English 122NW: Narratives of War

UC Santa Barbara, Winter 2012


January 9: Introduction to the course

January 11: War neuroses
Pat Barker, Regeneration (1991)

Recommended: “Shell Shock!” (illustration from The Hydra; Dec 1917) | “Happy warrior, embittered pacifist” (Guardian; March 2008) | “Lost Sassoon poem reveals author’s initial gung-ho view of war” (Guardian; November 2004)

January 16: No class (MLK day)

January 18: War neuroses, cont.
Pat Barker, Regeneration
Siegfried Sassoon, “Survivors” (Craiglockhart, October 1917)
Wilfred Owen, “Anthem for Doomed Youth“; “Dulce et Decorum Est“; and “The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

Recommended: Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive (browse contemporary photos & video) | Robert Graves, “A Dead Boche” (1918) | Ernst Friedrich’s Anti-War Museum, 1925-1933 | Douglas Kellner’s introduction to War Against War (1987) | Photo Essay: Welcome Home (Denver Post; December 2011)

January 23: War photographs: shock & the limits of sympathy
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others (2004)

Recommended: Remembering Nagasaki | Ron Haviv, Balkan War Journal | Jeff Wall, Dead Troops Talk (A Vision After an Ambush of a Red Army Patrol Near Moqor, Afghanistan, Winter 1986) | Robert Capa, Death of a Loyalist Soldier | Alexander Gardner, Confederate dead | Tyler Hicks, Taliban Execution

January 25: Documents of barbarism: shock & the limits of sympathy, cont.

Susan Sontag, “Regarding the Torture of Others,” New York Times Magazine (May 23, 2004)
Judith Butler, “Torture and the Ethics of Photography” [pdf]
Jordan Crandall, Under Fire

Recommended: Heather Burnett, Witness: AnAesthetic [archived video] | James Nachtwey | Stephanie Sinclair | Ashley Gilbertson | Chris Hedges on war and the press | James Der Derian, “The Semiotics of War” | Alive in Baghdad | Inconvenient Evidence: Iraqi Prison Photographs from Abu Ghraib (September-November 2004) |  Jihad TV (Channel 4; November 2006) | Photojournalist John D McHugh on Afghanistan (The Guardian; April 2008) | Errol Morris interviews Sabrina Harman (The New Yorker; March 2008) | 4,000 U.S. Deaths, and a Handful of Images (NY Times; July 2008) | Senate Report on Treatment of Detainees in U.S. Custody (December 11, 2008) | The Turning Point (Slate; January 2009)

January 30: Trauma and memory
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried (1990)

Recommended: Background on the Quang Ngai province | Viet Cong | People’s Army of Vietnam | Viet Nam War Overview

Film screening: Apocalypse Now (January 30, 7:00pm; LSB 1001)
Students unable to attend the Monday night screening of Apocalypse Now (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola; 1979) should make alternate arrangements to see the film.  

February 1: Trauma and memory, cont.
Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

Recommended: Tim O’Brien, “The Vietnam in Me,” New York Times Magazine (1994) | T.S. Eliot, “The Hollow Men

February 6: Neighbors & enemies
Joe Sacco, Safe Area Goražde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-1995 (2000)

Recommended: Yugoslav Wars / War in the Balkans | History of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Film screening: No Man’s Land (February 6, 7:00pm; LSB 1001)
Students unable to attend the Monday night screening of No Man’s Land (Dir. Danis Tanovic; 2001) should make alternate arrangements to see the film.

February 8: Neighbors & enemies, cont.
Joe Sacco, Safe Area Goražde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-1995

Recommended: Srebrenica: The Video of a Wartime Atrocity | Mark Danner, “America and the Bosnian Genocide” (The New York Review of Books; August 1997) | Genocide Watch: The Srebrenica Massacre | Slavoj Žižek, “Against the Double Blackmail” (1999)

February 13: Captivity narratives
Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose (1978)

Recommended: Lebanese Civil War and Black September in Jordan (wikipedia) | Mapping Sitt Marie Rose (excerpts from pp. 22-23) | I Remember Lebanon (Zeina Aboul Hosn; 2006) | The War of Lebanon (15-part documentary)

February 15: Captivity narratives, cont.
Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose

Recommended: Atlas Group: The Souheil Bachar File (multi-part videotape about “the western hostage crisis”) and Fadl Fakhouri file, Notebook Volume 38 (a notebook of 145 photographs of cars corresponding to “the exact make, model, and color of every car that was used as a car bomb during the civil wars of 1975-1990”)

February 20: No class (Presidents’ day)

February 22: War machines
Manuel De Landa, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991): Introduction; numbered series of ‘black pages’ (pp. 16-17, 44-45, 52-53, etc.); pp. 57-83  

Recommended: P.W. Singer interviews: Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century (Democracy Now!; February 2009); Carnegie Council [1][2]; Prepare for the Robot Wars: Six Questions for P.W. Singer (Harper’s) | “Do Drones Undermine Democracy?” (NY Times; January 2012) |  Timeline of UAVs (NOVA)

