CFP: A Holiday From War? (June 22-23, 2018; Sorbonne Nouvelle)

We got this CFP for a fabulous conference in Paris this summer and thought some of you might find it interesting.

Here’s the PDF: CFP A Holiday from War June 2018

And here’s the gist:

A Holiday from War?
“Resting” behind the lines during the First World War
Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle
June 22 & 23, 2018
Maison de la Recherche
Organised by Sarah Montin (EA PRISMES) et Clémentine Tholas-Disset (EA CREW)
Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Tim Kendall (University of Exeter)
His men threw the discus and the javelin, and practiced archery on the shore, and their horses, un-harnessed, munched idly on cress and parsley from the marsh, the covered chariots housed in their masters’ huts. Longing for their warlike leader, his warriors roamed their camp, out of the fight. (lliad, Book II)
What do the soldiers do when they are not on the battlefield? The broadening of the definition of war experience in recent historiography has transformed our spatial and temporal understanding of the conflict, shifting the scope away from the front lines and the activities of combat. Beyond the battlefield and its traditional martial associations emerges another representation of the warrior and the soldier, along with another experience of the war.
Situated a few kilometres behind the front lines, the rear area is the space where soldiers rotated after several days burrowed at the front or in reserve lines, surfacing from the trenches to join rest stations, training installations, ammunition and food supply depots, hospitals, brothels, command headquarters or soldiers’ shelters. In that space in-between which is neither the site of combat nor that of civilian life, the soldiers were less exposed to danger and followed a barracks routine enlivened by relaxing activities which aimed to restore morale. If some soldiers found there a form of rest far from the fury of the guns, others suffered from the encroaching discipline, the imposition of training or the promiscuity with soldiers that were no longer brothers-in-arms in thas buffer zone where they spent 3/5ths of their time. Both a place of abandonment and a place of control, the rear area merges at times with the civilian world as it occupies farms and villages and hosts non-combatants such as doctors, nurses or volunteers. With battles being waged close by, the “back of the front” (Paul Cazin) is a meeting place for soldiers of different armies and allied countries, as well as for officers and privates, soldiers and civilians, men and women, foreign troops and locals living in occupied zones. The rear area is not only a spatial concept but also a temporal one: it is a moment of reprieve, of passing forgetfulness and illusive freedom; a moment of “liberated time” (Thierry Hardier and Jean-François Jagielski) indicating a period of relative rest between combat and leave, a short-lived respite before returning to the front. If the combatant is entitled to repose and time to himself, military regulations demand that he never cease to be a soldier. As such we have to consider these moments of relaxation within the strict frame of military life at the front and the role played by civilian organizations such as the YMCA or the Salvation Army, who managed the shelters for soldiers on the Western Front.
Though seemingly incompatible with war experience, certain recreational activities specific to civilian life make their way to the rear area with the approval of military command. Moments of relaxation and leisure are encouraged in order to maintain or restore the soldier’s physical and emotional well-being, thus sustaining the war effort. They also ensure that the soldier is not entirely cut off from “normal” life and bring comfort to those who are not granted leave. Liberated time is not free time, just as periods without war are not periods of peace. These “holidays from war” are not wholly synonymous with rest as the men are almost constantly occupied (review, training exercises, instruction) in order to fight idleness and ensure the soldiers stay fit for duty. The rear is thus also a place of heightened collective practises such as sports, hunting and fishing, walking, bathing, discussions, creation of trench journals, film projections, concert parties, theatre productions, religious services as well as individual activities such as reading, writing and artistic creation.
Between communion with the group and meditative isolation, experiences vary from one soldier to another, depending on social origins, level of education and rank, all of which take on a new meaning at the rear where the egalitarian spirit fostered during combat is often put to the test. Sociability differs in periods of fighting and periods of recovery, and is not always considered positively by the soldiers. However, despite the tensions induced by life at the rear, these “holidays from war” and spells of idleness are often represented as idyllic “pastoral moments” (Paul Fussell) in the visual and written productions of the combatants. The enchanted interlude sandwiched between two bouts of war becomes thus a literary and artistic trope, evoking, by contrast, a fleeting yet exhilarating return to life, innocence and harmony, a rediscovery of the pleasures of the body following its alienation and humiliation during combat.
In order to further our understanding of the historical, political and aesthetic concerns of life at the rear, long considered a parenthesis in the experience of war, this interdisciplinary conference will address, but will not be limited to, the following themes:
The ideological, medical and administrative construction of the notion of “rest” in the First World War (as it applied to combatants but also auxiliary corps and personnel).
Paramilitary, recreational and artistic activities at the rear; the organisation of activities in particular leisure and entertainment, the role of the army and independent contractors (civilian organisations, etc.)
Sociability between soldiers (hierarchy, tensions, camaraderie); the rear area as meeting place  with the other (between soldiers/auxiliary personnel, combatants, locals, men/women, foreign troops, etc.), site of passage, exploration, initiation or “return to the norm” (“rest huts” built to offer a “home away from home”), testimonies from  inhabitants of the occupied zones
Articulations and dissonances between community life and time to oneself, collective experience and individual experience
The  historic and artistic conceptualisation of the rear area, specific artistic and literary modes at the rear by contrast with writings at the front
Staging life at the rear: scenes of country-life, idyllic representations of non-combat as farniente or hellscapes, bathing parties or penitentiary universes, the figure of the soldier as dilettante, flâneur and solitary rambler, in the productions (memoirs, accounts, correspondence, novels, poetry, visual arts, etc.) of combatants and non-combatants;
Cultural, political and media (re)construction of the figure of the “soldier at rest” (war photography, postcards, songs, etc.); representations of the male and female body at rest, constructions of a new model of masculinity (sexuality and sport), and their place in war production
In order to foster dialogue between the Anglophone, Francophone and Germanophone areas of study, the conference will mainly focus on the Western Front. However proposals dealing with other fronts will be examined. Presentations will preferably be in English.
Please send a 250-word proposal and a short bio before November 20, 2017 to :
Notification of decision: December 15th 2017
Proposals will be reviewed by the Conference scientific committee:
Jacub Kazecki (Bates College)
Jennifer Kilgore-Caradec (Université de Caen)
Catherine Lanone (Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle)
Mark Meigs (Université Paris Diderot)
Sarah Montin (Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle)
John Mullen (Université de Rouen)
Karen Randell (Nottingham Trent University)
Serge Ricard (Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle)
Clémentine Tholas-Disset (Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle)

