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Public lecture on the visual culture of war

Public lecture on the visual culture of war

The visual culture of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars will be the subject of a public lecture at the University of Auckland next month.

Associate Professor John Pettegrew is talking on “Projecting Force: The U.S. Marines and the Optics of Combat in the Post-September 11th Wars” on Thursday, 8 October, Room 332, 1-11 Short Street at 4pm.

Associate Professor Pettegrew is an historian of late-19th and 20th century U.S. thought and culture and director of the American Studies Program at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

His latest book, Light It Up: The Marine Eye for Battle in the War for Iraq, examines how the U.S. military and aspects of popular visual culture work together to “stylize the eye and create a patterned experience of viewing and seeing war to encourage a large number of young Americans to do what the Pentagon itself believes is antithetical to human nature”—to kill.

He is co-editor of the three- volume work, Public Women, Public Words: A Documentary History of American Feminism; author and editor of A Pragmatist’s Progress: Richard Rorty and American Intellectual History; and author of Brutes in Suits: Male Sensibility in America, 1890-1920, an examination of the putatively male instinct of aggressiveness as constructed in modern U.S. social science, law, literature, and sports and military cultures.

Associate Professor Pettegrew is also director of The Veterans Empathy Project, an on-going work in oral history focused on the military experience among U.S. soldiers and marines in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Its purpose is to bridge the gap in the United States today between veterans of foreign wars and civilians who never served in the military.

You can listen to a YouTube link to his book trailer here.

You can read about The Veterans Empathy Project here.

ENDS

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