A Thematic Analysis of Collective Trauma and Enemy Image Construction in the 1980s American Action Film
During the 1980s the spectre of the Vietnam War haunted the sites of cinema and popular culture in various forms. Whereas a rich body of scholarly research exists on cinematic iterations of the Vietnam war as trauma, the discursive dynamics between memory, ideology and genre in relation to enemy image construction are somewhat underdeveloped. This article utilises genre studies, conflict studies and trauma theory in analysing how the representations of film villains interact with the construction of cultural trauma and national identity. Considering the American action thriller to be an important site for processes of commemoration and memorialisation, the discursive construction and formal articulation of national trauma are theorised within the genre. Additionally, a thematic and textual analysis was conducted of a sample of forty American action thriller films. The analysis illustrates how the genre operates through a structure of violent traumatisation and heroic vindication, offering a logic built on the necessity and legitimacy of revenge against a series of enemy-others.
The unimagined community proposes a reexamination of the Vietnam War from a perspective that has been largely excluded from historical accounts of the conflict, that of the South Vietnamese. Challenging the conventional view that the war was a struggle between the Vietnamese people and US imperialism, the study presents a wide-ranging investigation of South Vietnamese culture, from political philosophy and psychological warfare to popular culture and film. Beginning with a genealogy of the concept of a Vietnamese “culture,” as the latter emerged during the colonial period, the book concludes with a reflection on the rise of popular culture during the American intervention. Reexamining the war from the South Vietnamese perspective, The unimagined community pursues the provocative thesis that the conflict, in this early stage, was not an anti-communist crusade, but a struggle between two competing versions of anticolonial communism.
In the early twenty-first century, children fathered by foreign soldiers during and after conflicts are often associated directly with gender-based violence. This book investigates the situations of children born of war (CBOW) since the Second World War, provides a historical synthesis that moves beyond individual case studies, and explores circumstances across time and geopolitical location. The currently used definitions and categorisations of CBOW are presented together with an overview of some key groups of CBOW. Specific conflict areas are chosen as key case studies on the basis of which several core themes are explored. These conflicts include the Second World War (1939-1945) with the subsequent post-war occupations of Germany and Austria (1945-1955). The Vietnam War (1955-1975), the Bosnian War (1992-1995), some African Conflicts of the 1990s and early 2000s, in particular in Rwanda (1994) and Uganda (1988-2006), are also examined. In the case studies, the experiences of the children are explored against the background of the circumstances of their conception. For example, the situation of the so-called Bui Doi, children of American soldiers and Vietnamese mothers is examined. The experiences of Amerasian CBOW who were adopted into the United States as infants following the Operation Babylift and those who moved as young adults following the American Homecoming Act are juxtaposed. The book also looks into the phenomenon of children fathered by UN peacekeeping personnel as a starting point for a discussion of current developments of the international discourse on CBOW.
The changes in warfare during the twentieth century could be addressed from a variety of perspectives, political, cultural, and national. This book addresses the issue of how gender is constructed by exploring a range of historical events. It also asserts that a focus on gender, rather than producing a depoliticised reading of our culture, offers an informed debate on a range of political issues. The book explores the impact of warfare on women whose civilian or quasi-military roles resulted in their exile or self-exile to the role of 'other'. The book first draws upon a number of genres to use Richard Aldington and H. D. (the poet Hilda Doolittle), to understand the social and cultural implications of warfare for both parties in a relationship. Then, it examines the intricate gender assumptions that surround the condition of 'shell shock' through a detailed exploration of the life and work of Ver a Brittain. Continuing this theme, considering the nature of warfare, the gendered experience of warfare, through the lens of the home front, the book discusses the gendered attitudes to the First World War located within Aldous Huxley's novella 'Farcical History of Richard Greenow'. Wars represented in Western cinema are almost universally gendered as male, which corresponds to the battlefield history of twentieth-century warfare. As this situation changes, and more women join the armed services, especially in the United States, a more inclusive cinematic coding evolves through struggle. The book considers three decades of film, from the Vietnam War to the present.
