Curating and Re-Curating the American Wars in Vietnam and Iraq
We have long saved-and curated-objects from wars to commemorate the war experience. These objects appear at national museums and memorials and in war novels and memoirs. Through them we institutionalize narratives and memories of national identity, power and purpose. This book asks whose vantage points on the American wars in Vietnam and Iraq are available, and where, for public consumption; it also considers whose war experiences are not represented, are minimized, or ignored in ways that advantage contemporary militarism. In looking at how professional curators, ordinary civilian "curators," and veteran and civilian writers exhibit the American wars in Vietnam and Iraq, Sylvester shows that war authority is widely dispersed and nonconsenual. By looking beyond official renditions of a war, scholars, policymakers, and other citizens are able to grasp war as a violent, rather than abstractly heroic, mode of politics.
Christine Sylvester is Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut, specializing in international relations, and professorial affiliate of the School of Global Studies at Gothenburg University. She has been the Swedish Research Council's Kerstin Hesselgren Professor for Sweden, recipient of an honorary degree in social sciences at Lund University, a Leverhulme fellow at SOAS, University of London, and a Humanities Institute fellow at the University of Connecticut. An International Studies Association eminent scholar of feminist theory and gender studies, she is also listed among Fifty Key Thinkers in International Relations. Her recent works related to this book include Art/Museums: International Relations Where We Least Expect It and War as Experience, as well as the edited books Masquerades of War and Experiencing War.