Reading Contemporary American Warfare with Just War Theory

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
_LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory_
contact email: 

Reading Contemporary American Warfare with Just War Theory


Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2022


Full name / name of organization: LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory


Contact email:


This special issue of LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory will arrive on the heels of the guest editors’ co-authored monograph, Just War Theory and Literary Studies: An Invitation to Dialogue (forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan). The monograph and the special issue alike seek to fill an interdisciplinary lacuna in serious conversations about post-9/11 American war cultures. More precisely, the special-issue editors welcome essays from scholars trained in any humanities discipline who are using Just War Theory (JWT hereafter) to unpack texts that represent contemporary American warfare.


Along with realism and pacifism, JWT has for millennia served as one of three major ethical paradigms for assessing the moral worth of choices related to war. Outside of literary and cultural studies—to include the realm of international politics—JWT is the twenty-first century’s dominant theoretical framework for discussing, criticizing, and defending the morality of military actions taken or avoided. That is to say, JWT structures the globe’s most influential debates about military ethics. Oddly, however, JWT is almost entirely absent from literary and cultural studies’ otherwise vital conversations about post-9/11 American warfare and its representations. Given as much, the special-issue editors solicit essays that challenge norms in literary and cultural studies by employing JWT to engage texts that are themselves engaging contemporary American warfare. Taken together, these essays will offer readers a pluralistic window into how JWT can help us more effectively bridge conversations about warfare’s ethics, warfare’s human impacts, and warfare’s representations.


LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory publishes critical essays that employ engaging, coherent theoretical perspectives and provide original, close readings of texts. Submissions must use MLA citation style and should range in length from 5,000-9,000 words. Please direct any questions relating to this CFP to the guest co-editors Ty Hawkins ( and Andrew Kim (  Submissions should be emailed to Please include your contact information and a 100- to 200-word abstract in the body of your email. LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory also welcomes submissions for general issues.


Guest Editors: Ty Hawkins, University of Central Arkansas, and Andrew Kim, Marquette University


Editors: Tara Harney-Mahajan and Amanda Smith