Recent news and notes

First off, thanks, as always, to Daniel for compiling CFPs and articles of interest to our members. If you’re too busy to check all of the feeds yourself, Daniel’s “From the Feeds” summary can cut through the clutter.

Second, Howard Hastings wanted us to know that the Cultural Studies Association has a Working Group on War and Culture. He asked me to pass along information about the group and their CFP for the upcoming meeting, May 31-June 2 at Carnegie Mellon U in Pittsburgh, PA. Deadline for abstracts is Feb 16, and you must be a CSA member to submit. The good news is that membership is fairly reasonable as these things go, and grad students have major opportunities to receive travel grants to offset conf costs. We might talk about ways to partner with them at the upcoming meeting in Toronto.

Third, if you are a podcast listener and haven’t yet listened to American History Tellers first season on the Cold War, here’s an official recommendation. I found episode 2 on the “Campaign of Truth,” particularly good, and highly recommend it to anyone working on propaganda, public diplomacy, VOA or USIA films. There’s also great stuff on the blacklist, the bomb, academia’s role in the war industries, and, of course, the bikini. Given that we’re a media studies group, you might also try Wondery’s Inside Psycho, about the creation of said film!

Updates about the SCMS conference coming soon!

From the Feeds [01-16-18]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Cultural Studies Association War and Culture Working Group seeking papers for the upcoming conference, May 31-June 2 at Carnegie Mellon U in Pittsburgh.

Submission is limited to current CSA members, but new members are welcome. Please follow the Easy Chair submission guidelines found on the CSA Conference Registration page:

Deadline for abstracts: Feb 16, 2018. CfP CSA 2018 War and Culture.

The War Literature: Mapping the Unheard Voices Across the Globe
Call for chapters for an edited collection
Deadline for submissions: February 28, 2018; Contact: Manoj Kumar at

Visualising Spatial Injustice and Exploitation Conference
University of Kent, UK, June 8th 2018
Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2018; Contact: Stephen Connolly, Matthew Gibson, and Patrick Brian Smith

Radical Film Network Conference
Dublin, Ireland, July 27-29, 2018
Deadline for submissions: March 10, 2018; Contact:


Articles of interest

Abid, Mujib. “War, Media, and War Journalism in Afghan Jihad.” Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice. Published online: November 7, 2017. 450-457.

Elias, Chad. “Emergency Cinema and the Dignified Image: Cell Phone Activism and Filmmaking in Syria.” Film Quarterly. Published online: September 14, 2017.

Frey, Elsebeth. “‘Do You Tweet When Your Friends Are Getting Shot?’ Victims’ Experience With, and Perspectives on, the Use of Social Media During a Terror Attack.” Social Media + Society. Published online: January 3, 2018. 1-11.

Winkler, Carol, Kareem ElDamanhoury, Aaron Dicker, and Anthony F. Lemieux. “Images of death and dying in ISIS media: A comparison of English and Arabic print publications.” Media, War & Conflict. Published online: January 10, 2018. 1-15.

From the Feeds [12-15-17]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Sarah Maltby at asked us to pass on info about their upcoming Media, War and Conflict conference in Florence, Italy in May 2018. Topic: Spaces of War, War of Spaces.


Deadline for call for papers is Jan 10, 2018.

Twitter deadlines @MWC_Journal and @warandmedia

World War II on Film Conference 
Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, June 5, 2018
Deadline for submissions: March 15, 2018; Contact: David L. Snead at

Verge: Studies in Global Asias issue 5.2 
A special themed issue on Forgetting Wars
Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2018; Contact:


Articles of interest

Alikhah, Fardin. “A brief history of the development of satellite channels in Iran.” Global Media and Communication. Published online: October 27, 2017. 1-27.

Crawford-Holland, Sasha. “ Virtual Healing: Militarizing the Psyche in Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy.” Television & New Media. Published online: November 21, 2017. 1-23.

Moore-Gilbert, Kylie. “A visual uprising: Framing the online activism of Bahrain’s Shiʿi opposition.” Media, War & Conflict. Published online: December 1, 2017. 1-23.

Media Asia has a special issue on The Safety of Journalists, which was published online in November. It can be found here.

CFP: Pictures of War: The Still Image in Conflict since 1945

Just got an email about this Manchester-based conference:

