Search results for: war-memorials-as-political-landscape

War Memorials as Political Landscape

Author : James M. Mayo
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War Memorials as Political Landscape critiques the social meaning of war memorials and their role in political and historical landscapes. Mayo argues that war memorials not only reflect the political history of a nation, but also that these memorials are mechanisms to symbolize and justify history. He posits that the presence or absence of commemoration for America's wars is largely explained by the war's importance in establishing the nation's symbolic identity as a political state and by the number of those who died in that war.

The Political Landscape

Author : Adam T Smith
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How do landscapes—defined in the broadest sense to incorporate the physical contours of the built environment, the aesthetics of form, and the imaginative reflections of spatial representations—contribute to the making of politics? Shifting through the archaeological, epigraphic, and artistic remains of early complex societies, this provocative and far-reaching book is the first systematic attempt to explain the links between spatial organization and politics from an anthropological point of view. The Classic-period Maya, the kingdom of Urartu, and the cities of early southern Mesopotamia provide the focal points for this multidimensional account of human polities. Are the cities and villages in which we live and work, the lands that are woven into our senses of cultural and personal identity, and the national territories we occupy merely stages on which historical processes and political rituals are enacted? Or do the forms of buildings and streets, the evocative sensibilities of architecture and vista, the aesthetics of place conjured in art and media constitute political landscapes—broad sets of spatial practices critical to the formation, operation, and overthrow of polities, regimes, and institutions? Smith brings together contemporary theoretical developments from geography and social theory with anthropological perspectives and archaeological data to pursue these questions.

Reimagining the War Memorial Reinterpreting the Great War

Author : Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż
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Reimagining the War Memorial, Reinterpreting the Great War: The Formats of British Commemorative Fiction is an in-depth analysis of the role of British war memorials in literature and film, in the wider context of the commemorative trend in contemporary culture. The Sheffield City Battalion Memorial, the Menin Gate Memorial, the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, the Royal Artillery Memorial, and the Shot at Dawn Memorial are the focus of the discussion, which aims to show how the meanings assigned to specific war memorials create ideologically diverse interpretations of the British experience of the Great War, ranging from the futility myth to the imperial sublime. The epistemological ambivalence of the war memorial lies at the heart of the analysis of the selected novels, films and plays, for the condemnation of a military conflict as a historical evil does not necessarily exclude the possibility of honouring the men who fought in it.

The Politics of Acknowledgement

Author : Joanna R. Quinn
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Human rights violations leave deep scars on people, societies, and nations. Rights groups argue that resolving past violence is necessary for a peaceful future. But how can nations ensure that instruments of transitional justice are the best path to reconciliation? This book develops a theoretical framework a framework of acknowledgement to evaluate truth commissions. Analysis of the difficulties encountered and the ultimate failure of truth commissions in Uganda and Haiti reveals that acknowledgement of past violence by both victims and perpetrators must come before goals such as forgiveness and social cohesion if reconciliation is to be achieved.

Trauma and the Memory of Politics

Author : Jenny Edkins
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In this interesting study, Jenny Edkins explores how we remember traumatic events such as wars, famines, genocides and terrorism, and questions the assumed role of commemorations as simply reinforcing state and nationhood. Taking examples from the World Wars, Vietnam, the Holocaust, Kosovo and September 11th, Edkins offers a thorough discussion of practices of memory such as memorials, museums, remembrance ceremonies, the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress and the act of bearing witness. She examines the implications of these commemorations in terms of language, political power, sovereignty and nationalism. She argues that some forms of remembering do not ignore the horror of what happened but rather use memory to promote change and to challenge the political systems that produced the violence of wars and genocides in the first place. This wide-ranging study embraces literature, history, politics and international relations, and makes a significant contribution to the study of memory.

The Great War

Author : Ian F. W. Beckett
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The course of events of the Great War has been told many times, spurred by an endless desire to understand 'the war to end all wars'. However, this book moves beyond military narrative to offer a much fuller analysis of of the conflict's strategic, political, economic, social and cultural impact. Starting with the context and origins of the war, including assasination, misunderstanding and differing national war aims, it then covers the treacherous course of the conflict and its social consequences for both soldiers and civilians, for science and technology, for national politics and for pan-European revolution. The war left a long-term legacy for victors and vanquished alike. It created new frontiers, changed the balance of power and influenced the arts, national memory and political thought. The reach of this acount is global, showing how a conflict among European powers came to involve their colonial empires, and embraced Japan, China, the Ottoman Empire, Latin America and the United States.

