Arts of War and Peace Review
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General Introduction

The Arts of War and Peace

War [pólemos] is the father of all and the king of all; and some he has made gods and some men, some bond and some free.
(Heraclitus, fragment#53)

We must know that war [pólemos] is common to all and strife [érin] is justice, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife.
(Heraclitus, fragment#80)

Why another periodical about war? Whether or not Heraclitus is right, war is a central cultural phenomenon which always needs to be re-examined and re-contextualized. The distinguishing characteristic of this review is our conviction that war and peace are closely interrelated and cannot be studied separately; war and peace often seem to preclude each other, yet in the light of their varying effects and consequences they turn out to be inseparable. One of the problems for conceptualizing peace is that it is often based on the memory of war, and the traces and memories of war are always problematic. Hence the name of the review, Arts of War and Peace, in which “Arts” is an inclusive term denoting any branch of learning and cultural production (music, history, philosophy, literature, etc.) all of which are legitimate objects of our study.
Arts of War and Peace differs from other reviews which focus on war and artistic production in two additional respects. First, its editors and the members of its advisory board think that insufficient attention has been given to the role of trauma and eyewitness accounts in the examination of war and peace. As a result, the intention here is to give trauma and eyewitness accounts unprecedented prominence. Secondly, few reviews combine so many disciplines and perspectives at once, including but not limited to history, philosophy, diplomacy, political science, religion, literature, art, architecture, music, drama, and the other arts. Arts of War and Peace will encourage interdisciplinary collaboration by inviting contributors to compare their approaches and methods.

Arts of War and Peace will follow in Paul Ricoeur’s observation in Time and Narrative, juxtaposing literature and history to show that these two disciplines can be mutually illuminating. Like Ricoeur, the editors believe that affinities, congruence and convergence can be found between the disciplines, without ignoring each discipline’s specificity. Thanks to this disciplinary proximity, the specificity of each approach is more accurately defined and new light can be shed on the way each discipline inherently formulates questions and suggests answers. One example of convergence, says Ricoeur, is the concept of “imagined configuration” which history and literature have in common. In this vein, Lewis H. Lapham has recently reminded the readers of Harper’s magazine, “History is not what happened 200 or 2,000 years ago; it is a story about what happened 200 or 2,000 years ago. The stories change, as do the sight lines available to the teller of the tales.”

We hope to explore the contributions that wartime cultural productions, and cultural productions about war, make to the construction of peace through historical analysis and literary and artistic interpretation. Our review will be informed by the effects cultural production has on politics, and the way wars influence our peacetime culture and our concept of peace. Peace is an object of cultural studies and can be an inspiration for culture.

Our research intends to maintain standards of academic excellence, but our goals are not strictly limited to the academy. AWP Review has an Editorial team from diverse well-established disciplines. Beyond the ivory tower, the review seeks to reach a large audience. We believe that education and pedagogy are important steps in moving from war toward peace.

Since the AWP project was initially conceived (by Jennifer Kilgore-Caradec, Claire Bowen, and Renée Dickason in 2007), a number of artistic creations as well as events seem to have proven the ever-increasing relevance of this angle of exploration, including the recent Goncourt literary prize awarded to Alexis Jenni for L’Art français de la guerre (2011), the Poetry International theme “Imagining Peace” (Southbank Center, London, 2010), the 1917 exhibit at the Centre Pompidou-Metz (2012), Art en Guerre, France 1938-1947 (Musée d’Art Moderne 2012-13), the symposium in history held at Collège de France, “Les arts de la paix dans une Europe en guerre” (2012), and the exhibit Chagall entre guerre et paix (Musée du Luxembourg, Paris 2013). Of course, the works of Emad Burnat, Geoffrey Hill, Anselm Kiefer, Eran Kolirin, Tezuka Osamu, and Art Spiegleman are also relevant, to name but a few. Meanwhile, the varying branches of war and peace studies continue to grow: conflict studies, civil rights studies, colonial studies, trauma studies, psychology, sociology, religion, geo-politics, history, and economics, as well as the arts.

Arts of War and Peace is an English Language publication sponsored by a French University (Paris Diderot), and that University’s research group for British and American Studies and Literature, Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones (LARCA). Its physical locality is the Olympe de Gouges building of the Paris Diderot Campus in the 13th arrondissement. However, its editorial and advisory boards give it an international scope and an eclectic, interdisciplinary flavor. Geographically based in Europe, it wishes to appeal to all English language and polyglot readers. While articles may also be written in French, Spanish, German, or Italian, the English reader should feel at home throughout the site, since the primary language used is English. Abstracts for articles, keywords, and presentations of authors will always appear in English, even when an alternative language is also provided.

AWP Review seeks to provide multiple, sometimes opposing perspectives. All positions expressed are those of the individual authors, and cannot be imputed to the Editors, Editorial Board, or Advisory Board. While every effort is made to verify factual data and dates, only the authors themselves can be held responsible for errors of a factual nature.

Arts of War and Peace offers topical issues with articles that are peer-reviewed, under the editorial responsibility of a guest editor or editors, as well as a number of regular features destined to grow as contributions are received: AWP Encyclopedia, AWP Reviews, AWP Interviews, AWP Translations, and AWP Creations. We seek to have our readers become participants, and encourage submissions of unpublished material, following the format suggested in the general submission guidelines.

Jennifer Kilgore-Caradec, Mark Meigs,
Daniel Jean, Angelica Schober, Michael Taugis,
and the Editorial and Advisory Boards of AWP Review

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Articles in this section

LARCA / Paris Diderot (General Introduction)

Tuesday 5 March 2013
Arts of War and Peace is sponsored by Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones (LARCA) at Université Paris Diderot. Links to other publications by LARCA members can be found here: (...)

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