Pictures of War: The Still Image in Conflict since 1945

Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester UK
24th & 25th May 2018.
Deadline: January 12, 2018
A conference on the intersections of conflict and pictures from the end of WWII until today.
Since the end of World War II, the nature and depiction of geopolitical conflicts have changed in technology, scale and character. The Cold War political landscape saw many struggles for liberation and national identity becoming proxy battlegrounds for the major powers. In the aftermath of anti-colonial conflicts, refugees and migrants who had relocated to the former metropolises joined those already fighting for civil equality in these countries. Wars continue to be waged in the name of democracy and terror, and in the interests of linguistic, theological and racial worldviews. Migration and displacement as a result of conflict are again at the top of the agenda.
As the technologies of war have shifted, so have the technologies of making pictures. This conference seeks to engage with these phenomena through critically engaged approaches to the processes of visualisation, their methodologies and epistemologies that will contribute to our understanding of the ways conflicts are pictured. The intention is to expand the field of enquiry beyond localised, thematic or media-specific approaches and to encourage new perspectives on the material and visual cultures of pictures.
We invite scholars, artists and activists interested in the study of images and pictures in their own right, with their own and admittedly interdependent discourses and visual and material capacities for producing knowledge and meaning (Mitchell, 2005). We are interested in presentations that consider the temporal and physical mobility of pictures and their visual, material, affective, political and economic value from multi and interdisciplinary positions. The subject of the conference will be examined through the following themes:
Call Themes:
A Heritage of Images
In looking at and in producing pictures, academics and practitioners are often aware of what Fritz Saxl called A Heritage of Images (1957) in self-conscious or subliminal ways. Pictorial accounts of contemporary conflicts arguably depend for their affectivity and recognisability upon their resonance with already existing historical depictive traditions.  Contributions to this strand would seek to interrogate the idea that visibility (Ranciere, 2004; Butler, 2009) is manifested in pictorial images, and to investigate how far what pictures depict and represent is dependent on the ability to recover the past in the present: ‘namely, that images with a meaning peculiar to their own time place, once created, have a magnetic power to attract other ideas into their sphere; that they can suddenly be forgotten and remembered again after centuries of oblivion.’ (Saxl, 1947).
Pictures on the Move, Visualising Solidarities
The various expressions of solidarity have created pictures that reflected and inspired affinities and networks of possibilities beyond their intended aims and specific trajectories. Visual and material manifestations across ideological, ethnic and national borders, range from international solidarity in the struggles against totalitarianism in its various forms, colonialism, militarism and racism, as well as in demand for equal rights for women, LGBTQ individuals, refugees, and migrants. What kind of discourses do manifestations of solidarity trigger, and what kind of pictures do they produce? How do they vary across time and from one place to another? What are the different ways that they have shaped individual and collective identities and imaginations? Contributions can include but are not limited to: revolutionary, embodied, spatial and affective solidarities; Cold War official and unofficial networks, the solidarity of/with the displaced; notions of re-framing, undoing
and decolonising in relation to visual interpretations of solidarity; failed attempts and their visual and material cultures.
Witnesses to Existence: The ethics of Aesthetics
The ethical challenges to the visual representation of conflict are deeply problematic. The ongoing dilemma for photographers of suffering lies in the interplay between the desire to engender a social good – the ending of exploitation, discrimination or extermination – with the desire not to expose the victim to further unnecessary suffering, either in the performative act of being photographed, or the re-performative act of displaying that image to an audience. Concentrating on the practice of imagemakers, contributions will examine the visual strategies deployed by photographers in response to these challenges, including the role of advocacy photography in human rights work, the genre of aftermath photography, the forensic turn, and the role of alternative dissemination spaces like the gallery and museum.
Visual Activism and the Middle East
Conflicts are no longer the major global events they once were. Rather than exceptional events on isolated battlefields major-power conflict have been largely neutralised. Where conflicts do persist, they can become routine and unexceptional, an everyday disruption that people adapt to and endure.  How do visual activists record relationships between everyday life and larger forces of domination, disruption and change as a consequence of ongoing conflict as a form of resistance?  With an emphasis on the middle-east, this strand will discuss the evolving relationship between visual activism, political resistance and photographic practices. In doing so, it will consider proposals that seek to explore how such acts of visibility making, including but not limited to traditional photographic practices, can exist or meet at a number of social, spatial and artistic intersections and/or can be understood as having multiple functions.
Pictures, Conflicts, Modes of Transmission
Pictures of conflict, especially those involving forms of documentation or reportage, have generally been dependent on technologies of transmission. These technologies have enabled pictures of conflict to be moved across geographical distances, to be technically reproduced, and to be circulated amongst spectators. They have included ‘wire’ systems for the rapid movement of images between distant points, different forms of printing and mass reproduction, and more recently, Internet-based social media platforms that have enabled professionals and citizens alike to upload and transmit pictures of contemporary conflict situations. This strand seeks to explore both historical and contemporary situations involving relationships between the visual representation of conflict and modes of transmission, asking how have such modes of transmission shaped the form and politics of pictures of military and political confrontations and struggles?
The Unresolvable Past: Post-Conflict Trauma and Representation
The persistence of traumatic memory is a recognisable part of post-conflict culture, often re-emerging long after the events that caused it have ceased. As Bennett (2005) suggests, it is art’s affective power that enables it to go beyond apparent claims to the objective documentation of conflict in that the form of the work itself helps to convey more elliptical forms of understanding. This strand invites papers that engage with the active and selective representation of themes related to post-conflict trauma within visual or material culture. To what extent, for example, can narration or depiction provide a means of dealing with the cataclysmic past, and can this process ever be complete, or even sufficient?
The conference will take place at Manchester Metropolitan University on 24th & 25th May 2018.
Submit Abstracts
Proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes should be sent in MS Word (max 250 words) followed by a short bio (not exceeding 100 words). Please include the title of your proposed paper and indicate the theme it most adheres to as these will be developed into conference panels.
All paper proposals must be submitted by email to:
by 12 January 2018.
Conference Conveners: Prof. Jim Aulich, Mary Ikoniadou, Fionna Barber and Dr Simon Faulkner, Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. Dr Paul Lowe, London College of Communication, UAL. Dr Gary Bratchford, University of Central Lancashire.
The conference is organised by the Postgraduate Arts and Humanities Centre and the Manchester Art Research Centre at MMU, in collaboration with the MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at LCC, and the Photography Research Group at UCLAN. Additional funding has been provided by the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.
The accepted papers may be considered for publication in a forthcoming edited volume.
The Pictures of War: The Still Image in Conflict since 1945 conference will offer several bursaries and subsidies, particularly towards travel and stay costs for PhD and ECR speakers whose abstracts have been accepted; more information will be provided in the conference announcement at the beginning of 2018.

