Thousands of soldiers are returning to their respective home fronts––such as in the U.S., Fiji, Canada, Britain, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Sweden––after their tours of duty in the U.S.-led Global War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Scholars, policy experts, and the public are increasingly turning their attention to the multiple struggles of veterans’
experiences––such as the visible and invisible wounds of war––on both the homefront and the warfront. These national and global discourses on the soldier’s wounded body often circulate through dominant narrative practices and multiple transnational media imaginaries. Veterans returning from war set “the standard of soldiering” (Eichler 2013) and these standards are often measured according to national discourses of the Wounded Warrior Hero whose honour is valorised through the visible and tangible appearance of missing limbs and other bodily mutilations categorized as official combat wounds.
These hegemonic narratives however conjure up several questions: How does the privileging of combat wounds address, marginalize, or make invisible other forms of wounding that may be produced by processes of militarization? How does multiplying our understandings of “injuries” sustained through “service” provide a more nuanced conceptualization of the military as a gendered institution? This panel presents a series of papers which probe the meaning of military wounding through investigations of combat wounds, sexual assault in the military, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the “visible” and “invisible” effects of war on soldiers’ and civilians’ bodies on the homefront/warfront. It seeks to interrogate sustained gendered, racial, sexual, and colonial hierarchies and their implications for gendered citizenship both in relation to military service and in contemporary national and global cultures.
PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science Rutgers University Hickman Hall
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