Memorials to Shattered Myths

Author : Harriet F. Senie
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Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11 traces the evolution and consequences of a new hybrid paradigm, which grants a heroic status to victims of national tragedies, and by extension to their families, thereby creating a class of privileged participants in the permanent memorial process. Harriet F. Senie suggests that instead the victims' families be able to determine the nature of an interim memorial, one that addresses their needs in the critical time between the murder of their loved ones and the completion of the permanent memorial. She also observes that the memorials discussed herein are inadvertently based on strategies of diversion and denial that direct our attention away from actual events, and reframe tragedy as secular or religious triumph. In doing so, they camouflage history, and seen as an aggregate, they define a nation of victims, exactly the concept they and their accompanying celebratory narratives were apparently created to obscure.

Memorializing the Anglo Boer War of 1899 1902

Author : Valerie B. Parkhouse
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Memorializing the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 is a study of a group of memorials to soldiers who fought in a now nearly forgotten war, and deals with the many factors influencing why there was such an unprecedented number of memorials compared to those to previous conflicts like the Crimean War, fifty years earlier. One of the most important issues was the impact of changes in the organization of the British Army in the late 1800s, particularly the creation of locally-based regiments, heavily manned by volunteers drawn from local communities. The book includes a detailed commentary on the social conditions in England that also account for the unprecedented number of commemorations of this conflict. It discusses the variety of forms memorials took: informal – drinking fountains, ‘Spion Kop” stands at football stadiums; formal – stained glass windows, statues, etc., and the numerous and diverse places where they were located: cathedrals, town squares, public schools and universities. The growth of the national press and the rise of literacy is dealt with in detail, as well as the telegraph, whose invention meant that news became available overnight. Space is given to discuss the expression of Victorian prosperity in public works. The part played by the established church is well documented and an insight is given into the contribution of Imperialism, patriotism and jingoism. All these factors explain the motivation for the memorials’ creation. The book is illustrated with photographs and articles from newspapers of the day. Appendices cover those who are not commemorated, lost memorials, those who unveiled the memorials, colonial involvement and more. Memorializing the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 will appeal particularly to social historians and students of military and social history.

Forgotten Captives in Japanese Occupied Asia

Author : Kevin Blackburn
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Experiences of captivity in Japanese-occupied Asia varied enormously. Some prisoners of war (POWs) were sent to work in Japan, others to toil on the ‘Death Railway’ between Burma and Thailand. Some camps had death rates below 1 per cent, others of over 20 per cent. While POWs were deployed far and wide as a captive labour force, civilian internees were generally detained locally. This book explores differences in how captivity was experienced between 1941 and 1945, and has been remembered since: differences due to geography and logistics, to policies and personalities, and marked by nationality, age, class, gender and combatant status. Part One has at least one chapter for each ‘National Memory’, Australian, British, Canadian, Dutch, Indian and American. Part Two moves on to forgotten captivities. It covers women, children, camp guards, internee experiences upon the end of the war, and local heroines who fought back. By juxtaposing such a wide variety of captivity experiences – differentiated both by category of captive and by approach - this book transcends place, to become a collection about captivity as a category. It will interest scholars working on the Asia-Pacific War, on captivities in general, and on the individual histories of the countries and groups covered.

Unburied Memories The Politics of Bodies of Sacred Defense Martyrs in Iran

Author : Pedram Khosronejad
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Today, almost a generation has passed since the Iran–Iraq war and the memory of it is set to diminish with each passing generation. The following questions emerge. Can we say that the gradual disappearance of war’s memory means that, increasingly, Iranians will see the Iran–Iraq war solely as an historical event? How can we defend or reject this idea? Today, with which elements and values should we look at the Iran–Iraq war memorials and ceremonies? To what extent will war museums and materials culture be influenced by these new values? In the period during and immediately after the Iran–Iraq war (1980-88), national bereavement and commemoration of martyrs was neither apparent in common state policy nor a social need. Even at the turn of the 21st century, anyone walking through Iranian cities, many of which had been the main scene of the bloody massacre and direct targets of the Iraqi Republican Guard, will have found traces of the terrible, almost unimaginable, human losses. However, today’s Iranians can see modern war memorials and monuments in many parts of the urban and rural landscape. Yet, at the same time, the changing landscape has separated Iranians from such remnants of the violence. It can be argued that many people, in their wish to look forward to a more hopeful future, do not wish to be reminded of this period in Iranian history. This book was originally published as a special issue of Visual Anthropology.