On 12/13 March 2015 the LSE International Relations Department was visited by decorated Marine and Vietnam War veteran, Karl Marlantes, writer of one of the great books about war in his award-winning novel/memoir Matterhorn. Marlantes agreed to join a ‘Talk Back to the Author Event’ with students about his book, and an academic workshop.
The student event involved twelve students from the IR Department, ranging from BSc to PhD level, who presented on the novel to the author, who reacted to their presentations. The students gave stimulating and exciting talks and the seminar ran for nearly three hours without a break. Marlantes then adjourned with the students to a nearby bar and spent another 4 hours discussing with them. The students were all really impressed by Marlantes and the amount of time he spent with them.
The following day, the IR Department convened a workshop that had almost every significant war scholar in the country in attendance, as well as several British Army and RAF officers and some graduate students. This was also a great success, with many testimonials from those who attended. This was a unique event with social scientists and officers meeting together with the veteran author of a novel.
“Thank you for a wonderful day. The event, as well the splendid dinner, were successful in every respect. I enjoyed the smart, broad, and lively conversations. The energy of the participants, and of the guest of honor, pervaded the room.”
“I thought all the presentations were very good. Let us hope literature art social sci and war can bring people together more often.”
“Just to say thank you so much for a very stimulating seminar on Friday. Karl was fascinating and it was great to meet the extra-ordinary man in the flesh. I found it hugely interesting and enjoyable, a while since I have engaged the grey matter on non-military stuff! Indeed over the weekend I have decided to apply for a place on a Masters programme.”
“Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend Karl’s seminar on ‘Matterhorn’ last Friday. It was fascinating to explore how Karl’s personal experiences translated into literature. I particularly enjoyed the exposure to how academic disciplines other than International Relations viewed the book and its contents – these provided some entirely new perspectives for me.”
“Thanks so much for last Friday. One of the best events I have attended. Humbling and inspiring. And a lot of fun.”
“I found the seminar very informative and really enjoyed the part of the drinks afterwards I attended.”
“Thanks again for organising this amazing event, it was really really interesting and inspiring, lots of food for thought!”
“Thank YOU So much for organising this. It was very inspirational and in these 7h we have learnt a great deal.
“I also just wanted to say that last Thursday was definitely the highlight of my year, and thank you so much for organising it.”