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The War and Peace Studies Caucus will identify the analysis of violence and conflict as a primary field of study within American Studies scholarship and provide a dedicated space in which scholars interested in exploring how these issues intersect with the critical questions central to the study of American culture can share ideas, network, and collaborate to generate new directions for research and teaching. Recent scholarship that interrogates questions of transnationalism, imperialism, and borderlands studies, as well as that which seeks to historicize and explore the significance in American culture of the “War on Terror” and the on-going wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have led to much excellent work that critically engages these issues. However, scholars working on these issues often remain separated because their alignment with particular subfields and historical periods prohibits collaboration with scholars working on similar issues in other fields or with regard to other historical moments.

The War and Peace Studies Caucus will seek to bridge this gap by encouraging collaboration across subfields and historical periods to develop new directions for teaching and research regarding how issues of violence and conflict intersect with issues ranging from notions of patriotism and nationalism to the role of technology and religion in American life. We are interested in interrogating specific historical incidents, theoretical questions about violence and conflict, the relationship between the study of war and peace and other subfields in American Studies, and all other issues that allow us to critically interrogate both issues of war and peace and the larger question of the location of these issues within the American Studies project.

We are particularly interested in encouraging partnerships that will lead to increased consideration of how the methodological and theoretical approaches central to the study of war and peace are useful in producing new understandings of those topics, and, concurrently, how examining those intersections will lead to innovative understandings of the historical and contemporary significance of war and peace in American culture.

Contact information:

*Irene Garza, Department of American Studies
Oberlin College (igarza@oberlin.edu)

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Call for Proposals: Archive of Modern American Warfare Symposium

The first annual Archive of Modern American Warfare Symposium will take place at Texas Tech University’s International Cultural Center on Thursday September 15, 2016. The theme of this year’s symposium is ISIS and the Global War on Terrorism.

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Asia Critique: Special Issue"The Unending Korea War”

I’m pleased to share an issue of positions: asia critique (volume 23, issue 4) titled “The Unending Korean War.”  Published in December, this special issue assembles critical perspectives on the unending Korean War from scholars and creative practitioners working within and across the fields of Korean studies, Asian American studies, and American studies.
Examining the war beyond its standard 1950-1953 periodization and assumed status as a past event, this issue draws on an innovative archive of Korean War-era American comic books, declassified prisoner-of-war (POW) political documents, Chicano war narratives, photos of North Korean reconstruction, North Korean defector memoirs, South Korean Manchurian action films of the 1960s, a South Korean novel about North Korean war memories, and Korean adoptee documentaries in order to shed light less on the war’s known contours than on its unexamined recesses, forgotten potentialities, and undertheorized afterlives.

For those of you without institutional access, the articles can be downloaded on the Korea Policy Institute website: http://kpolicy.org/the-unending-korean-war/.

Christine Hong

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CFP - Militarizing the Domestic/Domesticating the Military

Militarizing the Domestic, Domesticating the Military: Home/Not Home in American Military Cultures

What marks a culture as militarized? Is it possible to distinguish between the home front and war zone? Recent studies of prolonged warfare, base culture, and the increasing militarization of domestic life point to the ways in which the war zone and the home front bleed into one another. This panel, linked with a roundtable sponsored by the War and Peace Studies Caucus, will consider this year’s conference theme of Home/Not Home by focusing on the intersection of the military and the domestic. We seek papers for a panel that explores the increasing militarization of American domestic life. These papers should consider the ways in which the military engulfs the social order and permeates non-military spaces. We welcome submissions from a range of topics that might include the militarization of law enforcement as with Ferguson, the promulgation of militarized values through school recruitment programs such as ROTC, the discourse of gratitude that thanks military members for their service, the proliferation of popular cultural representations of the military, and the commemorative culture of memorials and monuments. The format for this session will be a traditional panel of papers focused on a single case study and no longer than 20 minutes in length. By January 3, 2016, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a current 2-page cv to Andi Gustavson .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please note in your email that you are applying for the panel. We will notify panelists by January 7, 2016.

What makes a military domesticated? From a focus on militarizing the domestic, this roundtable will shift to a consideration of the work of domesticating the military. How does the military ameliorate, naturalize, domesticate, or otherwise make invisible its violent practices? Scholars from a range of disciplines will consider the ways in which gender, the idea of the home front, and the discourse of the family have been mobilized by the American military. Participants will build on the work of the previous panel, asking whether it is possible to distinguish between the war zone and the home front. Roundtable discussants will explore a series of questions about the representation of a kinder, gentler military and the implications for our understanding of cultures of violence, the ongoing and daily work of war, and the affective experience of prolonged military engagement. These questions might consider the ways in which discourses of the home front have become justification for violence elsewhere, the differing impacts of base culture on host communities, the role of military families living abroad, the intimacies of care-giving and the tending to bodies wounded by war, and the construction of back home as an idealized space. The format for this sessions will be a roundtable in which participants will respond to a set of questions and the audience will be invited to contribute to the discussion. By January 3, 2016, please submit an abstract about your current research of no more than 250 words and a current 2-page cv to Andi Gustavson .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please note in your email that you are applying for the roundtable. We will notify participants by January 7, 2016.

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ASA 2016

Greetings War & Peace Studies Caucus!
I hope everyone is doing well and hanging in there during what is usually quite a hectic time of the year for most of us. I am writing to give the annual update on the caucus’ activities and outline some of the potential panel ideas that we developed for ASA 2016.

