A psychoanalytic inquiry into the representation of war

Morris, Katie Marie (2022). A psychoanalytic inquiry into the representation of war. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This study uses a combination of psychoanalysis, feminism and Terror Management Theory (TMT) to analyse the conventional representation of war. The method of critical-psychoanalysis is applied to case studies of late medieval, European renaissance war art and mainstream Western war films from the landmark periods of WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. Through an analysis of these cultural artefacts, this thesis simultaneously provides the groundwork to interrogate the gendered representations of war in conventional International Relations (IR) and International Security Studies (ISS). Mainstream mediums represent a shared frame of historical and political reference; where gender is symbolically and stereotypically legitimated. Such aesthetic cultural products are, by and large, ignored by conventional IR theory and ISS. In addition, IR and ISS is traditionally self-conscious about incorporating diverse perspectives, such as feminism, postcolonialism, psychology. In this study, psychoanalytic and feminist methodology unravels the complex, symbolic re-configuration and lineage of gendered associations within representations of conflict and war. This work builds upon existing feminist, psychoanalytical and aesthetic research in IR and ISS to argue that war art (including film) and war theory is, in part, mutually constitutive, while working to construct, and be constructed through, conscious and unconscious gendered assumptions.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society, Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/12630


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