Announcing the second annual Student Writing Award competition (Deadline: 12/8/17)

The SCMS War and Media Studies Scholarly Interest Group invites submissions to its annual Graduate Student Writing Award. A $100 cash prize will be awarded to an outstanding essay on any topic related to the relationship between war and media studies. The award panel will consist of the SIG co-chairs and two scholars with expertise in the field. The deadline for submissions is December 8, 2017.

The rules:

  • Entrants must be members of SCMS and the War and Media Studies SIG for the 2017-2018 period.
  • Entrants must be enrolled on a recognised programme of graduate study at the time of submitting work to the competition.
  • Essays should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words (including references) and be formatted as PDFs.
  • Submissions may have been prepared as coursework essays, or as part of a dissertation or thesis.
  • Essays must not have been published or accepted for publication at the time of entry.
  • The author’s name and affiliation should not appear anywhere on the essay. An application form, to be submitted as a separate document to the essay, is available here.
  • Applicants may only submit one essay.
  • Essays should not include identifying information, such as names in the header or footer.
  • Co-authored works will share the $100 cash prize between authors.
  • Previous winners may not submit in the year immediately following their award.
  • The deadline for submissions is December 8, 2017. The winner will be announced at the SCMS War and Media SIG meeting in Toronto.

Application can be found here: Student Essay Prize form 2018

Send your completed forms and essays as separate documents to Daniel Grinberg:

Hagley Library Acquires David Sarnoff’s Papers

Here’s a press release about the Hagley Library’s public unveiling of the Sarnoff collections. See more details at:

“General” Sarnoff was head of RCA for decades and, indeed, a Brigadier General in the Signal Corps during WWII. He and RCA worked hand-in-hand with the US military to develop all sots of technology, from radar screens to cameras, spy planes, and drones, and RCA helped the American Forces Radio Service establish it’s first TV station at Limestone air base in Maine in 1953 (I know, I know, I’m obsessed!). Long story short, there should be much in that collection for our members to examine!

