This page showcases creative writing and outbursts of protest at Davidson College during the Vietnam war. Creative works, cartoons, and some nonfiction from Davidson's literary publications were analyzed in an effort to understand Davidson’s campus attitudes during Vietnam. Additionally, this page utilizes the Kent State shooting in 1970 as a seminal point through which events at Davidson can be better interpreted. Specifically, the Kent State shooting produced direct outbursts nationwide and was a turning point for an inwardly focused Davidson Culture.
Our main goal was to offer an insider perspective into the literary culture on Davidson’s campus during the broader events of the Vietnam war and the specific protests that sprung up around the nation. This project was a culmination of our work in ENG 422: Creating Narratives, which was an English seminar on archival research and student literary publications. We hope that our content highlights what made Davidson a unique campus to live on during the Vietnam war to alumni, prospective students, and to others that are interested.
To achieve our project’s goal, we attempted to find as many pieces of creative student literature about the Vietnam war as possible from a time period of around 1965-1975. However, we found few creative works related directly to the Vietnam war during that time frame, as the majority of our sources only related to war in a broad sense. The bulk of the applicable creative works that we found came from The Miscellany and The Inklings which are both student publications on campus. This led us to believe that there might have been more creative pieces about the Vietnam war during the 1980s or 1990s, once students felt comfortable or ready to process their emotions. It is very possible that the creative process lagged behind the actual war effort. Yet, the absence of creative works also coincided with a lack of student protest on campus or other wide-scale activism. Despite this lack, there was still some student activism on campus that opposed the war, including the Davidson Peace Coalition: a student organization that directly supported the end of the war.
-Mark A. ('22,) Caroline C. ('22,) Casey K. ('22)