Horrors of War: the Undead on the Battlefield
Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies
Cynthia J. Miller & A. Bowdoin Van Riper (eds.)
Publication, Publisher or Distributor
Rowman & Littlefield
Battlefields have traditionally been considered places where the spirits of the dead linger, and popular culture brings those thoughts to life. Supernatural tales of war told in print, on screen, and in other media depict angels, demons, and legions of the undead fighting against—or alongside—human soldiers. Ghostly war ships and phantom aircraft carry on their never-to-be-completed missions, and the spirits—sometimes corpses—of dead soldiers return to confront the enemies who killed them, comrades who betrayed them, or leaders who sacrificed them. In Horrors of War: The Undead on the Battlefield, Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper have assembled essays that explore the meaning and significance of these tales. Among the questions that the volume seeks to answer are: How do supernatural stories engage with cultural attitudes toward war? In what ways do these stories reflect or challenge the popular memories of particular wars? How do they ask us to think again about battlefield heroism, military ethics, and the politics of sacrifice? Divided into four sections, chapters examine undead war stories in film (Carol for Another Christmas, The Devil’s Backbone), television (The Twilight Zone), literature (The Bloody Red Baron, Devils of D-Day), comics (Weird War Tales,The Haunted Tank), graphic novels (The War of the Trenches), and gaming (Call of Duty: World at War).