Special Issue: Peace and Change
Thirty Years after Scarry's The Body in Pain
Call for Papers: Special Issue of Peace and Change
Bodily Pain and Peace and Human Rights:
Thirty Years after Elaine Scarry’s, The Body in Pain
2015 will mark the 30th anniversary of the publication of Elaine Scarry’s seminal work, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. Since its publication, Scarry’s work has remained the most influential work on the how bodily pain shapes power in Western culture. While critics are divided as to the merits of Scarry’s main conclusions about how bodily pain deconstructs the sufferer’s world, they recognize that grappling with Scarry’s arguments is necessary for anyone who wishes to understand the political and ethical consequences of inflicting and writing about pain.
The purpose of this special issue is to examine the importance of attention to bodily pain in peace and social justice studies. Scarry’s work suggests the impossibility of representing the pain of another without appropriating that pain for the political agenda or power of the historian, social justice advocate or torturer. In part for this reason, Scarry argues that language cannot describe bodily pain; that is, pain itself exists outside of representation. While this assertion has been challenged by Scarry’s critics, most agree that representations of extreme pain are especially tricky and often appropriated for particular political agendas thus silencing those in pain. The purpose of this special issue will be to both add to our empirical understanding of how war, torture and other forms of violence inflict bodily pain and the consequences of that pain on individuals and culture and to grapple with the ethical responsibilities of writing about the pain of another. Topics may include but are not limited to:
• Truth and Reconciliation Committees and testimonies about pain
• Trauma and pain
• Bodily destruction and its representation
• Hate Crimes and representations of pain
• Peace movements and representations of pain
• Human Rights
• Relationship between constructions of gender, race and pain
• Killing without seeing; use of drones, long range missiles ect…
• Ethics of representing the pain of another
• Representations of war and bodily pain in Popular Culture, Films and literature
Authors should send a detailed abstract of approximately 750 words that discusses
• The specific topic and its importance to peace and social justice studies
• Provide a clear statement of the sources used and or bibliography
• Discuss how the proposed paper situates itself in relation to Scarry’s work
Authors should also include a vita and contact information. Abstracts are due Nov 22, 2013
November 2013: Abstracts Due
December 2013: Authors are notified of acceptance of abstracts and requested to provide a manuscript. Final acceptance will be contingent upon the completion of an acceptable manuscript.
July 1, 2014: First manuscripts are due.
August 1: Requests for revisions are sent to authors.
November 1, 2014: Final articles are due to editors.
Fall 2015: Issue will be published.
Please send abstracts to
Kathleen Kennedy at (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Missouri State University
Western Washington University
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