War. What is it good for?
Press release issued: 18 October 2007
A new journal, edited by Dr Martin Hurcombe from the Department of French, addresses the relationship between war and culture. As wars rage on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the publication of the journal is extremely timely.
A new journal, edited by Dr Martin Hurcombe from the Department of French at the University of Bristol, addresses the relationship between war and culture. As wars rage on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the publication of the journal is extremely timely.
Interdisciplinary and international in scope, the Journal of War and Culture Studies, looks at cultural factors as significant forces that shape experiences, representations and memories of war. It analyses the relationship between war and culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Although the focus is primarily European, the journal also includes other geographical areas involved in conflict originating in Europe.
The journal has developed from the activities of the Group for War and Culture Studies, of which the University of Bristol is a regional centre. Work from this group to date has included analysing images and messages on postcards from the Front in the First World War, the use of myth and metaphor for propaganda purposes and the ways in which memories of war have been commemorated and represented.
Dr Hurcombe says, ‘War has been the subject of visual and literary representation for centuries, but the number of conflicts since the twentieth century and the direct involvement of millions of people have led to a recurrent and prolonged relationship between culture and war. The journal fills a gap in the study of cultural representations of European warfare from the twentieth century to the present.’
The first issue is available for free. The second issue, which will be out in spring 2008, takes the human body as its theme and will look at the relationship between war and the human body in Western warfare. It will address the impact of the practices and technologies of warfare on the human body and how, in turn, our changing perceptions and cultural constructions of the body have informed the practice of warfare over the last two centuries.
The journal will be published three times a year by Intellect Books.