Modern Fiction Studies Special Issue - Enduring Operations: The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

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Modern Fiction Studies

Guest Editors: Aaron DeRosa and Stacey Peebles
Deadline for Submission: 1 February 2016

The Editors of MFS seek essays that focus on the fictional response to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The consequences of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq remain under-recognized in scholarly discourse, usually sublimated to the more abstract War on Terror, and exacerbating the broader erasure of the wars from public consciousness. Recent works like Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's Restrepo, Hassan Blasim's The Corpse Exhibition, or Gregory Burke's Black Watch redress this erasure through their depictions of "boots on the ground," while other texts, such as Don DeLillo's Point Omega, Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and the work of Khaled Hosseini, grapple with related contemporary issues of war planning, peaceful resistance, and the Other.

This issue also seeks to address how these wars have expanded beyond Western borders. This new global era uniquely alters assumptions about the dynamics of citizenship, the technologies of power, and the relations of states. Soldiers, veterans, and their families are certainly crucial to this narrative (homecoming, trauma), but how have new military strategies and legal definitions impacted the relationship between citizen and state (enemy combatants, extraordinary rendition, and private military contractors)? How have new technologies of war (drones, IEDs, digital espionage) influenced the construction of nation and self at home and abroad? How have these wars been historically situated or refracted (as in the WWII novel Gravity's Rainbow's Vietnam resonance)? How might historicizing these attacks relate to new military practices of vengeance (Afghanistan) and preemption (Iraq), or the major global events that follow—the Arab Spring or the Global Recession? How have changing military policies regarding gender and sexuality registered in cultural productions? These questions are not meant to be exhaustive.

The collection will address fiction, film, television, drama, photography, and art. Essays should be 7,000-8,500 words, including all quotations and bibliographic references, and should follow the MLA Style Manual (7th edition) for internal citation and Works Cited. Please submit your essay via the online submission form at the following web address:

Queries should be directed to Aaron DeRosa ( or Stacey Peebles (