Wilmington, Delaware – September 11, 2017 – After three years of processing, preserving, and cataloging, Hagley Library announced today that the contents of the David Sarnoff Library collection, formerly of Princeton N.J., are now fully available to the public, including 700 digital images available through the Hagley Digital Archives. The collection includes thousands of linear feet of documents, reports, photographs, films, and publications detailing the rise and fall of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and of Sarnoff, its longtime leader.
In December 2013, Hagley Library was awarded a $291,500 grant by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) through CLIR’s Hidden Collections and Archives program, made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to process and make accessible the collections of the David Sarnoff Library. Employing two project archivists, Daniel Michelson and Kenneth Cleary, a number of graduate assistants and interns from the University of Delaware, and occupying a number of its library staff, Hagley completed the David Sarnoff Library Processing Project in May 2017. Hagley took an innovative approach to the project, making individual collections available to researchers as work progressed rather than the more typical approach of releasing all material only at the conclusion of the project.
“Hagley is proud of its work to preserve this collection documenting an iconic and innovative American business and the man who led that business for multiple decades,” said Erik Rau, director of library services at Hagley. “The collection includes materials donated by more than one hundred individuals and companies resulting in tens of thousands of individually cataloged reports and publications. We invite the public to explore this incredible collection on our website and at the library.”
David Sarnoff ran RCA for nearly 40 years after developing his skills as a teenager in the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America at the dawn of the radio age. When RCA was formed in 1919, Sarnoff steadily raised his visibility as a shrewd negotiator and strategist, leveraging these talents to become president of the company in 1930. Over the next four decades, Sarnoff led RCA, one of the most important American technology companies in the twentieth century, introducing FM radio, color television, and a host of technologies in the communications and computing fields.
In the early 1960s, Sarnoff was inspired by the Roosevelt and Truman Presidential Libraries to open a library in the David Sarnoff Research Center in Princeton, N.J., to house his private papers and focus on his contributions to the communications and electronics industries. The David Sarnoff Collection (as it was then known) opened in late September 1967. The collection developed further with the acquisition of papers of former RCA executives, scientists, and engineers. However, the Sarnoff Corporation closed the library in 2009, following the onset of the Great Recession. Hagley obtained the Sarnoff collection records shortly thereafter.
The collections of the David Sarnoff Library are open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on the second Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Researchers are encouraged to contact reference staff ahead of arrival so they can be sure material is available upon arrival. Digital materials are available online anytime at
About Hagley Library
Hagley Library furthers the study of business and technology in America. The library’s collections include individuals’ papers and companies’ records ranging from eighteenth-century merchants to modern telecommunications and illustrate the impact of the business system on society. Hagley Library is a proud member of the prestigious Independent Research Libraries Association. For more information, call (302) 658-2400 weekdays or visit
About the Council on Library and Information Resources
The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. To learn more, visit

From the Feeds [09-15-17]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

The Literature and Film of the Great War: From War to Peace 1917-1925
Panel for Northeast Modern Language Association, April 12-15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA
Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2017; Contact: Richard Schumaker at

Visibility and New Models of Policing
Special Issue of Surveillance & Society for publication in September 2018
Deadline for submissions: February 1, 2018; Contact: Issue editors Keith Spiller at or Xavier D L’Hoiry at


Articles of interest

Camino, Mercedes. “Citizen Ivanov Versus Comrade Tito: Partisans in Soviet and Yugoslav Cinema of the Second World War (1960–1985).” Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Published online: September 1, 2017. 1-25.

O’Sullivan, Shane. “This Film is Restricted: Training Films of The British Security Service.” Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television. Published online: August 17, 2017. 1-22.

Garcia-Escriva, Vicente. “Vanishing Myths: Influences and Rewrites in the Epilogue of Apocalypse Now.” Quarterly Review of Film and Video. Published online: September 1, 2017. 1-18.

Westerdale, Joel. “An Accident of Resistance in Nazi Germany: Oskar Kalbus’s Three-Volume History of German Film (1935–37).” Film History: An International Journal 29.2 (Summer 2017): 160-195.


Events of interest

There will be a World War I Centennial Symposium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on October 27-28, 2017. For more information, see

The Hagley Library acquired David Sarnoff’s papers when the Sarnoff Library closed a few years ago. They just finished cataloguing the collections and invite researchers to check out the results: “General” Sarnoff was head of RCA for decades and, indeed, a Brigadier General in the Signal Corps during WWII. He and RCA worked hand-in-hand with the US military to develop all sots of technology, from radar screens to drones, and RCA also helped the American Forces Radio Service establish it’s first TV station at Limestone air base in Maine in 1953 (I know, I know, I’m obsessed with AFRTS/AFN!). Long story short, there should be much in that collection for our members to examine!

