CfP: Close Encounters in War Journal – n. 0

Extended deadline to 30th November 2017

Special Issue: “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”

Close Encounters in War Journal is a new independent and peer-reviewed journal aimed at studying war as a human experience, through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches ranging from the Humanities to the Social Sciences. The launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War Journal will be a Special Issue dedicated specifically to irregular warfare and titled “Close encounters in irregular and asymmetric warfare”.

Wars in general are cultural phenomena, among the most ancient and deeply rooted aspects of human cultural evolution: investigating their meaning, by reflecting on the ways we experience wars and conflicts as human beings is therefore essential. Conflict is deeply intertwined with language, culture, instincts, passions, behavioural patterns and with the human ability to represent concepts aesthetically. The concept of “encounter” is therefore fundamental as it involves experience, and as a consequence it implies the idea that the fact of encountering war shapes and develops our minds and affects our behaviour, questioning habits and values, prejudices and views of the world.

One of the most ancient types of warfare is what today is referred to as ‘irregular warfare’, as opposed to ‘conventional warfare’, which is a relatively more recent development. The combat strategies and tactics used by tribal warriors, modern guerrillas, resistance fighters and terrorists have recently been attracting the attention of military historians, strategists and intelligence experts due to the widespread terror threat, but how do human beings experience this particular type of warfare? Does it seem more threatening and scary because it can involve civilians more deeply? or because it blurs the traditional idea of war as open confrontation with a recognisable enemy? What drives non-combatants to arm themselves and become fighters? Is irregular warfare more violent, brutal and dehumanising than conventional warfare and if so, why? What is their cultural, linguistic and anthropological impact? And finally, is irregular warfare adopted also by regular armies? What is the impact of such warfare on the war-experience of the combatants involved?

For the launch issue (n. 0) of Close Encounters in War we invite articles which investigate irregular and asymmetric conflicts from ancient times to modern and contemporary periods, reaching beyond the study of military tactics and strategy and focusing on the way human beings ‘encounter’ with and within this type of armed conflict. Contributions are invited to promote discussion and scholarly research from established scholars, early-career researchers, and from practitioners who have encountered irregular warfare in the course of their activities.

The topics that can be investigated include but are not limited to:

· Irregular, asymmetric and unconventional warfare
· Insurgency and counterinsurgency
· Resistance and partisan war
· Terrorism and counter-terrorism
· Violence and trauma
· Cultural encounters and identity
· Representations of otherness, race, and gender
· Religion and politics
· Testimonies, witness-representations, oral history and memory studies

The editors of Close Encounters in War invite the submission of 3-500 words abstracts in English by 30th November 2017 to the following addresses: and Decisions will be made by 2nd January 2018 and the completed articles (6000-8000 words including footnotes, bibliography excluded, in English) will be expected by 15th May 2018. All contributions will go under a process of blind peer-review.

CfP: Writing 1914-1918. National Responses to the Great War

Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature
Special Issue: “Writing 1914-1918. National Responses to the Great War”
Summer 2017

Edited by Toby Garfitt (University of Oxford)
& Nicolas Bianchi (Université Montpellier-III / Universiteit Gent)

With the outbreak of the First World War and the uncovering of modern, dehumanized violence, many direct witnesses faced a double crisis when they tried to share their personal experience. The discovery of physical violence led above all to a crisis of representation, due to the inability of the traditional depictions of war to convey the nature of modern warfare. But there was also a crisis of language, caused by the perverted use of the standardized language to justify the war through political and journalistic lies and heroic descriptions of the events. Despite all this, much material was produced, representing most of the countries that were involved, directly or not, in the war. Letters, diaries, novels, poems, war reportages were written and published in abundance, from the beginning of the war until the end of the 1930s, and some of them achieved immediate and considerable success.

While a substantial number of studies focus fairly narrowly on these works in order to explore how and why they managed to cope with both crises, there have been comparatively few attempts to take a more global approach. Some literary productions from that time are well known, but this is often due to the particular experience of an author rather than to the broader national climate of the country concerned. One of the main goals of this STTCL special issue will be to offer a global perspective in order to locate a number of works from the period within the specific framework of their national production. Because of the way the mother tongue of the authors naturally influenced their way of thinking and because of the rise of nationalisms at the beginning of the century, each author was faced with either embracing or rejecting a national climate. Our work will use this reflection on national responses to the Great War to shed light on some forgotten texts of the period which bring an original response to the challenges of the war, in relation to the canon. Widening the approach to include all the relevant languages will allow a comparison between some of the essential themes present in the texts.

Articles must be written in English and should not exceed 7,500 words in length. We will particularly appreciate articles including examples of French, German and Spanish texts, which are the main interest of the review. Authors must provide a 500-word abstract along with a brief CV, complete contact details, and academic affiliation. The deadline for the submission of your proposal is set on May 15, 2016.

Further information: Dernière version appel STTCL (mars)

Talk on French Literature and WWI at University of Leeds: Wednesday 18 February

‘What is a Crisis of Language? French Literature and the Great War.’
University of Leeds.

Wednesday 18 February, 5pm: Philippe Roussin (Visiting Professor in French Studies, Wadham College, Directeur de recherche CNRS / Maison Française d’Oxford)

Venue: Parkinson Building B.09

Event organised in conjunction with Legacies of War:
With the financial support of the French Embassy.

For more details:
Dr. Jim House
Research Leader for French
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
University of Leeds