On first glance, M*A*S*H (1972–83) might not be the ideal text for Gothic analysis.
Aesthetically, the traditional dark castles surrounded by black forests in the moonlight
are replaced by muted khaki and green canvas Army tents, and the tinny canned laughter
punctuating the sardonic jokes echo longer than the terrified screams in the night. Gothic
and war are uneasy bedfellows; it is the inclusion of comedy, however, that determines
just how horrific the result can be. Using M*A*S*H as a primary example to explore what I
refer to as Khaki Gothic this paper will explore how, utilising Gothic tropes, comedy can
disguise, diffuse and intensify the horrors of war.
This is the second book in a two-volume study tracing the evolution of the Labour Party's foreign policy throughout the twentieth century to the present date. It is a comprehensive study of the history of the Labour Party's worldview and foreign policy. The study argues that Labour's foreign policy perspective should be seen not as the development of a socialist foreign policy, but as an application of the ideas of liberal internationalism. Volume Two provides a critical analysis of Labour's foreign policy since 1951. It examines Labour's attempts to rethink foreign policy, focusing on intra-party debates, the problems that Labour faced when in power, and the conflicting pressures from party demands and external pressures. The book examines attitudes to rearmament in the 1950s, the party's response to the Suez crisis and the Vietnam War, the bitter divisions over nuclear disarmament and the radicalisation of foreign and defence policy in the 1980s. It also examines Labour's desire to provide moral leadership to the rest of the world. The last two chapters focus on the Blair and Brown years, with Blair's response to the Kosovo crisis and to 9/11, and his role in the ‘war on terror’. Whereas Blair's approach to foreign affairs was to place emphasis on the efficacy of the use of military force, Brown's instead placed faith in the use of economic measures.
This is a comprehensive study of US policy towards China during the presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson, a critical phase of the Cold War immediately preceding the dramatic Sino-American rapprochement of the early 1970s. Based on a wide array of recently declassified government documents, it challenges the popular view that Johnson's approach to China was marked by stagnation and sterility, exploring the administration's relationship to both the Vietnam War and the Cultural Revolution. By documenting Johnson's contributions to the decision-making process, the book offers a new perspective on both his capacity as a foreign-policy leader and his role in the further development of the Cold War.
This book is about understanding how former combatants come home after war, and how their political lives are refracted by the war and the experience of coming home itself. In particular, it captures the political mobilization among former combatants as they come home from three very different types of war: civil war (Colombia), war of independence (Namibia), and interstate war (United States involvement in the Vietnam War). The book provides a much-needed long-term perspective on peace. It also demonstrates the artificial division between literatures across the Global North and Global South, and demonstrates how these literatures speak to each other just as the three cases speak to each other. The novel use of interviews to document life histories and the inside perspective they provide also give a unique insight into the former combatants’ own perspectives on the process of coming home and their sense of political voice. This book is not about peacebuilding in the sense of interventions. Rather, it examines peace as a process through studying the lived experiences of individuals, displaying the dynamics of political mobilization after disarmament across time in the lives of fifty former combatants. The book demonstrates how the process of coming home shapes their political commitment and identity, and how the legacy of war is a powerful reminder in the lives of these former combatants long after the end of the war.
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian
’ personnel bearing that same emblem, based on
the Swiss flag, in homage to the country hosting the conference.
The Geneva Conventions have evolved, filling out with each successive conference, and
their scope has been broadened to include the shipwrecked (1906), prisoners (1929)
and civilian populations (1949). ‘Additional protocols’ were adopted
in 1977, in the wake of the wars of decolonisation and the VietnamWar, to cover
‘irregular’ forces in domestic conflicts. The original
aspirations of the casualties of the attempt to create one world in the image
of liberal freedom. Resistance was often futile or at least hugely costly (think of Vietnam).
Wars were waged for decades to ensure no part of the system could harbour an economic model or
an ideological commitment that was antithetical to the liberal capitalist consensus or refuse to
open up its resources to the needs of the international market ( Robinson, 1996 ).
Take, for example, Henri Dunant, the patron saint of modern humanitarianism, who was actually