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):

SCMS Call for Papers (DUE 08-31-17)

2018 Call for Proposals

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies announces its call for proposals for the 2018 conference.  Please join us Wednesday, March 14 through Sunday, March 18, 2017 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.  The 2018 SCMS Conference Program Committee welcomes quality proposals on any topic related to cinema and media studies.

See Submitting a Proposal to SCMS: Guide for Success for helpful information on submitting a proposal.

The deadline for Thursday, August 31, 2017, 5:00 PM Central Standard Time.

Click here to access the conference submissions portal.

(Use your username and password to login.)

You can also use the War and Media Studies Facebook Group page to find partners for a panel, or register here to post a CFP to our “Collaborate” page

AHA’s GI Pamphlets (WWII; US DOD)

So, once again, in pursuit of my own research interests, I’ve discovered a trove of online materials that others might find useful. The American Historical Association, it seems, produced a series of pamphlets under the rubric “GI Roundtable” in the 1940s. Here’s how the AHA describes the series:

As texts, the AHA’s G.I. Roundtable series provides a unique insight into a particular moment in time. . . .

The G.I. pamphlet series was prepared under the direction of the Army’s Division of Information and Education between 1943 and 1945 “to increase the effectiveness of the soldiers and officers as fighters during the war and as citizens after the war.” The accent in the pamphlets is on what the postwar world would look like, and reassuring servicemen that they would have a place in postwar America.


Of particular interest are the pamphlets:

Pamphlet from the AHA's GI Roundtable series: "What is Propaganda?"

Pamphlet from the AHA’s GI Roundtable series: “What is Propaganda?”

What is Propaganda? which offers a comprehensive overview of 1940s thinking about propaganda and how to properly conduct it in a democratic society.


GI Radio Roundtable — a how-to guide for hosting your own radio chat session with GI’s, whom, we’re told, “like to talk things over”


How Far Should the Government Control Radio? — A real question in war time as the government struggled to craft a positive message for the home front but held little control over the airwaves.


What is the Future of Television? — which considers the likely shape and impact of television on government, businesses, individuals and families after the war. A nice snapshot of TV’s state of development circa 1945.

I also came across the “Handbook for Military Government in Germany” while searching for info on radio in post-war occupied Germany. It’s the full handbook, so you can see for yourself the instructions US Army personnel were given in 1946. It includes info about how to handle radio and film–both production facilities and movie releases–among other things.

Finally, some of you may know this tome, but I somehow missed it until now (insert hand smacking head emoji): David Culbert and Lawrence Suid’s Film and Propaganda in America: A Documentary History, 1945 and AfterIt’s full of amazing primary source material regarding relations between the US Defense Department and film producers and distributors. A literal gold mine! 

I’m off to the National Archives to dig into the history of the American Forces Television Network. Will file a report on that when I return! Until then, happy document hunting.

From the Feeds [06-15-17]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Special issue of Media, War & Conflict: Framing War & Conflict
Guest Editors: Sumaya Al Nahed and Philip Hammond
Deadline for submissions: Oct. 1, 2017; Contact: Sumaya Al Nahed ( and Philip Hammond (

13th International Holocaust & Genocide Studies Conference: 21st-Century Perspectives on the Holocaust and Genocide, Middle Tennessee State University, April 18-21, 2018
Deadline for submissions: Sept. 1, 2017; Contact:

Edited Collection: Legacies of the Manhattan Project
The Hanford History Project at Washington State University Tri-Cities and Washington State University Press invite submissions for a multidisciplinary collection of essays titled Legacies of the Manhattan Project: Reflections on 75 Years of a Nuclear World.
Deadline for submissions: September 15, 2017; Contact: Michael Mays at

The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939): Transforming the Soul of a Nation
Panel for 49th Annual NeMLA Convention, April 12-15, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA
Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2017; Contact:


Articles of interest

Hervik, Peter. “Ten Years after the Danish Muhammad Cartoon News Stories: Terror and Radicalization as Predictable Media Events.” Television & New Media (2017). Posted online May 2017.

Huiberts, Eline and Stijn Joye. “Close, but Not Close Enough? Audience’s Reactions to Domesticated Distant Suffering in International News Coverage.” Media, Culture & Society (2017). Posted online May 2017.

Jakob, Joey Brooke. “Beyond Abu Ghraib: War Torture Photography and Commemorative Violence.” Media, War & Conflict 10.1 (2017): 87-104.

Plaut, Martin. “Reporting Conflict in Africa.Media, War & Conflict 10.1 (2017): 40-47.

Website Developments

Now that school’s out for summer, I’ve finally gotten around to refreshing the War and Media Studies website a bit. You will notice in the “Resources” section that I have

  • added the H-Net news feeds to the CFP page for additional calls in the field
  • Created a “Teaching War and Media” page through which we can distribute syllabi and class exercises as requested by members at this year’s SCMS meeting
  • Created a new page with Podcasts of interest to those working in war and media (though mostly war-related)
  • Split off the Blog Feeds from the Scholarly Journals for easier access to both.

Daniel has also posted this month’s “From the Feeds” summary, so be sure to check it out.

