Innocence and its Opposites in U.S. War Literature (Collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Cristina Alsina/Universitat de Barcelona; Cynthia Stretch/Southern CT State Univ.

Innocence and its Opposites in U.S. War Literature

By insisting on the mutually reinforcing characteristics of youth and innocence as foundational to national identity, a pervasive American mythos offers each new generation the possibility of a fresh start in its defense of liberty, morality, and justice abroad. This ideal projection of national identity is unsettled by the repeated occasions in which U.S. political practices cannot be reconciled with such idealization and where a deep cultural investment in "innocence" results in an expansive capacity for denial. This workshop explored the role of literature and photography in creating a space of dissent where the accepted definitions of "innocence"—and of innocence's implied opposites "guilt" and "experience"—could be problematized.

The planned collection is divided into two parts: one whose essays map the territory of American cultural response to American armed conflict before Operation Desert Storm, and a second whose essays focus on the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are particularly interested in essays that highlight questions of youth and innocence, responsibility and guilt in literature about the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, or the Korean War.

MS Guide

Style: MLA
Images/illustrations, if any: images in JPEG format; include permissions information if relevant

Please send an abstract of about 150-200 words explaining your proposal by March 20. If selected, final articles will be due by 31 May 2011.

Dra. Cristina Alsina Rísquez, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Dr. Cynthia Stretch, Southern Connecticut State University, United States