Close Encounters in War Journal – n. 1 Call for articles
“Close encounters, displacement and war”
The second issue (n. 1) of the journal will be a thematic one, dedicated to the experience of displacement as a consequence of war and conflict, and titled “Close encounters, displacement and war”.
Wars in general are cultural phenomena, among the most ancient and deeply rooted aspects of human cultural evolution: investigating their meaning, by reflecting on the ways we experience wars and conflicts as human beings is therefore essential. Conflict is deeply intertwined with language, culture, instincts, passions, behavioural patterns and with the human ability to represent concepts aesthetically. The concept of “encounter” is therefore fundamental as it involves experience, and as a consequence it implies that war can shape and develop our minds and affect our behaviour by questioning habits and values, prejudices and views of the world.
Displacement is one of the most affecting consequences of war. Armed conflicts move people from one place to another, often trigging extensive phenomena of mobility that can influence societies in depth. The United Nations estimate that in the last few years 65 million people have been displaced by war and prosecution, whereas Malcom Proudfood famously calculated that no less than 60 million people were displaced from their homes during the Second World War and in its aftermath. Among them, there were those who had been forcibly deported by the Nazis, the soldiers who had moved with the armed forces and, most notably, a mass of civilians who became refugees.
Today, the refugee crisis represents one of the most urgent problems internationally, and it has a deep impact on political choices especially in Europe. Fleeing from combat zones has always been the only chance of survival for non-combatants, and refugees are among the most vulnerable groups involved in armed conflicts. Nonetheless, displacement can be multifaceted and not always explicit. Long periods of absence from home (e.g. as members of occupation troops or as POWs) may produce significant psychological and social effects on combatants, who would find it difficult to come back to their society, family and cultural environment. Fighting in colonial armies or being involved in civil wars, too, are sometimes perceived as forms of cultural, social and moral displacement. On a broader scale displacement could trigger interesting phenomena of social, anthropological, cultural and transnational mobility capable of affecting national identities and shaping cultures.
Displacement is such a critical problem for modern societies that many institutions, scholarly or otherwise, commit to the study and research of migration from the ethical, legal and humanitarian point of view.
Issue n. 1 of CEIW Journal will aim to investigate the theme of close encounter in connection to the experience of displacement by exploring its facets both on a micro-scale, by studying individual testimonies and experiences, and on a broad scale by observing macro-phenomena of displacement throughout history with comparative, critical and cultural methodologies.
We invite articles which analyse the experience of displacement from ancient to modern and contemporary periods, from the perspective of the encounter, reaching beyond the study of military tactics and strategy and focusing on the way human beings ‘encounter’ each other with and within the experience of displacement. Contributions are invited to promote discussion and scholarly research from established scholars, early-career researchers, and from practitioners who have encountered irregular warfare in the course of their activities.
The topics that can be investigated include but are not limited to:
· Social impact of war displacement
· Displacement and transnational history
· Psychological aspects of war displacement
· Violence and trauma
· Cultural encounters and identity
· Displacement and colonial wars, civil wars, international conflicts
· War captivity and other forms of deportation
· Forced displacement, war crimes, ethnic cleansing
· Displacement and transitional justice
· Representations of otherness, race, and gender
· Religion and politics
· Testimonies, personal narratives
· Oral history and memory studies