University of Exeter Professor of Sociology and Philosophy Anthony King has been awarded the 2012 British Journal of Philosophy (BJS) prize for his article “The Afghan War and ‘postmodern’ memory: commemoration and the dead of Helmund”.

Exeter professor wins British Journal of Sociology Prize

University of Exeter Professor of Sociology and Philosophy Anthony King has been awarded the 2012 British Journal of Philosophy (BJS) prize for his article “The Afghan War and ‘postmodern’ memory: commemoration and the dead of Helmund”.

The prize is awarded biennially to the article published in the BJS that in the opinion of the judges makes an outstanding contribution to increasing sociological knowledge.

Looking at new practices of commemorating the war dead, Prof. King’s article identifies the visual and discursive practices by which soldiers are individualized and personalized, where once they were viewed as figures representing larger entities such as the nation-state. These individualized commemorations of the personal, private traits and circumstances of soldiers, King argues, might signal an overall decline in state authority and the appeal of universal principles for war.

In supporting statements the judges praised the article as standing out, “for its timeliness, the quality of its writing, and the clarity and power of its argument”, and  as a “well-researched, theoretically sophisticated account challeng[ing] us all to think in new ways about commemoration practices, and indeed the nature of war and violence itself”.

The article is available here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-4446.2009.01299.x/pdf

And you can hear Professor King talking about his motivation for writing the paper via the BJS webpage.

Date: 17 January 2013

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