Dr. Harry Haines is stewarding a two-year archival research project on the mediated memory of the Vietnam War. This journey takes Dr. Haines to the depths of the Special Collections Department at Lasalle University in Philadelphia that houses one of the most extensive collections of multimedia artifacts from the Vietnam War.
Of particular interest to Dr. Haines’ research are the literary exploits of William Daniel Ehrhart, an American poet, writer, scholar and Vietnam veteran referred to as “the dean of Vietnam war poetry.” Ehrhart’s post-war perspective of the Vietnam War reveals much about the ideological struggles associated with politics, war, and democracy in the United States. As an incessant letter-writer, Ehrhart supplies what Haines refers to as a remarkably substantial body of work that vividly characterizes the anti-war consciousness of soldiers across the past 40 years.In the absence of any existing structural analysis of the Vietnam War, Dr. Haines applies a Marxist framework to his critical study of literary artifacts for the purpose of questioning mediated representations and memory of the War. His attention focuses on unearthing authenticity in the existing collective consciousness of the Vietnam War by tracing W. D. Ehrhart’s post-war literary work. The fruit of Haines’ two-year project will be a book published through Popular Press, with the possibility of a companion documentary film.
In April 2015 Dr. Haines discussed his own penned war memoir and his role as a gay, anti-war soldier in the Vietnam War as part of the School of Communication and Media Colloquium series. His presentation was titled, “Sex and Violence in Vietnam: A Memoir.” You can read more about his service in the Vietnam War in the September 2017 issue of The Montclarion.
March 27, 2018 update: The C+MRC podcast featured a conversation with Dr. Haines about his two-year project. You can listen to it below:
Dr. Harry W. Haines is the former Chair of Communication Studies and headed a Task Force responsible for organizing the new School of Communication and Media at MSU. His research includes the critical analysis of Vietnam War literature, memorials, films, and television programs. His teaching assignments include the Department’s introductory course, as well as courses on gender and a variety of theoretical issues. He has worked in news and public affairs programming at public and commercial broadcast stations.