“War and Technology” for War and Violence Panel Series, 43rd Annual GSA Conference

Katherine Aaslestad's picture
Call for Papers
October 3, 2019 to October 6, 2019
West Virginia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, German History / Studies, Military History, Modern European History / Studies

The call of papers from the “War and Violence” network for the forty-third German Studies Association Conference to be held in Portland, Oregon in 2019 invites contributions that address the theme “War and Technology.”


War and technology is a broad area of research, breaching disciplines and historical eras. It comprises many areas of inquiry: a critical history of war and technology, an understanding of war technology as a cultural representation, and a theoretical discourse of war and technology in relation to individuals and society. 


The theme War and Technology includes its representation in aesthetics--film, literature, and visual art--and its practices across history. The network supports a broad understanding of technology, which includes the military hardware of warfare from the medieval era to modern digital technologies--from crossbows, to cannons, to bombs, to drones. Papers can also explore the consequences of war technology on the course of conflicts, society and political power.


We invite contributions to the history of military technology from the medieval era to the modern digital age--from crossbows, to cannons, to bombs, to drones. Papers can explore the consequences of war technology on the course of conflicts, society and political power. Accounts of the history of technology include memory discourses and aesthetics (literature, visual arts, computer games). Furthermore, technology can also be examined as Kulturtechnik, which comprises images, narratives, films, and other culturally produced representations. War technologies and their human agents, therefore, can shape cultural imagination, modes of perceiving the world, experiences, images, and narratives. In sum, the theme war technologies is loaded with many layers of discourse, rich historical experiences, and political, ideological, and representational agendas.

Specific aspects:

  • Conceptions or History of military technology
  • Technology and war in German history and literature
  • Technology, war, gender, and the body
  • Digital technology and war
  • War technology and ethics or War technology and gender
  • Representations of military technology in aesthetics (art, literature, aesthetics)
  • The use of aesthetics and aesthetic media (photo, film, VR) for developing military technology
  • The consequences of technology for the humans and society
  • Theories and philosophy of technology
  • Weapon and technology museums

Please note two important GSA rules: All panel participants including the commentator and moderator must be registered GSA members by February 10, 2017. No individual at the GSA Conference may give more than one paper/participate in a seminar or participate in more than two separate capacities.


Please send 350-600 word abstracts, a brief c.v., and if applicable, AV requests, by Jan. 20, 2018 to both network coordinators Katherine Aaslestad (Katherine.Aaslestad@mail.wvu.edu) and Kathrin Maurer (kamau@sdu.dk) who will review paper proposals. All applicants will be informed of the status of their submission by late January. This allows proposals which cannot be included in the network panels to be submitted directly to the GSA by the overall deadline of February, 15 2018.  

Contact Info: 

Katherine Aaslestad, Professor of History, West Virginia University Katherine.Aaslestad@mail.wvu.edu

Kathrin Maurer, Associate Professor of German Studies, University of Southern Denmark kamau@sdu.dk