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.
Svetlana Makeyeva (TU Dortmund) explored the role of female milbloggers from the perspective of feminist theory and pointed out patterns of female blogging based on varying gender perceptions.
Frank Usbeck (TU Dresden) introduced his concept of "ceremonial storytelling" in many milblogs' emphasis on pop culture, and thus highlighted his observations on the therapeutic potential of blogger-audience interaction.
Brian Schneider (Uni Konstanz) discussed a typology of traditional war narratives and explained how patterns and technological specifics of digital war narratives alter and merge typical features of this tradition.
Simone Schwär (JGU Mainz) contextualized the other presenters' take on blogs by pointing out the alternating modes of war reporting and autobiographical writing in recent soldier memoirs.
In the final discussion, Johanna Roering (Uni Tübingen) joined the group via Skype, presented conclusions from her own recent dissertation on milblogs, and offered methodological perspectives, such as Henry Jenkins's concept of Convergence Culture, to emphasize a cultural-studies oriented approach to miblogging and the tradition of war narratives.