Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
From Frontline to Homefront: The Global Homeland in Contemporary U.S. War Fiction
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

Criticized for providing a simplified depiction of a post-9/11 United States, contemporary American “War on Terror” fiction has been largely neglected by critical discourse. In this dissertation, I argue that this fiction offers a vital engagement with how the War on Terror is waged, and how the fantasies and policies of the Global Homeland inform it. Most immediately, the texts I analyze undercut the sanitization of the war by including depictions of intense combat and the psychological fallout of derealized warfare. In these works, the public’s reluctance to acknowledge such concerns lays the foundation for a schism between American civilians and the military. I argue moreover that this fiction engages with the collapse of distinctions between foreign and domestic spheres through exploring both battlefields abroad and how a military logic is transposed onto American society.

In the first chapter, I analyze the way in which narratives by Kevin Powers, David Abrams, Phil Klay, and Dan Fesperman complicate sanitized images of the war by foregrounding its visceral qualities and representing the traumatic impact of mediated warfare. The second chapter focuses on Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, specifically its representation of the military characters’ frustration with the public’s failure to acknowledge the traumatic impact of the War on Terror, and its critique of melodramatic patriotic gestures that glorify the war but do not require actual social, financial, or affective investment in the military. The third chapter zeroes in on portrayals of returned veterans in texts by George Saunders, Atticus Lish, and Joyce Carol Oates, who react with increasing antagonism to civilian disinterest in their plight, which gives rise to acts of violence against civilians and a shift in societal attitudes toward the military. I conclude by examining Lish’s depiction of how the policies of the Global Homeland result in the deployment of a military logic within the domestic U.S. Through its engagement with American warfare and the Global Homeland, contemporary American war fiction offers a nuanced exploration of the conduct and ramifications of the War on Terror.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of English, Uppsala University , 2017. , 149 p.
Keyword [en]
Global Homeland, derealized warfare, direct warfare, military-civilian relations, sanitization of warfare, state fantasy, War on Terror, War on Terror fiction
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-317452ISBN: 978-91-506-2623-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-317452DiVA: diva2:1081722
Public defence
2017-05-06, Geijerssalen, Humanistiskt centrum, Thunbergsvägen 3P, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-10 Created: 2017-03-14 Last updated: 2017-04-10

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(809 kB)141 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 809 kBChecksum SHA-512
b1a45c2378e6351559e18c89b8abaf98bc1d82f8119153d751fb4ba3dff66fb3b9b2aa2b64ded2aa560224af3fc60ca4ed2d75df25562d647e39c81007c0122c
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Rau, Kristen
By organisation
Department of English
Specific Literatures

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 141 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 494 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf