Rewards of a Journal’s life

As our readers know, the Close Encounters in War Journal is a scholarly publication that aims to make people aware of the multifaceted reality of war and its deep and often devastating impact on human lives. Over the years, we have decided to expand its scope to reach the broader public in a variety of ways, including the publication of short stories, testimonies, poetry, reviews and so on. Sharing, reaching out, and participating are our ambition, which makes the project of CEIWJ appreciated worldwide by an increasing number of people with the most diverse cultural backgrounds.

That being said, we are happy to publish today an unusual or, to better say, unexpected post through which we would like to tell the story of a recent pleasant event. We have been contacted by Stephanie, a mother reaching out for her son James, who is currently learning about the American military history at school. James has an interest in this topic and, as his mother puts it, he keeps going on to learn more, even after school. Browsing the Internet, James landed on our homepage and thought it would be no minor feat if he could participate somehow in such a project that he found inspirational. Thus, he sent us a link to a page about the history of military vehicles, which we found quite interesting, insofar as we are now preparing the next issue about science and technology: https://alansfactoryoutlet.com/a-history-of-military-vehicles-cars-trucks-and-tanks/. Knowledge is something one builds in bits and pieces, neither all at once nor once and forever. James was in the right place at the right time, as it were, and we are grateful to him for having shared his enthusiasm and this piece of knowledge with us and now with our readers.

“Burial at Sea”, by Lawrence Markworth

An old warrior, relegated to obscurity in the backwaters of San Diego Bay with the rest of the Navy’s unwanted fleet, waited. A destroyer, unable to serve her country after a crippling collision that amputated most of her bow, the USS Tingey was disabled, decommissioned, and cast aside. Guns removed from her decks, stripped of every piece of machinery of value, no longer able to fight, she lay naked, aging, and lonely, secretly wishing for rehabilitation or death. From her remaining superstructure, she could occasionally see the proud fleet leaving the bay for the real action in the South China Sea. She longed to be with them, cutting the waves at 30-plus knots, protecting aircraft carriers, looking for Russian submarines, or shelling the enemy in some far-away jungle. Instead, rust ran rampant through her decks, passageways, bulkheads and bilges, eating away at her insides like an inoperable cancer. But the worst was the neglect. No one worked on her, no one visited, no one cared. Nothing but silence, except for the occasional wave lapping at her rust-oozing sides, as a tugboat brought in another old hulk. How long could this idleness and humiliation last?

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Call for articles: CEIWJ n. 4 (2021), “Emotions and Close Encounters in War”

The editors of the CEIWJ invite to submit abstracts by February 10, 2021

The universe of emotions has always represented a major challenge for research in every field of knowledge, from Philosophy to Physics, from Psychology to the Arts. Although everyone knows what emotions are insofar as almost everyone can “feel”, as it comes to provide a clear or systematic explanation of emotions, words fail. Today, interdisciplinary studies see cognitivists working side by side with psychologists, linguists, anthropologists, biologists, historians, and philosophers to elaborate insightful theories of emotions. One breakthrough that has oriented the new research agenda since the 1990s consists in the claim that the human mind is – despite the rationalist tradition rooted in Descartes’s philosophy and the following theories of Enlightenment and Positivism – emotional (see, for example, pivotal studies by Antonio Damasio and Joseph Ledoux in the 1990s).

During the preparation of Issue n. 3, devoted to post-traumatic stress disorder, we have grown even more aware that war and emotions are deeply entwined. We may even dare to say that if humans go to war, it is mostly due to emotions, although the rational urge to organise and explain war in term of science is equally powerful (as historian Bernd Hüppauf and ethologists such as Irenäus Eibl-Eibelsfeld have demonstrated). For sure, the individual caught in a war, from its preparation to the very experience of battle, is exposed to a great number of emotional stimuli that affect their reactions and decision-making. Propaganda, the feeling of “belonging”, affective bonds, ethical inclinations, and cultural notions such as racism, nationalism, patriotism, cosmopolitanism, as only some of the numerous and varied contributing factors that may lead people to make war or to avoid it. We believe that the “close encounter” makes this list as well as a fundamental emotional experience in war.

Issue n. 4 of CEIWJ will aim to investigate the theme of close encounters in connection to the emotions by exploring its facets both on a micro-scale, by studying individual testimonies and experiences, and on a theoretical and critical basis throughout history. CEIWJ encourages inter/multidisciplinary approaches and dialogue among different scientific fields. We therefore welcome articles that frame the topic within the context of close encounters in war from the perspective of Aesthetics, Anthropology, Arts, Classics, Cognitive Science, Ethics, History, Linguistics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and other disciplines relevant for the investigation of the topic. Case studies may include different historical periods as well as over different geographic areas.

We invite articles which analyse the connection between war and emotions from ancient to modern and contemporary periods, from the perspective of the encounter, reaching beyond the study of military tactics and strategy and focusing on the emotional dimension of how human beings “encounter” each other – or themselves – in war. Contributions are invited to promote discussion and scholarly research from established scholars, early-career researchers, and from practitioners who have dealt with the emotional response to war in the course of their activities.

Topics and research fields that can be investigated include but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical inter/multidisciplinary approaches to the study of emotions and war;
  • The emotional impact of war on culture and social behaviour;
  • The emotional and ethical impact of language in the context of war (propaganda, pacifism, anti-war literature, etc.);
  • The emotional aspects of oral history, memory studies, therapy, and PTSD-counselling in theory and practice;
  • Expressing and representing emotions and war in music, figurative arts, literature, testimonies and personal narratives;
  • War and the emotional elaboration of death, mourning, trauma, and loss;
  • The emotional impact of colonial and civil wars, captivity and deportation;
  • Emotional response to war crimes and military justice;
  • Emotional implications of otherness, race, and gender in war-contexts.

The editors of Close Encounters in War Journal invite the submission of abstracts of 250 words in English by 10 February 2021 to ceiwj@nutorevelli.org. The authors invited to submit their works will be required to send articles of 6000-8000 words (endnotes included, bibliographical references not included in word-count: please see submission guidelines at https://closeencountersinwar.org/instruction-for-authors-submissions/) in English by 30 June 2021 to ceiwj@nutorevelli.org. All articles will undergo a process of double-blind peer-review. We will notify the results of the peer-reviewing in September 2021. Final versions of revised articles will be submitted by November of 2021.