"Shut Up and Send Me More Pigs to Kill!": Contemporary WWII Film - Submission Deadline September 30, 2015

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Northeast Modern Language Association

47th Annual NeMLA Convention
March 17-20, 2016 Hartford, CT
Hosted by the University of Connecticut
Abstract Submission Deadline: September 30th, 2015

"Shut Up and Send Me More Pigs to Kill!": Contemporary WWII Film

As the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II has just passed, and new films centered on World War II continue to emerge, the implications of these popular, contemporary representations in American culture seem pertinent to investigate. Several contemporary and popular films depict the sheer violence and implied heroism in this war: Saving Private Ryan (1998), Pearl Harbor (2001), the mini-series Band of Brothers (2001), Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Defiance (2008), Valkyrie (2008), and The Monuments Men (2014). In addition, new movies were recently added to the already abundant collection of Holocaust films, The Reader (2008), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008) and The Book Thief (2013). Movies have also emerged in underrepresented groups of World War II, such as the Tuskegee airmen in Red Tails (2012) and the tank-men of Fury (2014).In Fury, the character Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) yells, "Shut up and send me more pigs to kill!" This quote captures the essence of resurgence in World War II films: arguably these films depict gratuitous violence as heroic, such as Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Fury (2014) while the reemergence of interest for veteran biographies, such as Unbroken (2014), satisfies the American ideal of resilience.

This panel may investigate such questions as: What are the ethical stakes for gratuitous violence within a World War II movie? What are the implications of the renewed interest in World War II stories, and what do mainstream depictions of World War II add to our understanding of America's participation within the war effort? How does World War II film shape or emphasize American ideals or mythos?

Interested participants can upload abstracts to the NeMLA database and user-based system at: http://www.cfplist.com//nemla/Home/S/15653