How do war stories work? And what do they do to us?

Join members of the Visualising War research group as we explore how war and battle get presented in art, text, film and music. With the help of expert guests, we unpick war stories from all sorts of different periods and places. And we ask how they the tales we tell and the pictures we paint of war influence us as individuals and shape the societies we live in.

Our interviewees include war reporters, artists, video-game designers, museum curators and theatre, film and documentary makers. We also talk to peace campaigners, NGOs and clinical psychologists, to find out how storytelling impacts their work with victims of conflict all around the world. And we interview serving soldiers, veterans, defence trainers and strategists, to find out what narratives of war flourish in their respective worlds and what influence they have.

In addition, we have a range of academics amongst our guests: experts in ancient war poetry, medieval religion, the ‘just war’ tradition, trends in memorialisation, militarism in popular culture, the history of grand strategy-making, human rights, international politics, the psychology of collective action, and processes of identify formation – among many other topics!

If you have ever wanted to think more about how war stories work and what they do to us, tune in here! And don’t forget to subscribe to the show so that you don’t miss an episode. Anyone requiring auto captions can access the podcast via YouTube. You can find a schedule of upcoming episodes here.

We are grateful to the University of St Andrews and the Institute of Classical Studies for their generous financial support of this podcast series.

Our podcast editor is Zofia Guertin; she is also the creative talent behind our logos and other art work.

Peace and Conflict in Space Visualising War and Peace

In this week’s episode, two students from our Visualising Peace project – Harris Siderfin and Otilia Meden – talk to experts on space security. Dr Adam Bower is a Senior Lecturer in the School of International Relations and Co-director of the Centre for Global Law and Governance. His research examines the intersection of international politics and law, and particularly the development, implementation, and transformation of international norms regulating the use of armed violence. He is currently undertaking a long-term research project that assesses the development of new international governance mechanisms to regulate military space operations. Dr Bower is a Fellow of the Outer Space Institute, a global network of transdisciplinary space experts, and in that capacity is involved in a number of OSI research and advocacy efforts relating to outer space security.Wg Cdr Sas Duffin joined the RAF in 2005, and began working in the Space and Battlespace Management Force in Jul 2018, developing strategy and training for Space Operations.  She became a Qualified Space Instructor (QSI) in Feb 2020 before heading to Defence Academy Shrivenham where she obtained an MA in Defence Studies, writing a thesis on the ‘Language and Narrative of Space: Why Words Matter’. Joining UK Space Command in Jul 21 as the Senior Space Liaison Officer, she has developed a network of Space Liaison Officers (SpLOs) across Defence to aid in the awareness and integration of space in wider military planning and operations.Sqn Ldr Stu Agnew is a Scottish-qualified solicitor serving in the Royal Air Force Legal Services. Following qualification as a solicitor in 2014, he moved to specialise in corporate and commercial law before joining the Royal Air Force in January 2016. He was selected to be the first Legal Adviser within UK Space Command following its establishment on 1 April 2021. In this role, he provides legal advice on all of the Command's outputs. His remit includes advising on the development of doctrine and wider Defence outputs centred on space. Sponsored by the Royal Air Force, he obtained a Masters' degree in International Aviation Law & Regulation from Staffordshire University in 2020. His dissertation focused on the boundary between airspace and outer space under international law, or more accurately the absence of one.In the episode, Harris, Otilia and their guests discuss why and how security in outer space is important for people living on earth. They reflect on the development and implementation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, and the spirit of international collaboration that underpins it. They also look at increasing activity in space by private corporations as well as nation-states, at the increasing militarisation of space, at the potential for growing conflict in space, and at the consequences of that for ordinary lives. Among other questions, they ask:Who are the primary state and non-state actors in outer space today? What dangers does conflict in space present and why should we, as individuals, care? How does peace in space help maintain peace on earth? And how can peace in space be promoted, improved and maintained?How can we best visualise peace in space when outer space itself is so difficult to conceptualise? We hope you enjoy the episode. For a version of our podcast with close captions, please use this link. For more information about individuals and their projects, please visit the University of St Andrews' Visualising War website.Music composed by Jonathan YoungSound mixing by Zofia Guertin
  1. Peace and Conflict in Space
  2. The Militarisation of Childhood with J. Marshall Beier
  3. Visualising Young People as Peacemakers with Helen Berents
  4. Civilian Resistance in Ukraine, 2014-2022, with Olga Boichak
  5. How can children and young people help us re-visualise war?
  6. Visualising The Next World War with Peter W. Singer and August Cole
  7. Visualising War on Film with David LaRocca
  8. Visualising War through Cosplay with Katarina Birkedal
  9. World of Warcraft with Taliesin and Evitel
  10. Visualisations of War in Online Gaming with Iain Donald

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