Arts of War and Peace Review

Calls for Papers

Monday 1 February 2016 by JKC7, MARK

The editors wish to encourage submissions for upcoming issues. Please follow Submission Guidelines. Please submit your contribution electronically: awp (at)

CFP: A Panorama of Women’s War Writings in English (March 21 / Sept 1, 2016)

Modernist studies often focus on how writers were influenced by their war experiences, particularly when it comes to male authors. The two world wars are considered as having been artistic “fodder” for expatriate male writers’ works such as Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926) and A Farewell to Arms (1929), and Richard Aldington’s Death of a Hero (1929).

But what about women’s war writings? Women authors like Kay Boyle, Radclyffe Hall, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf, do write about the war, but the limited roles available to women in the first two world wars (nurse, ambulance driver, or Salvation Army Lassie) mean that their stories are not usually adapted to novel-length productions. These writers do sometimes cast their autobiographical characters in wartime or war settings, but we do not see the same type of “soldier” stories or “hero” stories on the part of female protagonists for obvious reasons.

From Wars I Have Seen (1945), Gertrude Stein speaks about both the living conditions in wartime and her own role as an ambulance driver:

"It’s funny about honey, you always eat honey during a war, so much honey, there is no sugar, there never is sugar during a war, the first thing to disappear is sugar, after that butter, but butter can always be had but not sugar, no not sugar so during a war you always eat honey quantities of honey, really more honey than you used to eat sugar, and you find honey so much better than sugar, better in itself and better in apple sauce, in all desserts so much better and then peace is upon us and no one eats honey any more, they find it too sweet and too cloying and too heavy, it was like this in the last war ’14-’18 and it is like this in this war, wars are like that, it is funny but wars are like that." (83-84)

Stein’s description of the sugar shortage is ironic with her conclusion “it is funny but wars are like that.” As readers, we may not be surprised that Stein addresses the issue of a lack of food, but she does not restrict her observations to this mere question of comfort. Stein was also an ambulance driver herself:

From war to war. I learned how to drive in the last war and I did drive and drive into this war and now for two years I have not driven and now I have sold my car just to-day and looking at it in preparation of giving it up I seem to have forgotten what a number of the gadgets and buttons were for and so it goes from war to war, you begin a thing in one war and you lose it in the next war. From war to war. (191)

Her experience has evolved “from war to war”—once actively driving Aunt Pauline to then no longer remembering how to do so, Stein’s war heroine story has taken a U-turn in this description.

Jumping forward to the twenty-first century, in 2013, American women were allowed to engage in active combat, rendering Operation Iraqi Freedom one of the first wars to see women soldiers officially on the front lines, although women had equally participated and died in Operation Desert Storm in “non-combat” roles. Readers and critics may now look at how the women soldiers represent themselves in the war or how their ghostwriters portray them. There is a range of representations: “I am a Soldier Too: The Jessica Lynch Story” (2004) is an example of how an American myth/fairy tale of saving a blonde, young, white female soldier was used to support the war effort. On the other hand, specific journalistic interviews of women of color, lesbian women, and other women, such as The Girls Come Marching Home: Stories of Women Warriors Returning from the War in Iraq (2009), put forward the argument that the number one killer of American female soldiers in Iraq is their fellow American male soldiers.

Arts of War and Peace Review is preparing a forthcoming issue dedicated to women’s war writings to be guest edited by Amy Wells (Université de Caen). In particular, the selected essays will address the following questions:

➢ How do women write about war in English? Are there specific “female” narrative strategies when it comes to writing about the war? What do women’s war writings reveal about women’s role in war?
➢ Do differences in narrative strategies emerge between prose, poetry, and creative non-fiction genres within the war-writing genre?
➢ Can women be war heroines in Anglophone fiction?
➢ What specific evolutions do we see between women’s writings of the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Middle East “Long” Wars (Iraq, Afghanistan)?
➢ What general conclusions can we draw about women’s war writings as a genre?

While all submissions will be considered for publication at Arts of War and Peace Review, for this special edition, preference will be given to contributions that treat the Civil War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Proposals of 500 words in English or French and a short bio-bibliographical statement about the author (less than 150 words) should be sent to Amy Wells ( and by March 21. Authors of selected proposals will be notified prior to May 1, and final articles (MLA style) will be due on or before September 1, 2016. All submissions will be peer reviewed.

