Call for Papers: “The War of My Generation”: Youth Culture and the War on Terror (Edited Collection)
Call for Papers Date:
“The War of My Generation” (Under consideration for the University of Georgia Press’s “Since 1970: Histories of Contemporary America” series) will capture the innovative, multidisciplinary, but historically-grounded work being done by emerging and established scholars who are interrogating youth culture’s intersections with contemporary questions about U.S. militarism and foreign policy.
The past decade has been the first one in thirty years in which young people have come of age while the United States has been involved in sustained conventional warfare. It is also the first in more than fifty in which children have lived in fear of external attack or internal subversion. Not since the 1950s have children navigated ubiquitouts security and surveillance apparatuses and the suspicion and anxiety that attends them. Children’s experiences are thus a crucial terrain for scholars interested in the cultural politics of the War on Terror, the location of the military in American society, or contemporary American culture more broadly.
The essays in this volume will examine the range of ways in which young people have experienced, constructed meaning about, and been positioned – and positioned themselves – within the War on Terror. It will ask how young people have encountered and imagined the War on Terror and its domestic and foreign policy implications and how they have responded to and participated in the debates that surround these issues. The collection will ask what histories and cultural forces have shaped these responses and this participation; what cultural texts and technologies have they consumed, mobilized, and produced; and what ideas those texts have furthered. In addressing these questions, we hope that authors will ask how young peoples’ participation in discourses central to the War on Terror intersect with broader cultural debates over foreign policy, citizenship, nation, race, class, and gender.
The collection invites essays from historians as well as those in literary studies, cultural studies, politics and the social sciences whose work historically situates the cultural products and encounters that have been central to young people’s experiences during the War on Terror. In what ways do artifacts of contemporary U.S. culture illuminate the contemporary moment and evoke earlier texts, moments and encounters with war in United States culture? While we are open to a range of potential essay topics, some possibilities include:
• Cultural texts (e.g. novels, children’s books, video games, films, etc.) that take the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or domestic aspects of the War on Terror as their topic.
• How young people have been imagined as citizen-subjects during the War on Terror and how they have participated in and resisted these discourses of citizenship.
• Young people’s experiences with family members’ deployment, including the military’s efforts to mitigate these experiences and ease the return of deployed parents through official programs, how social media (e.g. Facebook, Skype, and email) have altered young people’s experiences of deployment and war, and how a range of products endeavor to mitigate the absences caused by deployment and the return of parents confronting physical and psychological injuries.
• Young people’s experiences as prospective service members whether through recruiting efforts in schools, through the variety of texts – video games, graphic novels, and others – that the military has produced, through their membership in experiences like JROTC, or other avenues.
• Young people’s experiences as targets of surveillance, harassment, and violence as a result of the racialized discourses of citizenship and terrorism central to the domestic aspects of the War on Terror, and their resistance to these discourses.
• The relationship between Girl Culture and the increased visibility of women in military service.
• Young people’s engagement in acts of remembrance, support, and protest, from the building of memorials in schools to anti-war walkouts from classes and from participation in parades to volunteerism in “Wounded Warrior” programs.
• The intersection of concerns central to the War on Terror with those more broadly significant in contemporary U.S. culture, including hate crimes, incarceration, immigration, and others.
• Young people’s engagement with religious traditions and practices, particularly as religion has been a site of exclusion, encounter, or dialogue.
Scholars interested in contributing are invited to submit brief proposals (approx. 300 words) for essays of 8,000-10,000 words and a brief CV, as well as questions and inquiries, to David Kieran, American Studies Department, Franklin and Marshall College (firstname.lastname@example.org).
American Studies Department
Franklin and Marshall College
PO Box 3003
Lancaster, PA 17603
email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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