By Sherrill E. Grace, Patrick Imbert, Tiffany Johnstone
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Extra info for Bearing Witness: Perspectives on War and Peace from the Arts and Humanities
In each essay, to varying degrees, the writers also examine the phenomenon of othering, the subtle or blunt ways in which one group of people designates another group – those not like them, those to be attacked or eliminated – as less than human, as the enemy, as Other. And ﬁnally, all these essays speak to each other; they establish a conversation across disciplinary divides which the editors hope will include readers, and they do this by collectively embracing an interdisciplinary scope and methodology.
6 Adult warplay includes computer and video gaming, fan-culture roleplay, and historical military reenactment (whether amateur, commemorative, or industrial). These practices are related in a cultural ﬁeld marked by simulation of combat, masculinist achievement, and adherence to regimes of authenticity. We live in a dense cultural environment of warplay practices that are so common as to be almost invisible, and we are habituated to the replayed images of war entertainment. They saturate our movie, television, and computer screens to the point that many people understand war as the principle marker of historical periodization.
15 But no-one reenacts the actual victims of modern war: raped women, tortured child soldiers, murdered children in the rubble of destroyed cities, and the unnamed dead in the mass graves of concentration camps. In warplay, the imagined enemy is always a lawful military target. But the horror of modern war is that she is not. 2 Understanding the Motivation to Enlist j o n a t h a n f. v a n c e Why We Fight was the title given to a seven-part ﬁlm series commissioned by the US government between 1942 and 1945 as a way to explain to Americans the issues of the Second World War.