Developments in Late Modern War

My supervisor Derek Gregory and I are organising a session at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) conference in Tampa in April 2014. For those interested in participating, do write to us. For those not, see what you think of the below! It’s shaping up to be a great conference for those of us interested in war and security with great sessions being organised by Jeremy Crampton, Peter Adey & Klaus Dodds (What Space for the Post-Security State?) and Wesley Attewell, Jeff Whyte and myself (The New Geographies of Late Modern Civil-Military Relations). And a good job too because I’m not sure Tampa is the most interesting place in the world, but we’ll see.

CFP AAG 2013: Developments in later modern war

Organizers: Craig Jones (University of British Columbia) and Derek Gregory (University of British Columbia)

War is not what it used to be. Nor will it be what is. With the centenary of the First World War fast approaching, now is an important opportunity to reflect on what Historians Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers (2011) have called ‘the changing character of war’. In recent years the ‘new wars’ thesis has provoked useful discussions as to how war has changed since the end of the Cold War, but it its critics have retorted that change and newness have been overstated (e.g. Gregory 2011; Birdal 2011). What are needed, they argue, are historically and geographically sensitive accounts of continuity, overlap and iteration as well as change and newness. Yet Strachan and Sheipers (2011) go even further. They argue: “the perception of newness is often not so much a matter of empirical change but of our conceptual perspective on war”.

Is it? To what extent has – and is – war changing? How much of this change can we attribute to the actually existing materialities of war (war’s ‘empirics’), and how much of this ‘change’ is attributable to our methodological apprehensions – or misapprehensions – of this thing we call war? This session attempts to chart developments in later modern war, whatever form and inflection they might take. The ambit is deliberately wide because war itself is a slippery concept and its empirics are necessarily multiple. We are particularly interested in papers that try to grapple with exactly what is new and what is not new about war one century on from the war that was supposed to end all wars. What is war? What was war? What is (later) modern war?  Where is war? How can we re-approach war? These broad questions will hopefully generate both theoretical as well as empirical answers and, of course, we invite and encourage both.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The changing geographies of the battlefield/battlespace and the ‘everywhere war’
  • New and old technologies of war
  • Economies of/and war
  • Bodies in war
  • Medical and psychological damage in war: wounds, healing, and therapeutics of care
  • ‘Geo-legality’ & the juridification of war
  • Cyberwarfare
  • Biogenetics, ‘biohacking’, and nanotechnology
  • Intervention; occupation; post-occupation; withdrawal
  • “Military Operations Other Than War” (MOOTW) and “overseas contingency operations”
  • Any of the above which uses an innovative or experimental approach, method, medium or style to analyse war

Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words to organizers Craig Jones ( and Derek Gregory ( by December 2nd at the very latest. We also request that you contact us beforehand indicating your interest in the session.

One Comment

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  1. Reblogged this on rhulgeopolitics and commented:
    Developments in Late Modern War, an AAG CFP from Craig Jones and Derek Gregory – courtesy of War, Law & Space

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