CFP: [International] War and Warâs Aftermath, Ethical Dilemmas of the Witness (Netherlands) (3/1/09; 6/11/09-6/12/09

full name / name of organization: 
Diederik Oostdijk
contact email: 

War and War's Aftermath, Ethical Dilemmas of the Witness (1950-2009)
An International Conference, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
June 11-12, 2009

The two-day International Conference War and War's Aftermath: Ethical
Dilemma's of the Witness, hosted by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the
Netherlands and the Netherlands American Studies Association, will feature
presentations focusing on American fiction, poetry, theater, and
photojournalism. Speakers will talk about the often-troubled interaction
between combatant and noncombatant, between soldier, civilian, and war
correspondent, and will touch on all the gray moral areas that such
contacts ignites, even into the lingering aftermath of conflict. Because
American war in this century and the previous one has been global in its
impact, we are looking at a spread of countries where civilian deaths,
injuries, and mutilations, as well as the devastation of cities and
villages have vividly been made known to Americans. Shifting political
loyalties, explosive insurgencies and underlying ethnic intentions within
war-torn countries have necessarily altered American intentions, as those
who have supported and prosecuted overseas wars have had to balance their
policy goals against home front opposition or indifference, while the
fraught relations between occupier and occupied have been part of ongoing
equations of difficulty. Recent changes in the structure of American
military operations, like the introduction of mercenary forces like
Blackwater, have also redefined the contemporary theater of war that the
conference seeks to explore. Balancing representation and coverage with
issues of appropriation, exploitation, and exposure has, in varying ways,
marked all journalism, fiction, poetry, and drama for decades.

The intention for the planners of this conference would be to keep it
small enough in number and concentrated enough in focus to allow a mix of
people to talk to each other and to us in settings conducive to frank and
open exchange. The conference will have four sessions, focusing on
American fiction, poetry, theater, and photojournalism. Confirmed keynote
speakers are the novelist and short story writer Howard Norman and the
poet and playwright Naomi Wallace; invited keynote speakers are
photojournalist Michael Kamber and poets Doug Anderson and W.D. Ehrhart.
It is likely that we will select papers that speak to the works of the
keynote speakers, either directly or indirectly. If you would like to
present a paper, please send an abstract of between 300 and 350 words to
the conference organizers Professor Lorrie Goldensohn and Dr. Diederik
Oostdijk ( before March 1, 2009.

Faculty of Arts
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
NL-1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

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Received on Sat Jan 17 2009 - 08:41:16 EST