ASA 2016

The Conference Theme for Next Year is “Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are” The full CFP can be accessed here [http://www.theasa.net/submit_a_proposal]. Submission site is now open a/o TODAY, December 1st.
Submission deadline: 11:59 PM (Pacific) on February 1, 2016.

Potential Panel Ideas/Topics of Discussion:

** “Base Culture/ Base Archipelago”:  Theme: “Homes/Not-Homes” What do we do with militarized sites like Guantanamo, Diego Garcia, Vieques, Okinawa, Guam….yields the question of “Who’s Home?” : How might we work with scholars in Indigenous Studies, Asian-Pacific Islander Studies, or Postcolonial Studies to critique proliferation of US military bases worldwide, consolidation of US Empire, displacement and erasure of Native communities, forms of resistance undertaken by local communities against military occupation/testing (Hawaii) → Militarism at Home or “Home & Away” ( or “go away”?) What does “base culture” look like and how it is reproduced? If interested in contributing to this panel or working with scholars, consider contacting: David Kieran [dkieran@washjeff.edu], Stacy Takacs [stacy.takacs@okstate.edu], or Kristin Ann Hass [kah@umich.edu]

* “Technologies of War”/ Science & Technology Studies (STS): What are the role of drones and emergent surveillance technologies in GWoT?; In what ways are drones and “omnipresent technologies” shaping new and expansive forms of warfare? If interested, contact Carrie Andersen [canders08@gmail.com]

*Keyword Roundtable: “Beyond Militarization” (Sovereignty, Biopolitics, Terror, Security); Discussion of reaching out to scholars like Jennifer Terry who works on medicalization of war trauma (PTSD, state-sanctioned war wounding, biomedical profiteering) and Joseph Masco (national security, militarization and affect). If interested contact Ken Macleish [ktmacleish@gmail.com]

★ WPSC Sponsored Panel+ Roundtable
  1) Militarizing the Domestic: PANEL
  2) Domesticating the Military: ROUNDTABLE

*Militarizing the Domestic: Military as engulfing social order and formerly non-military social spaces; militarization of law enforcement (e.g. Ferguson), permeation of militarized values in schools and recruitment (ROTC—Gina Perez’s new work?), sports (NFL), military as “civil religion” in contemporary discourses of gratitude (thank you for your service culture), proliferation of popular culture television shows about military: Coming Home (Lifetime, 2012); Enlisted (Fox 2014); The Night Shift (NBC 2014); Militarized animals/service dogs and veterans (“Dogs of War” , “Paws & Stripes”), commemorative spaces and memorials

*Domesticating the Military: How has gender and/or idea of “family” (spouses, children, pets) been mobilized to make comprehensible realities of military life or otherwise temper effects of war and war-making?  How does family make base life “comprehensible”? How has rhetoric of “home” sometimes become justification for violence (ie domestic violence rates on military bases), constructing the home as idealized space?  Keywords: Military Families; Homefront; Intimacy; Care-taking (“Wounded Warriors”? Nursing?) Children (Sesame Street & DoD collaboration; Michelle Obama’s “Joining Forces”/ Children’s & YA literature re: GWoT).

**There will be a specific CFP circulated soon for this panel+Roundtable. Please contact Andrea Gustavson with further inquiries: [agustavson@utexas.edu].

*Landscapes of War: In what ways can we think about or otherwise incorporate Denver, CO into conversations about “home” and landscapes of war? Denver, CO is home to Fort Carson, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, NORAD, etc. Perhaps reach out to scholars like Gretchen Heubener who works on militarized landscape of the West? If interested, contact Franny Nudelman [franny_nudelman@carleton.ca] or Rusty Bartels [rrbartels@ucdavis.edu]

ASA 2016—Special Events
* Workshop or Roundtable re: Military Research: During the Caucus meeting, many of us discussed our frustration with how difficult or sometimes “inscrutable” it feels to do military-related research. We discussed hosting a workshop with a collections specialist or archivist from NARA in Broomfield. I have reached out to them and they are happy to host a workshop at their facility, located about 35 min from downtown Denver, though they can only accommodate up to 40 participants. Likewise, they may be able to send an archivist to Denver to work with us. I will look further into this and report back.

*Teaching War/Teaching Violence Workshop: This may be for farther down the line, but Franny N brought up interesting idea for a roundtable about experiences teaching students in the current age of “Trigger Warnings.” What is the contemporary discourse around teaching and how might it lead to adversarial classroom politics?Conceiving of the classroom as domestic space, what does this mean re: “Triggers on Guns” (ie campus carry movement) and issues of safety, violence, and pedagogy?

*Kristin H discussed idea of a “graduate student mixer” as a way of introducing ourselves and the caucus to new and emerging scholars. Once the location for the conference has been finalized, we can look into doing a happy hour or mixer of some sort. Its always great to meet new folks, bring them in, and/or continue heightening the visibility of the Caucus.

There was much more discussed at the Caucus meeting in October, but I will save that for a separate blog post for later this week. For now, I sincerely hope we’re all taking care of ourselves and/or I look forward to hearing about the wonderful panel sessions that will emerge in the forthcoming weeks.

all best,
Irene Garza
WPSC Chair
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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News from the War & Peace Studies Caucus/ ASA 2015 is Near!

Greetings ASA War and Peace Studies Caucus!
I hope this message finds everyone well and in good spirits during this usually quite hectic time in the semester. As we all know, ASA 2015 is upon us! Here are a few notes/updates regarding next week’s conference.

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