February 27: Optical surveillance
Manuel De Landa, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines: Chapter Three, “Policing the Spectrum” (pp. 179-231) [pdf]
Paul Virilio, “The Sight Machine,” from War and Cinema [pdf]

Recommended: James Der Derian, Interview with Paul Virilio | Jordan Crandall, “Precision + Guided + Seeing

February 29: The war on terror: homo sacer
Slavoj Žižek, “Are we in a war? Do we have an enemy?” (London Review of Books; May 2002); “What Rumsfeld Doesn’t Know That He Knows About Abu Ghraib” (In These Times; May 2004); “Biopolitics: Between Terri Schiavo and Guantanamo” (Artforum; December 2005)
Joe Sacco, “Trauma on Loan” [pdf]

Recommended: John Yoo, Memo Regarding the Torture and Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States (March 14, 2003) | The Case Against Rumsfeld: The Victims (Human Rights First)

March 5: Netwar: swarms & networks
John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, Networks and Netwars, chapter one (RAND publication) [read online or as pdf]
Excerpts from “Defense Planning Guidance” (1992 classified document prepared under then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney)

Recommended: 9.11: Netwar and MIME-NET (Information, Technology, War, and Peace Project; Brown University) | Arthur K. Cebrowski and John J. Garstka, “Network-Centric Warfare: Its Origin and Future” | John Robb, Global Guerrilla Swarming | “Information Operations Roadmap” [pdf] | Counterinsurgency Field Manual (December 2006) [pdf] | John Arquilla, Andrew Bacevich, James Fallows, and Gary Hart, “Taking Stock of the Long Wars: A Proposal” (The Atlantic; October 2011)

Film screening: Restrepo (March 5, 7:00pm; LSB 1001)
Students unable to attend the Monday night screening of Restrepo (Dir. Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger; 2010) should make alternate arrangements to see the film

March 7: Shooting the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan
Discussion of Restrepo
Browse: Jennifer Karady, Soldiers’ Stories | Alive in Baghdad
Film clips discussed in lecture: Gunner Palace, War Feels Like War, and others

Recommended: Hometown Baghdad | Iraq: The Hidden Story (Channel 4; May 2006) | Simon Hattenstone, “No One Wants to Know” (Guardian; March 2008) | Jon Snow’s Hidden Iraq (channel 4; March 2008) | List of Iraq war documentaries | The Stories Behind Generation Kill (Rolling Stone) | Chris Jones, “From Iraq to Grave, We Can Finally Remember the Fallen” (Esquire; February 2009) | At War: Photographers’ Best Shots (Life; March 2010) | Mark Boal, “The Kill Team [plus images]” (Rolling Stone; March 2011) | Chris Jones, “Why Our War Dead Remain at the Bottom of the Ocean” (Esquire; November 2011) | We’re Still at War (Mother Jones photo of the day feature)

March 12: War games
September 12 | Antiwargame | America’s Army (and Virtual Army Experience™) | Full Spectrum Warrior [information only] | SOCOM 3: U.S. Navy SEALS | OLIVE – On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment [view demo]
James Der Derian, “The simulation triangle: In the simulated battlefields of tomorrow, war has more in common with Disneyworld than the Pentagon [pdf]
Manuel De Landa, War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (pp. 83-105) [pdf]

Recommended: America’s Army PC Game: Vision and Realization (pdf file) | Bruce Sterling, “War is Virtual Hell” (Wired; March/April 1993) | “More Than Just a Game, But How Close to Reality?” (New York Times; April 2003) | David Plotz, “Iraq: The Computer Game” (Slate; June 2003) | “Playing Games with a Conscience” (Wired; April 2004) | “A ‘Sim’ That’s Dead Serious” (Washington Post; April 2005) | “Virtual Reality Therapy for Combat Stress” (NPR; August 2005) | “Toy Soldiers” (Guardian; December 2005) | “War Vets Feature in U.S. Army Game” (BBC; May 2006) | “Iranian video game offers chance to blow up U.S. tanker” (Reuters; September 2006) | David B. Nieborg, “Mods, Nay! Tournaments, Yay! – The Appropriation of Contemporary Game Culture by the U.S. Military” (2006) | “Virtual Treatment for US Troops” (BBC; February 2007) | “Gaming Gets Its Consciousness On” (LA Times; March 2007) | “Virtual Iraq” (The New Yorker; May 2008) | “War Is Halo” (Slate; July 2008) | “Are video games or films better at depicting war?” (The Observer; September 2010) | “U.S. Army Turns to Videogames for Training” (Wired; October 2010) | From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games | Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance) (MoMA) | “This is not a video game” (The Economist; March 2012)

March 14: Representation –> information visualization
dead-in-iraq (Joseph DeLappe) | Shadows from Another Place (Paula Levine) | The Great Game (John Klima) | Iraq War Coalition Fatalities | Map the Fallen | Visualizing Iraq Casualties | Iraq Death Dots | Home and Away: Iraq and Afghanistan War Casualties (CNN) | Faces of the Dead (NY Times) | 2010 Coalition Deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan (NY Times) | Deaths in Iraq (USA Today) | Deaths in Iraq: 2004-2009

Recommended: Michael Takeo Magruder, Falluja, Iraq, 31/03/2004 (2005)


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