistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His work in the military led Bart to write about Islamic representation in U.S. propaganda efforts during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Bart Pitchford

Bart received his MA in Theatrical Sound Design and his BA in Theatre at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. He also served as the Technical Director, Theatrical Facilities Manager, and Theatre Appreciation Instructor at Northwest Missouri State University; Sound Designer at Young Abe Lincoln Theatre in Indiana; and Technical Director of Foothills Theatre in Nevada City, CA. Currently he is working on an article that examines militarization through the alternate reality game Ingress. The most important work in Bart’s life, however, is his role as a parent and spouse to an amazing and supportive family.

PROGRAM SCHOLAR: Professor Tom Palaima, UT Austin Tom Palaima, a Macarthur fellow (1985-1990), is the Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics and director of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP) at the University of Texas at Austin. He has held three Fulbright fellowships (Greece 1979-80, Austria 1992-93 and Spain 2007). 

Tom Palaima

He was an active participant in Austin, New York and Los Angeles in the Ancient Greek Modern Lives NEH project. He has written and lectured widely on human creative responses to war and violence. Recent topics include the war poems of Robert Graves; violence in ancient Greek literature; the kinds of war stories, ancient and modern, that appeal to combat veterans; and the modern literary use of classical writing about warfare. His “War Stories Told, Untold and Retold from Troy to Tinian to Fort Campbell” was the featured cover article in Arion 23:3 (2016) 1-33. 

BACKGROUND: The Warrior Chorus – Humanities in Action is a major new national humanities program that will train veterans to offer public programming based on classical literature and its connections to the experiences of people who have served in the military. The Warrior Chorus will intensively train veterans in four regional centers to present scholar-led public programming at 20 locations, and participate in the innovative use of New Media, including a specially developed app, live-streamed events, and the dynamic use of social networking.

The Warrior Chorus uses classical texts to inspire people to reflect on the connections between the works of the ancient Greeks and the issues they reflect in their own lives; it brings members of the public together with the American veteran community to experience live stagings, readings, workshops, lectures, and discussions; and it provides a rich contextual frame for ancient literature to inspire in-depth public discussions about war, conflict, comradeship, country, home, family, injuries, work, politics – themes every American should have the opportunity to reflect upon as informed citizens in a vibrant democracy.

This extensive new program unites the assets of the Aquila Theatre Company, the Society for Classical Studies (SCS), The Society of Artistic Veterans in New York (SocArtVets), NeoPangea Inc. (an app developer), the Center for Ancient Studies at New York University (NYU), the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, The Classics Departments of the University of Texas at Austin (UT), the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (USC). The program is organized around four thematic units each anchored by an ancient work: 1) Agamemnon: The Return of the Warrior; 2) Herakles: The Idea of the Hero; 3) Philoctetes: Ethics at War; 4) Ajax: The Dilemma of War. These units will explore significant humanities themes that investigate the connections between classical literature and contemporary America as they relate to the issues affecting the veteran community and the broader American public. 

The two central tenets of The Warrior Chorus are 1) the programming should be performed by veterans guided by scholars and 2) New Media tools should be used to broaden the audience nationwide and to make content freely available to a much wider public. Therefore, the program unifies scholar/veteran-led reading and film discussion groups, public talks, workshops and free staged readings followed by scholar/veteran moderated discussions with live-streamed events, New Media networking and the deployment of the specially developed YouStories app that will be modified to feature Warrior Chorus program content. This will be developed in conjunction with Neo-Pangea Inc. as a new media gateway to the program. People will also be encouraged to continue to submit their personal narratives to the app for inclusion in the Library of Congress Veteran’s History Project digital archive.

MORE INFO: www.warriorchorus.org

UPDATE: Palaima interview Aquila Our Warrior Chorus John Aielli Eklektikos KUTx 98.9 FM Austin 3/20/17