2010 War, Literature and the Arts Conference this Fall

The 2010 War, Literature, and the Arts (WLA) Conference will take place September 16th—18th, 2010, at the United States Air Force Academy.

This international conference will offer top-tier academic presentations and keynote speakers in a variety of genres to include literary and journalistic criticism, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, film studies, photography, painting and music. The thematic center of the conference is the representation and reporting of America’s wars from 1990 to present. This timeframe presents a compelling opportunity to focus on the near past as well as current engagements: topics and creative output that directly affect all Americans in the present.
An international conference on War, Literature & the Arts at the United States Air Force Academy solicits both disciplinary and interdisciplinary presentations on “Representing and Reporting America’s Wars: 1990 to Present.”

The conference seeks a variety of genre submissions, both critical and creative, including literary criticism, journalism, rhetorical analysis, cultural studies, theory, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, film studies, photography, painting, or music. As an international forum on recent warfare, the conference is designed to bring together a multitude of perspectives, critical approaches, and discourse communities on the topics of warfare and its representations in Kuwait, Balkans, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other conflict zones with direct, large-scale U.S. involvement.

The announcement says “we encourage submissions that illuminate, challenge, deconstruct, engage with, or create not simply the ‘official’ representations of America’s wars, but the sub-cultures that merit a more nuanced or sophisticated intellectual exploration.”

Abstracts, 250 words maximum, should include name, e-mail, mailing address, affiliation, genre, requirements for audiovisual support, computers, display space, or other technical requirements.  Send Abstracts to: 2010wla@gmail.com. Note that abstract submissions are accepted only from November 1, 2009 to March 1, 2010.

Featured Speakers:
Brian Turner is an American poet and the winner of the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award for his debut collection, Here, Bullet, (Alice James Books) the first of many awards and honors received for this collection of poems about his experience as a soldier in the Iraq War. His honors since include a Lannan Literary Fellowship and NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship.
He received his MFA from the University of Oregon. Turner is a United States Army veteran, and was an infantry team leader for a year in the Iraq War beginning November 2003, with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. In 1999 and 2000 he was with the 10th Mountain Division, deployed in Bosnia
Mark Boal is an American journalist and screenwriter. Valley of Elah, directed by Paul Haggis, was based on a 2004 article entitled “Death and Dishonor” penned by Boal. The story centered on the demise of Richard Davis, an Iraq War veteran who was murdered upon his return home in 2003. Mark Boal also wrote and produced the 2009 Iraq war thriller about an elite army EOD bomb squad, The Hurt Locker, with film director and business partner, Kathryn Bigelow. Boal has also written for The Village Voice, where he was a columnist, and Rolling Stone Magazine, where he is a contributing writer. Time magazine critic Richard Corliss described The Hurt Locker as “a near-perfect movie about men in war, men at work. Through sturdy imagery and violent action, it says that even Hell needs heroes…this one’s the tops.”
Benjamin Busch was born in 1968 in Manhattan and grew up in rural central New York state. He graduated from Vassar College in 1991 with a major in Studio Art and soon thereafter accepted a commission in the United States Marine Corps. He served four years as an active duty infantry officer and then from 1996 until recently in the Selected Marine Reserve. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 as the Commanding Officer of Delta Company, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and then again in 2005 with a Civil Affairs unit in Ar Ramadi.  The images in his exhibits of photographs, The Art in War (2003) and Occupation (2005), are from these two deployments. In 2004, he began playing the role of Officer Anthony Colicchio on the HBO series The Wire, and has appeared in the HBO series, Generation Kill in Africa. His first film as a writer/director, Sympathetic Details, was released in February of 2008 along with a new exhibit of photographs, Abstract Matter. His essay “Bearing Arms: A Serious Boy at War” appeared in the February issue of Harper’s.
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