Imagining Secret Wars While at Peace and Imagining Secret Paths to Peace While at War: Diplomatic Longing and Propaganda in Espionage Novels

Study Day, September 20, 2013, UFR Études Anglophones, Université de Paris-Diderot, bât. Olympe de Gouges, 13 rue Antoine de Baïs, 75013 Paris. This day was previously announced for March 1, 2013, but has been postponed.
Contact: Mark Meigs: e-mail:
Poste: UFR Études Anglophones, Université de Paris-Diderot, bât. Olympe de Gouges, Case 7046 5 rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris.

Arts of War and Peace Review On Line and LARCA (Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones) propose a study day in preparation for a number of Arts of War and Peace Review dedicated to the Espionage Novels and their relationship to politics and international relations at times of world conflicts and between world conflicts.

Espionage novels can be seen as an expansion of the detective story that promoted the idea that special talents and intelligence were required to understand new urban mysteries and crimes at a time of great urbanization and industrialization in the first half of the nineteenth century. If Edgar Allen Poe invented the detective who can travel up and down a complex social ladder in dim, crowded, urban landscapes, that figure continued to evolve with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Peter Wimsey and many others up to our day, always rendering our more familiar urban world uncanny and frightening with their explanations of strange crimes. Espionage novelists and the spies they have created move over a larger, international geography and have added the problems of national, political and economic ideological loyalties to the problems of good and evil, truth and appearance that the detective had already grappled with.
Clearly, the espionage novel has a particular relationship with the First World War. Generally considered the inventor of the genre, E. Phillips Oppenheim’s earliest work was published in 1887 and the last in 1940, embracing the period of rival colonization, a series of crises that led to the war, along with an unsatisfactory peace after. The first great best seller of the genre, The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope, was published in 1894 and was followed by Rupert of Hentzau, serialized beginning in 1896 and appearing in hardback in 1898. They took place in a fictitious Balkan country, following the logic of Otto von Bismarck’s famous remark that a general European war might well be caused by “some damn thing in the Balkans.” Winston Churchill took up the idea, publishing Savrola in 1899. John Buchan would take it up again in Greenmantle, his second Richard Hannay novel, published in 1916, while he was working for the British Bureau of Propaganda. All these authors, in fact, worked for British intelligence, information or propaganda services during World War One, which might be an indication of how a total war enlisted all efforts. But when Woodrow Wilson’s advisor, Colonel House is added to the list for his novel Philip Dru: Administrator, the connection between international politics and fiction suggests that as a diplomacy of balance of power succumbed to the pressures of colonial, technological and other kinds of competition, the earliest inklings of collective peace keeping, were imagined as the actions of novelistic, talented, heroes acting on their own.
In one segment, this “journée d’étude” will gather papers to explore the possibility that an optimistic fictional imagination had played a role in pre-war years to channel the gathering dangers of international conflict, especially coming from the Balkan peninsula, into a conservative narrative of resolution.
A second segment will examine how the genre has continued. The espionage novels of the 1920s and 1930s will be explored for their relationship to the failing peace efforts of the period. Studying the novels of the Cold War, balanced between “cold” peace in the suddenly old European theatre of Espionage novels and “hot” proxy wars in the Third World will explore the limits and demise of that genteel anomaly, the Eurocentric spy invented at the end of the 19th century.

The Uses of Bodies and Injuries both as Counters in Peace Settlements and as Reasons for War

Conference, November 22, 2013, UFR Études Anglophones, Université de Paris-Diderot, bât. Olympe de Gouges, 13 rue Jean-Antoine de Baïs, 75013 Paris.
Contact: Mark Meigs: e-mail:
Poste: UFR Études Anglophones, Université de Paris-Diderot, Olympe de Gouges, case 7046, 5 rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris

Arts of War and Peace Review On Line and LARCA (Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones) propose a study day in preparation for a number of Arts of War and Peace Review dedicated to the uses of military dead in the 20th Century. Questions concerning causes of war, the uses of revenge, and the official necessity of attaching large national significance to anyone who has died in national service are the point of departure for this theme along with memorials and commemorations. During the course of the 20th Century the definitions of war dead have changed along with their relationship with citizenship. The ethnic and racial make up of armed forces, and their dead have faded in and out of focus along with political needs. The distinction between military and civilian martyrs and targets has blurred through the century. These blurrings of national status in regard to the dead have been accompanied by a blurring of meaning between remembering the dead to demand peace and remembering the dead to demand war to create peace. The organizers of this study day are particularly interested in the armed forces and dead of the United States, but comparisons with the experience and practices of other nations, either allied or in opposition to the United States are of great interest.

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