Library of Social Science presents
Mythologizing the Vietnam War: Visual Culture and Mediated Memory
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Mythologizing the Vietnam War: Visual Culture and Mediated Memory
Body Politic Subject: Cultural Studies
Jennifer Good, Paul Lowe, Brigitte Lardinois, Val Williams
Pages: 195
ISBN: 978-1-4438-5442-9
Publication Date: 2014
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
List Price in USD: $51.89

Dr. Jennifer Good is Senior Lecturer in History and Theory of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication.

Paul Lowe is an award-winning photographer, who has covered breaking news the world over, working in 82 countries over the last 25 years.

Brigite Lardinois is Deputy Director of the Photography and the Archive Research Centre at the University of the Arts London.

Val Williams is a writer, curator and Professor of the History and Culture of Photography at the London College of Communication.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing offers readers the extraordinary opportunity to read substantial portions of their books at no charge. To read the Introduction, and Chapter 1, please click here).
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The Vietnam War is evolving from contemporary memory into history. Fifty years on, it still serves as a benchmark in the history of war reporting and in the representation of conflict in popular culture and historical memory. However, as contemporary culture tries to come to terms with the events and their political, psychological and cultural implications, the ‘real’ Vietnam War has been appropriated and changed into a set of mythologies which implicate American and Vietnamese national identities specifically, and ideas of modern conflict more broadly.

This collection of interdisciplinary critical essays explores the cultural legacies of the US involvement in South East Asia, considering this process of ‘mythologizing’ through the lenses of visual media and tracing the war’s evolution from contemporary reportage to subsequent interpretation and consumption. It reassesses the role of visual media in covering and remembering the war, its memorialization, mediation and memory.

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From Chapter One: “Violent Representation: Photographs, Soldiers, and an Ideological War.” Jeremy Kreusch

By the close of the Vietnam War in 1975, several photographs had helped to serve what became a national cause in the United States: the anti-war movement. Many of those photographs pictured the brutality and violence engendered by Americans and their allies in the jungles of Vietnam. Powerful images as they were, they produced similarly powerful sentiments. The photographs themselves were not created as propaganda, yet they were usurped to serve an ideology.

I argue that the soldier is trapped in the bind of being the embodiment of war; of acting as metonymy when photographed and therefore masking the systems and figures that shape and initiate war, whether presented and received as a perpetrator or presented and received sympathetically. In conclusion, I elaborate on some of the problems and paradoxes inherent in photojournalism when it functions iconically and ideologically.

Mythologizing the Vietnam War: Visual Culture and Mediated Memory

Table of Contents

List of Images

Part I: The State

  • Chapter One
    Violent Representation: Photographs, Soldiers and an Ideological War
    Jeremy Kreusch
  • Chapter Two
    Uses of the Vietnam War as a Frame of Reference in Vietnamese Media Discussion of 9/11 and the “War on Terror”
    Huong Nguyen
  • Chapter Three
    Memorializing Thailand’s “Separate Victory” in the Vietnam War: An Official Argument for Triumph Made From the Losing Side
    Richard Ruth

Part II: The Screen

  • Chapter Four
    The Mythologizing of the Vietnam War through the use of Rock and Roll in Film
    Peter Hope
  • Chapter Five
    Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket: Constructing War-Torn Vietnam in England
    Richard Daniels

Part III: The Body

  • Chapter Six
    Bodily Visions of the War in Vietnam
    Madeleine Corcoran
  • Chapter Seven
    Sexual Assault and the Mai Lai Massacre: The Erasure of Sexual Violence from Public Memory of the Vietnam War
    Valerie Wieskamp
  • Chapter Eight
    War Dialling: Image Transmissions from Saigon
    Susan Schuppli

Postscript: A Place to Stand
List of Contributors

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