War and the Body: Militarisation, Practice and Experience, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

War and the Body

Militarisation, Practice and Experience, 1st Edition

Edited by Kevin McSorley


264 pages

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This edited volume places the body at the centre of critical thinking about war and its consequences.

War is fundamentally embodied. The reality of war is not just politics by any other means but politics incarnate, politics written on and experienced through the thinking, feeling bodies of men and women. From steeled combatants to abject victims, war occupies innumerable bodies in a multitude of ways, profoundly shaping lives and ways of being human.

Giving the body an analytic recognition that it warrants and has often been denied in conventional war studies, this book brings together new interdisciplinary scholarship that explores the numerous affective, sensory and embodied practices through which war lives and breeds. It focuses on how war is prepared, enacted and reproduced through embodied action, suffering and memory. As such, the book promotes new directions in theorising war and transformations in warfare, via an explicit focus on the body.

This book will be of much interest to students and scholars of war studies, security studies, sociology, anthropology, military studies, politics and IR in general.

Table of Contents

1. War and the Body, Kevin McSorley Part I: Militarizing Bodies 2. Preparing and Resisting the War Body: Training in the British Army, Emma Reilly 3. Steeling the Body for War in Austrofascist Education, Tamara Ehs 4. Too fat to fight? Obesity, Bio-Politics and the Militarization of Children’s Bodies, Joseph Burridge and Kevin McSorley 5. Military Chic: Fashioning Civilian Bodies for War, Jane Tynan Part II: Embodying War 6. On patrol: The Embodied Phenomenology of Infantry, John Hockey 7. ‘Switching On’ for Cash: The Private Militarized Security Contractor as Geo-Corporeal Actor, Paul Higate 8. Affect, Agency and Responsibility: The Act of Killing in the Age of Cyborgs, John Protevi 9. Grammars of Violence, Modes of Embodiment and Frontiers of the Subject, Kevin McDonald 10. Soldiers' Bodies and the Contemporary British Military Memoir, Rachel Woodward and Neil Jenkings Part III: Corporeal Aftermaths 11. "An unbroken Man Despite Losing an Arm": Corporeal Reconstruction and Embodied Difference - Prosthetics in Western Germany after World War II, Elsbeth Bösl 12. War-Wounds: Disability, Memory and Narratives of War in a Lebanese Disability Rehabilitation Hospital, Julie Hartley 13. Memorializing the Veteran Body: New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans and the Search for Military Citizenship, Catherine Trundle 14. The War Dead and the Body Politic: Rendering the Dead Soldier’s Body in the New Global (dis)Order, Michael Drake 15. Bodies, Masculinities and Complex Inheritances, Victor Seidler 16. Conclusion: Rethinking War and the Body, Kevin McSorley

About the Editor

Kevin McSorley is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Portsmouth.

About the Series

War, Politics and Experience

This series will publish interdisciplinary, single-authored and edited volumes that address the experiences of war and the everyday politics of war-making that shape and are shaped by those experiences. These works will push boundaries of knowledge and disciplinarity by offering new, theoretically sophisticated, and empirically rich approaches to understanding the experiential politics of war in the post-World War II period.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Military / Other
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General