From the Feeds [11-15-17]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Armed Conflict and its Afterlives: The Uses of War in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula
University of Pennsylvania Spanish and Portuguese Department Graduate Conference, February 23rd-24th 2018
Deadline for submissions: November 27, 2017; Contact:

The Troubles on Film: Critical Essays and Interviews
Edited collection organized by Matthew Edwards
Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2018; Contact:

Armistice & Aftermath: A World War One Symposium
Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI, September 28-29, 2018
Deadline for submissions: April 2, 2018; Contact:


Articles of interest

Dingley, James and Sean Hermann. “Terrorism, Radicalisation and Moral Panics: Media and Academic Analysis and Reporting of 2016 and 2017 “Terrorism.”Small Wars & Insurgencies 28.6 (2017): 996-1013.

Hillenbrand, Margaret. “Remaking Tank Man, in China.” Journal of Visual Culture 16.2 (2017): 127-166.

Høiby, Marte and Rune Ottosen. “Journalism under pressure in conflict zones: A study of journalists and editors in seven countries.” Media, War & Conflict. Published online: September 21, 2017. 1-18.

LaFlamme, Marcel. “A sky full of signal: aviation media in the age of the drone.” Media, Culture & Society. Published online: October 25, 2017. 1-18.


Annette Kuhn Essay Award for best debut article in film and television studies

The Annette Kuhn Essay Award now invites debut articles published in 2017. The award, sponsored by Screen journal, offers £1,000 to the author/s of the best debut article in film and television studies, as judged by Screen’s editors and members of the editorial advisory board.


The submitted essay should provide an original contribution to the theoretical or empirical exploration of screen media. There are no other requirements in terms of specific content or methodological approach. The criteria for entry are:


  • It is the debut single-authored journal essay by the scholar
  • It is published in a refereed journal
  • The date of first publication falls between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2017
  • It is written in English


The deadline for submissions is Friday 26 January 2018. Please see the website for full conditions of entry.


Screen Journal

Gilmorehill Centre

University of Glasgow


G12 8QQ


Direct line: +44 (0)141 330 5035



Screen news:

Online issues:

The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401

From the Feeds [10-15-17]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

2018 War, Literature & the Arts Conference
United States Air Force Academy, Colorado, September 18-21, 2018
Deadline for submissions: December 15, 2017; Contact: Lt Col Jesse Goolsby, PhD/US Air Force Academy at

The Aggressive Image: 11th Annual Film and Media Studies Graduate Student Conference
Yale University, February 17-18, 2018
Deadline for submissions: November 27, 2017; Contact:

The Holocaust and the Domestic
Panel for NeMLA 2018, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 12-15, 2018
Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2017; Contact: Luke Wilson at


Articles of interest

Chion, Michel. “Listening to the sounds of war: an interview with Michel Chion.” Interview by Luis Velasco-Pufleau. Sound Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Published online: October 12, 2017. 1-5.

Hoxha, Abit and Thomas Hanitzsch. “How conflict news comes into being: Reconstructing “reality” through telling stories.” Media, War & Conflict. Published online: September 20, 2017. 1-19.

Richards, Jill. “Serializing the Political Spectrum: Post-9/11 Television, from Left to Right.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 45.3 (2017): 152-164.


Special issues of interest

There is a forthcoming special issue of Media History, edited by Siân Nicholas & Tom O’Malley and based around the theme of Newspapers, War and Society.

There is also a forthcoming special issue of Media, Culture & Society 39.8 (2017), edited by Bolette Blaagaard, Mette Mortensen, and Christina Neumayer and based around the theme of Digital Images and Globalized Conflict.

Both have published many of their war and media-related articles online.




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:

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