Presenter: Adalia Draghici (Confirmation milestone)

American culture at large is saturated with images of war and war making. This sense of militarism is ubiquitous, yet the paradox remains – Americans have become increasingly dislocated from the substantive processes of waging war. A new culture of war has emerged, evidenced through the transformations between military, civilian, and corporate spheres of interest. The question should be asked - what does “total war” mean for the twenty-first century? This thesis will argue that a concept of “remoteness” characterizes the complexion of “total war” in America’s recent history. “Remoteness” informs the relationships between civilians and their military, as well as informing how warfare is waged and conceived in a “post-heroic” era. Furthermore, this thesis will explore the significance, implications, and functions of these symptoms of “remoteness,” as they resonate within the broader historical consciousness of America’s contested cultural imagination – a survey of the cultural experiences of “total war.” Finally, this project seeks to reconfigure our understandings of how a culture of war underpins some of the most fundamental questions that inform identity and citizenship in the United States.