From the Feeds [08-15-2017]

Check out the “War and Peace Blogs” section for the latest on North Korea, Iran, and other hotspots…

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Beyond Law and Order: SVU, Representations of Sexual Assault in Film and Television
Panel for SCMS 2018, Mar 14-18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada
Garofalo will present on sexual violence in military films, and welcomes matching papers, or more general explorations of sexual violence in media
Deadline for submissions: August 28, 2017; Contact: John Garofalo at

“Media, Resistance and Justice” Union for Democratic Communications Conference
Loyola University Chicago, May 10-13, 2018 in Chicago, IL
Deadline for submissions: October 15, 2017; Contact:

The Human Body and World War II: Interdisciplinary Conference
University of Oxford, March 23-24, 2018 in Oxford, UK
Deadline for submissions: October 1, 2017; Contact:

Citizenship and Surveillance: The Camera as Witness Conference
Center of Documentary Research at Queen’s University, Belfast, November 9, 2017 in Belfast, UK
Deadline for submissions: September 3, 2017; Contact:


Articles of interest

Blaylock, Sara. “Bringing the War Home to the United States and East Germany: In the Year of the Pig and Pilots in Pajamas.” Cinema Journal 56.4 (Summer 2017).

Busch, Peter. “Television Through the Eyes of Ordinary Soldiers? The BBC’s Great War and Eyewitness Testimony.” Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television. Published online: August 1, 2017. 1-20.

Loukinas, Panagiotis. “Surveillance and Drones at Greek Borderlands: Challenging Human Rights and Democracy.Surveillance & Society 15.3-4 (2017). Published online: August 9, 2017. 439-446.

Van Dopperen, Ron and Graham, Cooper. “First to Film: Leon H. Caverly and the US Marine Corps in WWI.” Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television. Published online: August 4, 2017. 1-27.


CFP: SCMS 2018 Representations of Sexual Violence

John Garofalo, a member of the US Coast Guard and sometime media scholar, is proposing a panel for SCMS 2018 on representations of sexual violence in media. His own paper will examine the Marines United scandal contextualized in relation to filmic representations of sexual violence in the military. The call is much broader than that, however. See below. Contact John by August 28 if interested: <>

Beyond Law and Order [SCMS 2017]

Please share with folks who might be interested.


US National Archives and Records Administration

I’ve just returned from an amazingly fruitful trip to the US National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, MD (aka NARA II) where I was researching the history of the American Forces Television Network. Thanks, in part, to Larry Suid, who wrote the official fiftieth anniversary history of the AFRTS and kept meticulous records–including transcripts of the 130 or so interviews he did with various founders, DJs, on-air personalities, engineers, Hollywood liaisons, and policy makers–I found a goldmine!

AFKN Pamphlet, circa 1960s

Pamphlet for AFKN, circa 1960s. NARA II, College Park, MD.

Records at NARA II include the textual records of the Department of Defense and the US Information Agency (USIA), as well as millions of still photos, posters and graphics from all military branches, and very rare film and audio footage from USIA overseas activities, military radio and TV programs, indoctrination materials, and so on. Best of all, the motion picture division will allow you to tape, record, or download copies of stuff that has been processed for public viewing. Alas, much stuff has NOT been so processed; thus, I recommend contacting the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Research Room staff well before you visit so they can transfer non-public materials to a publicly consumable form before you arrive!

I know some of you have also visited the site, but for those who haven’t, you should contact the archivists at least 6 weeks before your visit to ensure materials are there, available and cleared for use (if necessary). Be as specific as possible about the materials you are interested in, including file and box numbers if they are listed in the NARA catalogue: Note that many specifics are not listed in the catalogue, but your first day involves a consultation with a staff member who can help you identify materials and fill out pull slips. On day 1, arrive early to get a “Researcher’s Card,” which takes about 15 minutes, then go directly to the consulting room. Pull your stuff and go! They have a limited number of scanning stands available for both cameras and iphones. I used one of the stands for iPhone and the ScannerPro app ($3.99) to copy 35 boxes worth of material in 5 days and sent it all immediately to the cloud! Needless to say, I highly recommend ScannerPro.

If you have visited an archive or found a digital source worth sharing with our members, register to contribute to the site. Post your thoughts, and we’ll make sure they get shared!