Other projects in the works:

  • Book Reviews in the Field — we’ve tapped some members to deliver the first reviews of canonical works in war and media studies. Hopefully, we’ll be posting the first soon.
  • Collaborative programming for SCMS 2018, with the Transnational Studies SIG and the Women’s Caucus. Details coming soon.

Calls for contributions

  • Teaching Materials — for the new Teaching War and Media Page. We’ll take sample syllabi, class exercises, clever assignments, etc.
  • Book Reviews — if you have a favorite text in the field, consider writing up a brief (200-300 word) introduction to its fabulousness for our members
  • Works in Progress —  if you are working on a draft of a new article, chapter or book and would like some member feedback, we can help you post and field comments from the SIG.

You can contact any of the SIG leadership if you want to contribute:

Stacy Takacs <>

Becca Harrison <>

Daniel Grinberg <>

From the Feeds [05-15-17]

New Podcast of interest:

On War and Society” from the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies at Wilfred Laurier University in Canada. Episode #1: The War Junk Historian,” Eric Story discusses the environmental impact of munitions dumping in Canada.

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Militarism and Capitalism: The Work and Wages of Violence
Radical History Review, Issue 133
Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2017; Contact:

Defending the Homeland: War and Nationalism on Screen
An area of multiple panels for the 2017 Film & History Conference: Representing “Home”: The Real and Imagined Spaces of Belonging, Nov. 1-Nov. 5, 2017, The Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Milwaukee, WI
Deadline for submissions: June 1, 2017 (early acceptance)/ July 1, 2017 (general acceptance); Contact: A. Bowdoin Van Riper at

Feminist War Games?: Mechanisms of War, Feminist Values, and Interventional Games A collection edited by Jon Saklofske, Dene Grigar, Jon Bath, and Alyssa Arbuckle
Deadline for submissions: May 15, 2017; Contact:


Articles of interest

Conboy, Martin. “How the War Made The Mirror.” Media History (2017): 1-18.

Fantauzzo, Justin. “Picturing War: Soldier Photography, Private Remembrance, and the First World War in Egypt, Sinai, and Palestine.Journal of War & Culture Studies 48.1 (2017): 1-14.

Price, Stuart. “The Event of Terrorism: Ambiguous Categories and Public Spectacle.” Television and New Media (2017): 1-7.

Swimelar, Safia. “Deploying images of enemy bodies: US image warfare and strategic narratives.” Media, War & Conflict (2017): 1-25.

Special Issue of Feminist Formations: Homefront Frontlines. Vol 29, no. 1 (Spring 2017).

From the Feeds [04-15-2017]

Find of the month…

Did you know that Indiana University has placed a fully digitized copy of the US Government Information Manual for the Motion Picture Industry online. The collection includes talking point memos, as well as the general manual. Here are the details:

Government Information Manual for the Motion Picture Industry
Corp Author(s): United States. Office of War Information. Bureau of Motion Pictures.
Publication: [Washington, D.C. : Office of War Information,
Year: 1942.]

CFPs of interest in this month’s feeds

Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association, War Studies Area Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 8-11, 2017
Deadline for submissions: June 29, 2017; Contact:

Literature/Film Association Annual Conference: POLITICS, ETHICS, AND ADAPTATION Missoula, Montana, University of Montana, October 26-29, 2017
Deadline for submissions: June 19, 2017; Contact:

Trauma Narratives and the Ethics of Reading Saulkrasti, Latvia, University of Turku, July 26-August 2, 2017
Deadline for submissions: May 1, 2017; Contact: Prof. Hanna Meretoja ( and Prof. Colin Davis (

InVisible Culture Issue 28: Contending with Crisis
Deadline for submissions: June 30, 2017; Contact:


Articles of interest

This month, the journal Media War and Conflict presents a pre-publication issue on conflict reporting, including an interesting essay on Cold War leaf-letting in Korea.

Allison, Tanine. “Virtue Through Suffering: The American War Film at the End of Celluloid.” Journal of Popular Film and Television 45.1 (2017): 50-61.

Guerin, Frances. “The Ambiguity of Amateur Photography in Modern Warfare.New Literary History 48.1 (Winter 2017).

Kraidy, Marwan M. “Terror, Territoriality, Temporality: Hypermedia Events in the Age of the Islamic State.” Television and New Media (published online March 2017): 1-7.

MacKenzie, S.P. “Camouflaged Advertising: The 1990s TV series Soldier, Soldier and the British Army.” Historical Journal of Film, Radio, and Television 37 (2017): 1-19.

Midberry, Jennifer. “Photos of breastfeeding in uniform: contesting discourses of masculinity, nationalism, and the military.” Feminist Media Studies (April 2017): online.

UT Austin — One Year VAP

Some of you might be interested in this opportunity:

I’m writing to announce a 2017-2018 visiting faculty position in media studies in my department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin.  We are seeking a one-year Lecturer (what would be called a Visiting Assistant Professor at some universities) in film, television, or digital media studies with expertise in race/ethnicity, gender, or queer studies or activist/alternative media.  A Ph.D. in Media Studies or closely related field by the time of appointment is required. The job announcement and application information can be found here:

Please be in touch with me at or with Alisa Perren at if have questions about the position or the application process. Alisa and I are both at SCMS and would be happy to talk in person with interested applicants.

Thanks, and best wishes,

Mary Beltrán

Associate Professor


University of Texas at Austin

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