Death is simultaneously silent, and very loud, in political life. Politicians and media scream about potential threats lurking behind every corner, but academic discourse often neglects mortality. Life is everywhere in theorisation of security, but death is nowhere. Making a bold intervention into the Critical Security Studies literature, this book explores the ontological relationship between mortality and security after the Death of God – arguing that security emerged in response to the removal of promises to immortal salvation. Combining the mortality theories of Heidegger and Bauman with literature from the sociology of death, Heath-Kelly shows how security is a response to the death anxiety implicit within the human condition. The book explores the theoretical literature on mortality before undertaking a comparative exploration of the memorialisation of four prominent post-terrorist sites: the World Trade Center in New York, the Bali bombsite, the London bombings and the Norwegian sites attacked by Anders Breivik. By interviewing the architects and designers of these reconstruction projects, Heath-Kelly shows that practices of memorialization are a retrospective security endeavour – they conceal and re-narrate the traumatic incursion of death. Disaster recovery is replete with security practices that return mortality to its sublimated position and remove the disruption posed by mortality to political authority. The book will be of significant interest to academics and postgraduates working in the fields of Critical Security Studies, Memory Studies and International Politics.
This book revisits the end of the First World War to ask how that moment of silence was to echo into the following decades. It looks at the history from a different angle, asking how British and German creative artists addressed, questioned and remembered the Armistice and its silence. The book offers a genuinely interdisciplinary study, bringing together contributions from scholars in art history, music, literature and military history. It is unique in its comparison of the creative arts of both sides; assessing responses to the war in Britain, Germany and Austria. Together, the different chapters offer a rich diversity of methodological approaches, including archival research, historical analysis, literary and art criticism, musical analysis and memory studies. The chapters reconsider some well-known writers and artists to offer fresh readings of their works. These sit alongside a wealth of lesser-known material, such as the popular fiction of Philip Gibbs and Warwick Deeping and the music of classical composer Arthur Bliss. The wide-ranging discussions encompass such diverse subjects as infant care, sculpture, returned nurses, war cemeteries, Jewish identity, literary journals, soldiers' diaries and many other topics. Together they provide a new depth to our understanding of the cultural effects of the war and the Armistice. Finally, the book has a recuperative impulse, bringing to light rare and neglected materials, such as the letters of ordinary German and British soldiers, and Alfred Doblin's Armistice novel.
Since the early 2000s, Russia’s most innovative theatre artists have increasingly
taken to incorporating material from real-life events into their performance
practice. As the Kremlin’s crackdown on freedom of expression continues to
tighten, playwrights and directors are using documentary theatre to create space
for public discussion of injustice in the civic sphere and its connections to
the country’s twentieth-century past. This book traces the history of
documentary theatre’s remarkable growth in Russia since its inception in 1999
and situates the form’s impact within the sociopolitical setting of the Putin
years (2000–). It argues that through the practice of performing documents,
Russia’s theatre artists are creating a new type of cultural and historical
archive that challenges the dominance of state-sponsored media and invites
individuals to participate in a collective renegotiation of cultural narratives.
Drawing on the author’s previous work as a researcher, producer, and performer
of documentary theatre in contemporary Russia, Witness Onstage offers original
insight into the nature of the exchange between audience and performance as well
as new perspectives on the efficacy of theatre as a venue for civic
This book studies the persistence of imperial memory, nostalgia and culture in contemporary Britain. Focusing on imperial nostalgia as a structure of feeling, it attempts to understand the role it plays in forming and articulating a politics of nationalist reaction, and how it has been mobilised by political actors in promoting emergent right-wing movements. Historicising nostalgia as an inherent part of imperial culture, it argues that the fantasies developed in late Victorian Britain in order to give ideological coherence to the imperial project are to a large extent the same fantasies at play in the current sovereigntist turn. Focusing on the events following the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 and controversies over freedom of speech and education, it traces how ongoing public debates over histories of slavery and colonialism are put to work within the ‘culture wars’; more broadly, it interrogates the imperial genealogies of contemporary approaches to class, gender, race, nationality and sovereignty.
