BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Themed Issues

  1. Slaughterhouse-Five: A Crisis of Representation?

    Literature can be something we use for pleasure and escapism. We find narratives comforting because they convey meaning onto events which may otherwise seem illogical and upsetting; stories may use certain common tropes to settle the reader with something familiar and often offer some form of satisfying closure when they come to an end. What we sometimes forget is that literature can also be the site of cultural, societal, and political criticism in ways which may be jarring and unsettling. Literature which seeks to really make us think often consciously breaks away from typical narrative forms in order to challenge…

  2. War Monuments, Memorialisation and Forgetting

    ‘The postmodern age is obsessed with memory’ (Sherman, 1999: 1) Memorial monuments and war monuments in particular have become increasingly ubiquitous over the last two centuries. An emphasis has been placed on making sure that every event is remembered, and remembered in the correct way. In this time, the study of memorialisation and monuments has also flourished and on the eve of the 100 year anniversary of the First World War this discussion is still alive and well. With Michael Gove continuing to squabble with ministers and academics over the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways in which the war is remembered…

  3. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word…

    Wars do not just end once the armistice is signed and the combatants have agreed to a ceasefire. During WWI, German occupying forces devastated the Belgian economy by requisitioning resources, deporting labourers and moving entire factories to Germany to support the war effort. The Allied bombing of Dresden in World War II left the city in ruins and 25,000 civilians dead. The Kosovo War in the late 1990s left over 200,000 internally displaced in its wake. With the development of total war, the effects of war, and the consequences of decimated populations or devastated infrastructure, persist long after the cessation…

  4. The Damage After the Shells Stop Falling: An Anecdotal View

    War is an awful thing. An absolutely, hideously, unfathomably awful thing. The shocking devaluation of life has brought with it some of the worst horrors mankind has ever witnessed. In this piece, I’ll be writing about one war in particular, the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, and how I’ve indirectly seen it’s repercussions on those around me as I’ve grown up. The People’s Republic of Bangladesh was born out of a bloody, gruesome war. For 8 months, the Pakistani Army dealt out a wave of hideous atrocities upon one of their own territories, the then “East Pakistan”. Around 1-3 million civilians…

  5. Why Romney lost the election

    Despite the economic downturn, high unemployment and low presidential approval ratings, Mitt Romney and his Republicans were unable to secure an election victory or regain control of the Senate. Whilst exit polls indicate that voters viewed that Obama as “more for the middle class”, with Romney tilting to the interests of the rich, many Republicans and conservative commentators are lost for explanations as to why they lost the election. This perhaps presents the perfect opportunity to shed light on what critics from all ends of political spectrum view as an “out of touch” Republican party, which, since the days of…

  6. LIVE ELECTION COMMENTARY

    Hear what Taha Abrar has to say on the election as it happens. Link to a Live Commentary on the Presidential Election, straight from the sofas of Butler Bar: >>>Election Live<<< Election Commentary 4pm-5am Tuesday November 6, 2012 4:03 BSJ: Hello and welcome to the Josephine Butler Scholarly Journal’s US Presidential Election Blog! Ever since Rick Santorum’s withdrawal all but secured Governor Mitt Romney’s ascension to the Republican Party nomination, the fight to be the President of the United States has captivated the US and much of the watching world. From 47%-gate to the Laughing Joe Biden Meme, it’s not an accident…

  7. Why all the excitement?

    In the 1960 US presidential election the main theme of John F. Kennedy’s campaign was ‘a time for greatness’. Arguably during that period the US was at its most powerful; it had yet to set foot in the jungles of Vietnam for a start. But the election this year, along with being highly negative, has also been about trying to persuade voters that America can get back to that level of power and prestige it enjoyed across the world. Obama has wanted to move ‘Forward’ while Romney has asked us to ‘Believe in America,’ but can we do that anymore?…

  8. An Election Overview

    I have been asked to write a few lines about the American election. Instead of trying to cover everything I have decided to write a little bit about a few issues and put some links down so you can read more if you want to. I decided to put a few of my opinions down in the end to start a discussion. Feel free to discuss and comment. I hope to see all of you in the bar tonight. If you do not want to read what everyone else is saying about Obama and Romney, but want to read what they…

  9. ‘Ohio holds the key’

    The newspapers are filled with headlines such as ‘Romney ahead 50% to 47%’ or ‘Obama levels at 48-48’. Despite these national polls dominating our news, they are largely irrelevant. We should instead look at around eight swing states, with none more important than Ohio. Having only backed a losing candidate twice since 1900, whoever wins the Buckeye state is likely to win the election. The combination of the Electoral College system and America’s polarised politics means that around 400 of the 538 state votes are largely decided. With Obama leading amongst those, it is highly probable that he needs just 33 more…

  10. ‘In Obama We Trust’?

    A wise woman once remarked of Barack Obama, ‘how’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya?’ While this quotation derives, unfortunately, from Sarah Palin, it does quite pertinently satirise Obama’s struggle to build upon his expansive campaign rhetoric of 2008; ‘Yes We Can’ has become the rather less catchy ‘Yes We Could Have Done If The Republicans Offered Us Some Measure of Bipartisan Support’. By consequence, the Obama campaign of 2012 has failed to capture hearts and minds in quite the same way. Luckily for Barack, the Mitt Romney gaffe-machine was firing on all cylinders, producing gems such as this: There are…