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Guggenheim to Help Professor Study How Soldiers Find Peace After War

Nancy Sherman

University Professor Nancy Sherman is one of only 175 scholars, artists and scientists from the United States and Canada selected for this year's Guggenheim Fellowship.

April 15, 2013 – Philosophy professor Nancy Sherman, who has advised the U.S. Armed Forces on ethics, resilience and PTSD, will use her recently awarded Guggenheim Fellowship to research how soldiers make peace with their wartime experience.

Sherman, a university professor at Georgetown, is one of only 175 scholars, artists and scientists from the United States and Canada selected this year for their “prior achievement and exceptional promise.”

“I am really touched and honored and, in part, because of the attention this may give to some of the issues I do research on – the inner battle soldiers face going to war and coming home,” says Sherman, who has researched the topic for more than a decade. “Some of the moral dilemmas they struggle with are really hard to process.”


Ethical Lens

The professor has lectured at the Uniformed Services University at Walter Reed Army Hospital, the National Defense University, other military academies and bases and to veterans groups.

In 2005, Sherman visited the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center as part of an independent observer team to assess the medical and mental health care of detainees.

From 1997 to 1999, Sherman served as the first Distinguished Chair in Ethics at the U.S. Naval Academy, designing the required military ethics course and laying the groundwork for a new ethics center.  

Sherman also is a fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown and affiliated with Georgetown’s Global Human Development Initiative.

“I want to better explore some of the kinds of emotions soldiers bring home with them after collateral incidents … losing their buddies … surviving and coming home with amputations,” she says. “Those are difficult feelings, and it’s easy to dismiss those traumatic feelings. I’m trying to put a lens on that through philosophical and ethical research.”

Widely Published

Sherman also has received fellowships for her work from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies and other institutes and foundations.

She is the author of six books, including The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers (Norton Press, 2010) and Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind (Oxford University Press, 2005).

The professor also has authored numerous articles for scholarly journals and books.

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