Arts of War and Peace – About

War {pólemos} is the father of all and the king of all; and some he has made gods and some men, some bond and some free. (Heraclitus, fragment 53).

We must know that war {pólemos} is common to all and strive {érin} is justice, and that all things come into being and pass away through strife. (Heraclitus, fragment 80).

Why another periodical about war? Whether or not Heraclitus is right, war is a central cultural phenomenon which always needs to be re-examined and re-contextualized. The distinguishing characteristic of this review is our conviction that war and peace are closely interrelated and cannot be studied separately; war and peace often seem to preclude each other, yet in the light of their varying effects and consequences they turn out to be inseparable. One of the problems for conceptualising peace is that it is often based on the memory of war, and the traces and memories of war are always problematic. Hence the name of the review, Arts of War and Peace, in which « Arts » is an inclusive term denoting any branch of learning and cultural production (music, history, philosophy, literature, etc.) all of which are legitimate objects of our study.

Arts of War and Peace differs from other reviews which focus on war and artistic production in two additional respects. First, its editors and the members of its advisory board think that insufficient attention has been given to the role of trauma and eyewitness accounts in the examination of war and peace. As a result, the intention here is to give trauma and eyewitness accounts unprecedented prominence. Secondly, few reviews combine so many disciplines and perspectives at once, including but not limited to history, philosophy, diplomacy, political science, religion, literature, art, architecture, music, drama, and the other arts. Arts of War and Peace will encourage interdisciplinary collaboration by inviting contributors to compare their approaches and methods.

Arts of War and Peace will follow in Paul Ricoeur’s observation in Time and Narrative, juxtaposing literature and history to show that these two disciplines can be mutually illuminating. Like Ricoeur, the editors believe that affinities, congruence and convergence can be found between the disciplines, without ignoring each discipline’s specificity. Thanks to this disciplinary proximity, the specificity of each approach is more accurately defined and new light can be shed on the way each discipline inherently formulates questions and suggests answers. One example of convergence, says Ricoeur, is the concept of « imagined configuration » which history and literature have in common. In this vein, Lewis H. Lapham reminded the readers of Harper’s magazine, « History is not what happened 200 or 2,00 years ago; it is a story about what happened 200 or 2,000 years ago. The stories change, as do the sight lines available to the teller of tales. »

We hope to explore the contributions that wartime cultural productions, and cultural productions about war, make to the construction of peace through historical analysis and literary and artistic interpretation. Our review will be informed by the effects cultural production has on politics, and the way wars influence our peacetime culture and our concept of peace. Peace is an object of cultural studies and can be an inspiration for culture.

Our research intends to maintain standards of academic excellence, but our goals are not strictly limited to the academy. Arts of War and Peace has an editorial team from diverse well-established disciplines. Beyond the ivory tower, the review seeks to reach a large audience. We believe that education and pedagogy are important steps in moving from war toward peace.

Arts of War and Peace is an English Language publication sponsored by LARCA (Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones) at Paris Diderot University, located in the Olympe de Gouges building situated on the University campus in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. The international scope of the review and its eclectic interdisciplinary flavor is evident in the names listed on the editorial board. Geographically based in Europe, this review wishes to appeal to all English language and polyglot readers. While some articles may be written in French, Spanish, German, or Italian, the English reader should feel at home throughout, since the primary language used is English. Abstracts for articles, keywords, and presentations of authors will always appear in English, even when an alternative language is also provided.

Arts of War and Peace seeks to provide multiple, sometimes opposing perspectives. All positions expressed are those of the individual authors, and cannot be imputed to the Editors, Editorial Board, or Advisory Board. While every effort is made to verify factual data and dates, only the authors themselves can be held responsible for errors of a factual nature.

Arts of War and Peace offers topical issues with articles that are double-blind peer-reviewed, under the editorial responsibility of a guest editor or editors.

(Founding charter developed by Jennifer Kilgore-Caradec, Mark Meigs, Daniel Jean, Angelica Schober, and Michael Taugis)