From the Feeds [07-15-17]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Imagining War and Conflict in the Digital Age
Panel for SCMS 2018, Mar 14-18, 2018 in Toronto, Canada
Deadline for submissions: Aug. 7, 2017; Contact: Carrie Andersen at

“Shut Up and Send Me More Pigs to Kill!”: Contemporary WWII Film
Panel for Northeast Modern Language Association, April 12-15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Deadline for submissions: Sept. 30, 2017; Contact: Brittany Hirth at

Global Wars, Local Traumas
Panel for Northeast Modern Language Association, April 12-15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2017 but earlier submissions appreciated; Contact:

Captivity in War: a Global Perspective (19th and 20th Centuries)
Conference at the University of Bern, Switzerland, March 23-24, 2018
Deadline for submissions: September 15, 2017; Contact: and


Articles and books of interest

Chao, Jenifer. “Portraits of the enemy: Visualizing the Taliban in a photography studio.Media, War & Conflict. Posted online on June 23, 2017. 1-20.

Cui, Xu and Eric Rothenbuhler. “Communicating Terror: Mediatization and Ritualization.” Television & New Media. Posted online on June 23, 2017. 1-8.

Nash, Kate. “Virtual reality witness: exploring the ethics of mediated presence.Studies in Documentary Film. Posted online on July 3, 2017. 1-13.

Puckett, Kent. War Pictures: Cinema, Violence, and Style in Britain, 1939-1945. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017.

Media and War MOOC

This from member Andrew McLoughlin. Sign up ASAP if you’re interested. If you take the course, let us know. We’d love to have a review/debrief when you’re done:
I thought this free course from The University of Queensland might interest some of our SIG members, maybe even to share with students. It’s 2-4 hours per week for 7 weeks, and you can either audit the course or take it for credit (for $99).

Here’s the link to enroll. I’m auditing right now, and the deadline to switch to credit is a month away if anyone wants to try it out first.

FB plug from Roger Stahl (author of Militainment, Inc.: War, Media, and Popular Culture): 

Here’s a cool thing. For the low, low price of free, you can enroll in an online course on global media and war – a subject that some of you know has captured my interest for some time. A colleague of mine at the University of Queensland, Seb Kaempf, received a big pot of cash to travel the world, interview experts, visit sites, and put this together. He is one of the foremost experts on the subject himself. You will find no better primer on the subject. He dives deep – from Glenn Greenwald and Wikileaks, to military research facilities, to ISIS, to official propaganda, to those working in cyberwar and the dark web. Lions, tigers, and bears. Academic sympathizers, pass this on. Some great material for the classroom at the very least.



Here’s some official text from this MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): Global Media, War, and Technology: Explore the intersection of information technology, violent conflict, and resistance. The experience of war has changed fundamentally – not only for those fighting and reporting, but also for those on the home front. High-tech nations wage wars from a distance using satellite-guided weaponry while non-state military actors, terrorist organizations, and citizen journalists have increasingly added new voices and visual perspectives to the conversation about conflict. The ubiquity of smartphones, internet access, and social media transports the experience and complexity of war directly into our lives. Cyberspace offers greater freedoms and access to information at the same time as we discover a dramatic global rise of cyber espionage, internet censorship, and surveillance. In this course, we map this emerging new terrain where violent conflict, information technology, and global media intersect and where the old distinctions between battlefront and home front, between soldier and civilian, between war and entertainment, and between public and private are being redrawn. Enroll now (for free) in ‘MediaWarX’, a brand-new open online course (MOOC):

CFP: Representations of Sexual Assault in Media (SCMS 2018)

A CFP for SCMS 2018, from Capt. John Garofolo, US Coast Guard:
I’m a former professor at the Coast Guard Academy (Ph.D. USC Cinematic Arts; M.A USC Annenberg) and I’m currently the Coast Guard Liaison to the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. . . .
I was mulling over the possibility of putting together a paper proposal for next year’s SCMS on Representations of Sexual Assault in the Military and realized that it had the potential to be part of a much broader panel  on the  Representation of Sexual Assault in all forms of media.
If you are interested in contributing to such a panel, send thoughts, ideas or suggestions to John at or
If you want to post your own call for papers, register to become a user of the War and Media Studies website. Once registered, create a post, and use the category “Collaborate” to feature the post here.
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