About the project

Close Encounters in War

Close Encounters in War is an ambitious project: its aim is to invite all those who are interested in the human experience of war to join a public discussion and contribute both new and old thoughts on the cultural aspects of armed conflict. War is not just about military strategy, it is about human and cultural experiences and more often than not it involves close encounters with enemies who are different. They can be from a different country, from a different cultural background, they can speak a different language or have a different ideology, or religion.

Our project is ambitious because it has the background hope that an open discussion on a public forum of this kind will help share knowledge and bring awareness on the human aspects of war and conflict, and maybe even promote the respect for peace and human rights, even if it is just in a small way. The other, less obvious, aim of this website is to stimulate debate and discussion in defence of the Humanities, which too often are viewed as superficial 'knowledge' in this day and age where everything seems to be guided by production and moneymaking needs. We believe that the Humanities are important for all of us because they tell us who we are and, as the American philosopher Martha Nussbaum writes (Not for profit: why democracy needs the humanities, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2012), they are essential for healthy democracies and to promote cultures that will enable us to face the most urgent problems of our planet. Such as war and peace.

You will be able to read, write or comment on articles about every type of close encounter in war and its aftermath, aspects of meeting the other in war and about the human experiences of armed conflict. Here you will find posts, articles and interviews by different people, from established academics and early career researchers, to veterans, practitioners and people who want to contribute their thoughts to the discussion.


The idea of creating a space to invite all those who are interested to join a public debate on the human experience of war was initially conceived by Simona, by she was only able to carry it out after sharing thoughts and ideas with Gianluca, and that's how CEIW was born. Scroll down for a brief overview of our profiles.

You are welcome to join us in this discussion, and to do it all you have to do is go to Taking part.


Normandy landings

Troups marching in France

General Bernard Montgomery

Pilots in World War II