Contemporary War in British Literature, Drama, and Film

In recent years, the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq have had an impact on the UK rivalled only by Brexit and the global financial crisis. For people at home, the wars were ever-present in the media yet remained distant and difficult to apprehend. Janina Wierzoch offers an analytical survey of British contemporary war narratives in novels, drama, film, and television that seek to make sense of the experience. The study shows how the narratives, instead of reflecting on the UK`s role as invader, portray war as invading the British home. Home loses its post-Cold War sense of »permanent peace« and is recast as a home/front where war once again becomes part of what it means to be »us«.

€45.00 * $55.00 *

27 February 2020, 286 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-5187-4

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Janina Wierzoch

Janina Wierzoch, Universität Hamburg, Deutschland

1. Why did You chose this topic?

By 2011, British troops had been in Afghanistan and Iraq for years, but literary and cultural studies were rather concerned with talking about 9/11, terrorism, and the US perspective on these conflicts. When I read Graham Swift's novelWish You Were Here, I wondered how the past decade of extended warfare had impacted on storytelling in Britain. There seemed to be a reluctance to tell new war stories or at least to pay attention to them.

2. What new perspectives does your book offer?

Because new stories of war from Britain have received little attention as a group, this book first of all recognizes the range of fictional material available in different media from the UK - and acknowledges the contemporary war experience as a literary and media topic in its own right. More specifically, the study reveals how these stories all deal with the consequences of war for the British homeland and draft what I call a contemporary narrative home/front.

3. What makes your topic relevant for current research debates?

The War on Terror discourse has dominated politics, public debate, and research at the time of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But examining these stories for more basic and experiential responses to the realities of being at war, adds new perspectives to a complex moment in history. This may provide context for yet more recent developments in British views and values.

4. Choose one person you would like to discuss your book with!

Any or all of the British authors who wrote a story on the contemporary war experience.

5. Your book summary in one sentence:

The book reveals how British narratives reimagine recent wars as invasions of home to turn the unsettling experience into a conceivable reality.

Janina Wierzoch
Book title
Home/Fronts Contemporary War in British Literature, Drama, and Film
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung
Commodity Group
LIT004120 SOC052000 PER004030 PER011020
Release date
27 February 2020
Theater, Film, Literatur
Cultural Studies, Literary Studies, Drama Studies, Film Studies, Media Studies
Britain, Media, Culture, War, 21st Century, Literature, Film, Theatre, British Studies, Theatre Studies, Cultural Studies, Literary Studies

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