With the publication of our esssay collection Poetics of Politics. Textuality and Social Relevance in Contemporary American Literature and Culture in summer 2015 we completed a joint research project that began in 2011.
Frank Usbeck's blog
During this winter, we completed final touches on a larger project that started with a conference at Leipzig University in June 2013: Titled Poetics of Politics: Textuality and Social Relevance in Contemporary American Literature and Culture, the meeting engaged international scholars from the fields of literary theory, cultural studies, performance studies, (new) media studies, and cultural history to discuss the concurrence of a 'political turn' in American literature and cultural productions and a 'poetic turn' in politics in recent years.
Our research initiative calls for contributions to a panel at the 2014 ASA Annual Meeting (6-9 November 2014) at the Westin Bonaventure, Los Angeles, CA:
In addition to our own conference on "The Poetics of Politics" in Leipzig, during which I presented my latest readings of milblogs, I had the opportunity to attend three international conferences on war, trauma, and narrative this Spring. Although they addressed the issues of war experience from very different angles, all three are manifestations of a recently increased interest in war experience, trauma, and veteran's affairs in academia, the media, and the general public, both in the US and in Europe.
The chair of North American Literature at the Technical University of Dresden and the Institute for American Studies at Leipzig University will host the international conference “Poetics of Politics: Textuality and Social Relevance in Contemporary American Literature and Culture,” June 20 – 22, 2013, in Leipzig.
On 9-10 November, 2012, our research initiative hosted the workshop "Storytelling from the Combat Zone: Military Blogs as Contemporary War Narratives" at TU Dresden. A group of four scholars presented their current dissertation or postdoc projects and discussed relevant approaches, sources, and contexts of traditions and new phenomena in narrating war.
Travis L. Martin, veteran and editor of the Journal of Military Experience, has announced that the JME has recently gained public interest as a representative of projects to help veterans navigate their war experience though writing. The publicity has led Eastern Kentucky University to make available both creative and scholarly contributions to recent JME issues in an online archive. Scholarly contributions to vol. II, among them Frank Usbeck's "'My Blog Is My Therapy': The Sense of Community and Ritual in American Military Blogs," are now available here: