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In: War and the Humanities
In: War and the Humanities
In: War and the Humanities
In: War and the Humanities
The Cultural Impact of the First World War
The battles of the First World War created a fundamentally new impression of war. Total warfare, the use of propaganda, chemical weapons, and every possible other measure to ensure victory defined the event that should later be known as the »Great War«, because it caused so many deaths and much suffering. The catastrophe also had an impact on the humanities, which inevitably had to deal with the processing of an event that seemed to be too big to be clearly understood by the human mind. The present volume covers several interdisciplinary perspectives by dealing with the impact of the war on the humanities during and after the conflict that deeply influenced the mindset of the 20th century.
The Urban Context of Conflict and Mass Destruction
A crucial collection of new insights into a topic too often ignored in military history: the close interrelationship between cities and warfare throughout modern history. Scenes of Aleppo’s war-torn streets may be shocking to the world’s majority urban population, but such destruction would be familiar to urban dwellers as early as the third millennium BCE. While war is often narrated as a clash of empires, nation-states, and ‘civilizations’, cities have been the strategic targets of military campaigns, to be conquered, destroyed, or occupied. Cities have likewise been shaped by war, whether transformed for the purposes of military production, reconstructed after bombardment, or renewed as sites for remembering the costs of war. This conference volume draws on the latest research in military and urban history to understand the critical intersection between war and cities.
New Perspectives in a New Era
In the #MeToo era, the scourge of sexual violence in society has come into new focus. It has become clear that women and men have been, and are, victimized to an extent that many had previously not realized. But this invisibility has largely been aided by a history of silencing victims and of impunity for perpetrators. Wartime and military sexual violence has similar patterns of invisibility, silence and impunity. Furthermore, sexual violence in wartime and beyond is a phenomenon that cannot be divorced from broader social, economic and political issues. It is this dual focus on sexual violence itself and its contexualization that lies at the heart of this volume. This volume probes new directions in understanding sexual violence during conflict, as well as analyzing ethnicity, masculinity and their relationships to sexual violence.
The Spatiality of Organized Mass Violence
War is always related to many different aspects, e.g. religion, technology etc. However, one of the aspects of central importance for the history of warfare is geography. The present volume will analyze this interrelationship from several different perspectives.
Geography is not only integral to the planning of tactics and strategies, but plays an important role in the outcome of war and its longterm aftermath. Furthermore, the interplay between war and geography is not purely a modern phenomenon but can be traced back through the ages of history. Geography always had the potential of providing an advantage or disadvantage.
The aim of the volume is to grant historical perspectives on that special interrelationship in different time periods and regional settings. The purpose is to provide a deeper insight and an interdisciplinary discussion, which will open new perspectives on military history in general and the history of warfare in particular.
The Second World War and Beyond
With the end of the Second World War, all its violence, war crimes, and sufferings as well as the atomic threat of the Cold War period, societies began to gradually remember wars in a different way. The glorious or honorable element of the age of nationalism was transformed into a rather dunning one, while peace movements demanded an end of war itself.
To analyze these changes and to show how war was remembered after the end of the Second World War, the present volume assembles the work of international specialists who deal with this particular question from different national and international perspectives. The contributions analyze the role of soldiers, perpetrators, and victims of different conflicts, including the Second World War. They show which motivational settings led to the erection of war memorials reflecting the values and historical traditions of the second half of the 20th and the 21st centuries. Thus, this interdisciplinary volume explores how war is commemorated and how its actors and victims are perceived around the globe.
The Image of Japan’s Military Abroad
Japan has always been fascinating for foreign observers. This volume will show, how its military has been perceived abroad and what image about the Japanese Army existed between 1853 and 1945 in the minds of those who read and heard stories from the Far East.
When forcefully opened by a US mission in 1853, Japan was transformed by its ruling elites into a strong nation state, whose military and political forces wanted to avoid a colonization by foreign powers. Therefore, Japan’s military capacities were of special interest and the army and navy were westernized very fast. Japanese soldiers became known as “Asia’s Prussians”, and were often described as “gallant enemies”. This image, however, should rapidly change after the First World War. During the battles in China since 1937, and the Pacific since 1941, the Japanese soldiers were often referred to as “devils.“ This volume will take a closer look at the images of Japan’s military abroad to show how these images were created, how they changed and what stimulated the differences with regard to the foreign perception of Japan and its military between 1853 and 1945.