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Book of the Month - July 2015

Our July Book of the Month is Culture, Trauma, and Conflict by Nico Carpentier. Nico’s study, now in its second edition, makes for essential reading as war remains one of the world’s most destructive forces and continues to affect the lives of millions of people on a daily basis.


Cultural War Studies has an important role to play in furthering our understanding of the pervasiveness and destructiveness of the institution of war. It utilises the critical vocabulary of Cultural Studies by analysing the constructions that push us towards a glorified killing of fellow human beings and then try to make us forget the intensity and durability of the trauma. The first part of this book focuses on the diversity of media that generate meanings and definitions of past and contemporary wars. The second part of the book moves away from media representations, and focuses on torture and incarceration. Although in this part the materiality of war and conflict is very present, these analyses again show the importance of the constructions of enemy identities and (the acceptability of) violent practices. The third and final part of the book is related to memory and trauma. A series of 20th century conflicts and wars are revisited to demonstrate the cultural durability of war and the interconnection of these wars with present-day discourses and practices through the dialectics of remembering, commemorating and forgetting.


To find out more, please click here to read a sample extract and contents page. 

We are offering all of our readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMJUL15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 2nd August 2015.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book’s first edition received:


“The value of this edited collection lies in its focus on questions of ideology, discourse and representation in relation to war. Nico Carpentier has assembled a useful collection that applies the critical tools of cultural studies to the complex and varied media representations of interstate war and military conflict.”

—European Journal of Communication


Culture, Trauma, and Conflict is a prime example of how the concepts of Cultural Studies can be successfully applied to War Studies, thus overcoming some of Cultural Studies’ and War Studies’ shortcomings. Without wanting to advocate another ‘grand theory’, this is very promising for both fields. Most of the authors—no doubt thanks to the skilful guidance of the editor—manage not to lose themselves (and readers unfamiliar with Cultural Studies jargon) in high theory and terminology. The book is recommended for anyone interested in the history and actuality of war and the discursive practices surrounding it.”

—Leen Engelen, Media & Design Academy (KHLim), Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 28, No.3, 2008


“In Culture, Trauma and Conflict, editor Nico Carpentier provides readers with a wide-ranging series of essays directed toward understanding the role of media and culture as they are related to conflict and especially trauma.”

—Dr Mark Finney, Assistant Professor of Mass Communications, Adams State College, The Journal of International Communication, 15:2, 2009


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