Jillian Boger (University of Rhode Island)
Katie Harling-Lee (Durham University)
This session aims to look at representations of armed conflict in contemporary media, including literature, film, and television. We are interested in how these representations might influence the popular understanding of global and civil conflict and the way that these representations of conflict might be read as an attempt to change (or maintain) a certain world. As such, due to the global experience of conflict, we are seeking papers that analyze representations of conflict not only in well-known American and British narratives, but also in narratives beyond these dominant “worlds.” Papers in this session may: examine the ethical/moral obligations of the researcher/critic/author of media depicting armed conflict; address the ways in which the tropes or cliches of the contemporary “war” story have remained the same, and how they may have affected media outside the traditional definition of armed conflict; consider whether a narrative of armed conflict becomes any less fraught when it describes “true” events; challenge the representations of women and other persons typically considered “noncombatants” in conflict narratives; consider the ways in which documentary representations of conflict may be more or less exploitative than the retelling of war through fictionalized persons; explore the idea of the “Enemy-Other”, and the leakage of armed conflict-drama into works not traditionally considered “war” media. Ultimately, the session aims to help guide a way forward in understanding (1) how these representations might affect popular imaginations of conflict and (2) how we as researchers might raise the questions needed when forming an analytical approach to such media.
This session will analyze representations of armed conflict in contemporary media, exploring how these representations might influence the popular understanding of global and civil conflict and the way that these representations of conflict might be read as an attempt to change (or maintain) a certain world. We welcome a broad range of papers, particularly aiming for a global perspective on the ethical debate of representing armed conflict in stylized media, as we interrogate how these representations might affect popular imaginations of conflict and how we as researchers might form an analytical approach to representations of conflict.