Call-for-Papers: Cultural Views of Veterans

Organizers have issued a call-for-papers in support of an academic conference on the depiction of military veterans in popular culture. The Returning Veteran Conference will be conducted June 29-30, 2020 at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, England, U.K.

Deadline for proposals is Feb. 1, 2020.

The theme of the event will be "The Cultural Veteran: Returning Soldiers in Art, Literature, and Media." The keynote speaker will be Kate McLoughlin, author of "Veteran Poetics: British Literature in the Age of Mass Warfare, 1790-2015."

Organizers seek 20-minute papers from established and emerging scholars in history, literature, the arts, media, music, or any other discipline. They also welcome poster presentations to be displayed at the event. In the formal call for papers, they write:

Portrayals of veterans and homecoming soldiers makes them familiar figures for popular consumption, but it also raises questions about how and why we view them the way we do. Which aspects of the homecoming experience do creators choose to focus on in their writing, art, or media works? Is there an emphasis on portraying homecoming soldiers as damaged by their experiences? If so, in what way? What positive stories of the impact of military service are there? And how do these relate to the view of warfare in the time in which they were made? How are veterans of victorious wars portrayed, compared to those who lost?

Topics addressed may include any type of "creative work which represents returning soldiers and veterans, from the ancient to the modern world," and cover such themes as:

  • The construction of veteran identities, either by veterans themselves or other commentators
  • Trauma theory and the returning soldier
  • Heroic or redemptive portrayals of homecoming
  • Masculinity and the portrayal of veterans
  • Returning soldiers and veterans in genre fiction, or foreign language works
  • Propaganda and the public construction of cultural memory
  • The homecoming of spectral soldiers and the return of the dead
  • Adaptation and the returning soldier 

Send proposed title and 200-word abstract via e-mail to:

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