Meredith H. Lair

Portrait of Meredith H. Lair

Meredith H. Lair is an associate professor of history at George Mason University, where she also directs the interdisciplinary studies graduate program. A former Minerva Research Fellow at the U.S. Naval Academy, she developed content and wrote the exhibit script for the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation's Vietnam Era Museum Educational Center, the first permanent museum about the Vietnam War in the United States. Her work examines warfare in American society, especially the way war stories get constructed and disseminated over time. She is the author of Armed with Abundance: Consumerism and Soldiering in the Vietnam War (2011), which examines the noncombat experiences of American soldiers and finds that the U.S. military relied heavily on consumerism and material abundance to maintain soldier morale, a phenomenon that continues to the present day. Her research continues on this topic, especially the role that culture can play as an instrument of war. Lair's current projects examine soldier photography in Vietnam and Vietnam veterans' efforts to publicly remember their service.

OAH Lectures