Writing War Beyond the Human
Ecopolitical Narratives of Armed Conflict in the Global South
This the manuscript I am currently writing. It is under contract with Columbia University Press.
Writing War Beyond the Human is an invitation to rethink and reread the stories we tell about war. Much conventional war literature and scholarship rests on one certainty: war is a human affair. Humans declare, wage, celebrate, abhor, suffer, and remember war. And such anthropocentrism seems warranted: isn’t homo sapiens the prime war-faring species on the planet? Yet it reveals a narrow understanding of war that eludes the embeddedness, impact, and dependence of human warfaring on multiple nonhuman entities such as plants, animals, entire ecosystems, abiotic elements, pathogens, and, of course, a multitude of material objects, man-made or not. Adjusting the reading lens to account and look for nonhuman entities and elements illuminates both the literature and war. Drawing on a range of prose fiction from countries with recent armed conflicts, namely Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Mozambique, Angola, both Congos, and Vietnam, this book shows how authors develop complex visions of war by incorporating a host of nonhuman actors and entities into the narrative.
This research has been supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Fellowship), the National Endowment of the Humanities (Summer Stipend), the School of Humanities and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (Feminist Research Seminar), and the School for Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University.