Seminar für Englische Philologie

Frauke Reitemeier (ed.): "Deepe things out of darkenesse": English and American Representations of Conflicts

Armed conflicts seem to be inextricably linked to human nature. They reduce men to mere animals and bring about utter despair; men “grope in the dark without light” (Job 12:25). Yet humans are by nature extremely vulnerable, with neither a crocodile’s plate armour nor an elephant’s tusks, weight and size: War should be essentially foreign to their nature. In spite of their claim to rationality, though, which supposedly distinguishes them from animals, humans continue trying to solve their problems by taking up arms against each other.
Representations of conflicts have found their way into various art forms. The Bible, the written cornerstone of the Christian faith – with forgiveness and peacefulness as central tenets – , contains many tales of military engagements, of murder and conquest. Conflicts do not always imply the use of armed force, though. There are also less deadly, though not necessarily less fierce ‘wars’: wars of ideology, for example, or the ‘price wars’ of retailers. The papers in this volume explore a variety of different conflicts and their representations – among them the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan in American films – but also depictions of other kinds of hostilities closer to home, such as the ‘Shakespeare wars’.


  • Frauke Reitemeier, "Introduction: Culture is Ordinary"
  • Tonia Krüger, "Who Was Shakespeare?"
  • Madita Oeming, "Vietnam Goes Intermedia"
  • Dennis Edelmann, "The 'War on Terror' in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema"
  • Lennart Brieger, "Identity and Identification in Tim Minchin's Storm"