hospitals, and sits at the nexus of memorystudies,
histories of subjectivities, and histories of post-war Britain. In doing
so, it offers a fresh understanding of the draw of mental nursing
to gay men and supplements previous work regarding gay life at
sea and within the military during World War II.14 By identifying
this previously hidden and multifaceted homosexual male subculture within the mental hospitals and discovering that different
types of gay male nurses had their own implicit rules and behaviours, which included status distinctions
theorising and case study work around dealing with traumatic or divided pasts
and reconciliation after protracted and violent conflicts is, I argue, essential
THEORIES OF IR AND NORTHERN IRELAND
to understanding these potentialities and is an aspect of policy learning that
seems to be somewhat under-appreciated in contemporary debates over policy
design in Northern Ireland.
Memory, IR theory, and reconciliation
Recent literature in the field of memorystudies has increasingly looked to constructivism and international norms in analysing the resilience
will sketch out
a number of methodological perspectives on memory, oral history, children in history and trauma, in order that those ‘handprints’ are better
identified in what follows.
History or memory?
Memory and history can be uncomfortable bedfellows. As Henri
Girardon’s comments suggest, a cloud of suspicion hangs over memories of wartime France in particular. While Pierre Nora’s Les Lieux de
mémoire is accepted as a seminal work in memorystudies, Nancy Wood
has pointed out that in France it created a dominant idea of performative, national memory that is
had a similar effect. In this context, Pierre Nora produced his
monumental project on the French lieux de mémoire (published
from 1984 to 1992), which was probably the single most successful
outcome of the upsurge in memorystudies. 23 Nora identified the importance of
what he called ‘Sites of Memory’ against the background of
what he perceived as the disappearance of traditional milieux de
The 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel also resulted in the destruction of Palestinian society, when some 80 per cent of the Palestinians who lived in the major part of Palestine upon which Israel was established became refugees. Israelis call the 1948 war their ‘War of Independence’ and the Palestinians their ‘Nakba’, or catastrophe. After many years of Nakba denial, land appropriation, political discrimination against the Palestinians within Israel and the denial of rights to Palestinian refugees, in recent years the Nakba is beginning to penetrate Israeli public discourse. This book explores the construction of collective memory in Israeli society, where the memory of the trauma of the Holocaust and of Israel's war dead competes with the memory claims of the dispossessed Palestinians. Taking an auto-ethnographic approach, it makes a contribution to social memory studies through a critical evaluation of the co-memoration of the Palestinian Nakba by Israeli Jews. Against a background of the Israeli resistance movement, the book's central argument is that co-memorating the Nakba by Israeli Jews is motivated by an unresolved melancholia about the disappearance of Palestine and the dispossession of the Palestinians, a melancholia which shifts mourning from the lost object to the grieving subject. The book theorises Nakba co-memory as a politics of resistance, counterpoising co-memorative practices by internally displaced Israeli Palestinians with Israeli Jewish discourses of the Palestinian right of return, and questions whether return narratives by Israeli Jews are ultimately about Israeli Jewish self-healing.
This study applies the concept of postmemory, developed in Holocaust studies, to novels by contemporary British writers. The first monograph-length study of postmemory in British fiction, it focuses on a group of texts about the World Wars. Building upon current work on historical fiction, specifically historiographical metafiction and memory studies, this work extends this field by exploring the ways in which the use of historical research within fiction illuminates the ways in which we remember and recreate the past. Using the framework of postmemory to consider the evolutionary development of historiographical metafiction, Alden provides a ground-breaking analysis of the nature and potential of contemporary historical fiction, and the relationship between postmemory and ‘the real’. As well as asking how postmemory can unlock the significance of the transgenerational aspects of these novels, this study also analyses how authors use historical research in their work and demonstrates, on a very concrete level, the ways in which we remember and recreate the past. Tracing the ‘translation’ of source material as it moves from historical record to historical fiction, Alden offers a taxonomy of the uses of the past in contemporary historical fiction, analysing the ways in which authors adopt, adapt, appropriate, elide, augment, edit and transpose elements found such material. Asking to what extent such writing is, necessarily metafictional, and what motivates the decisions these novelists make about their use of the past, the study offers an updated answer to the question historical fiction has always posed: what can fiction do with history that history cannot?