Skip to main content
#Mød forskeren

Christine Strandmose Toft

Boredom, Discontent, Distraction and Disappointment: Mapping the Aesthetic Categories of Late Modern War

In my thesis, I examine the aesthetic categories in the literary representations of late modern war. Aside from the standard repertoire of strong emotions – thrill, fear, and horror – that have traditionally been associated with war, a number of less intense but more pervasive affects such as boredom, disappointment, and distraction have acquired a more prominent and recurrent role. While the emotional impact of “war at a distance” has been described in a range of historical literary works the distance of war has been complicated by the development of modern technological weaponry that produces a “close-up at a distance”. I examine how the merger of proximity and distance through military technology has transformed and expanded the aesthetic categories of war in the literature of the 21st century. Firstly, I map the soldiers’ affective responses within the fictional universes, and secondly, I ask if the emergence of the less strong affects calls for new poetological forms. Since the wars of the 21st century have not only an international but also a much debated national component, my PhD project will pay special attention to the Danish artistic responses to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.