Nuclear Texts & Contexts

In 1988 a small number of scholars who met at the Modern Language Association national meeting organized a group called the International Society for the Study of Nuclear Texts & Contexts (ISSNTC). Besides small annual meetings of members thereafter and the maintenance of a mailing list for interested scholars, its main activity was the publication of a newsletter called Nuclear Texts & Contexts. Between 1988 and 1995, 12 issues of the newsletter appeared. At its height this newsletter had a circulation of over a hundred scholars in ten different countries who were interested in nuclear themes as reflected in fiction and the arts, and in the relationship of English and literary studies to nuclear issues generally. Provided here in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf) are copies of the first 8 issues, which were published at Washington State University.

Besides providing a snapshot of scholarly activity during the period at the end of the Cold War, some of the articles may still be of interest to researchers. Much of this material was later published elsewhere (notably much of the bibliographic material on fiction which appeared in each issue being incorporated into Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction). Every issue also included a running bibliography of new scholarship in the field. Some of the articles which appeared here have never been reprinted elsewhere. Many of the articles cited are brief notes, but they may be useful for some researchers.

To read these files you will need Acrobat Reader or Adobe Reader, which comes preinstalled on most computers.

Download issue no. 1, Fall 1988
Introduction to the newsletter, announcement of relevant sessions at scholarly meetings, report on an Irish nuclear discourse conference, article on Russian scholar Vladimir Gakov, review of Spencer Weart: Nuclear Fear, a History of Images, “Nuclear War Games,” “Short Story Anthologies,” “Readers and Textbooks,” “Nuclear War and Comic Books,” “Nuclear War Plays,” & “Nuclear War in Film.”

Download issue no. 2, Spring 1989
Announcement of the formation of ISSNTC, Report on the session of MLA devoted to “Nuclear Texts & Contexts” and a panel called “Nuclear Bombs in the Classroom?” at the Midwest Modern Language Association meeting, announcements of forthcoming meetings, news of Gakov’s forthcoming lecture tour, relevant books on tape, drama, Atomic Attack on videotape, Reviews of Valerie Andrews, Robert Bosnak & Karen Walter Goodwin, eds.: Facing Apocalypse, of Mick Broderick: Nuclear Movies: A Filmography, of H. Bruce Franklin: War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination, Teaching English in a Nuclear Age, J. Fisher Solomon: Discourse and Reference in the Nuclear Age, Corrections to issue 1, Letters from Gregory Benford, Michael Nagler, Bylaws of ISSNTC.

Download issue no. 3, Fall 1989
Announcement of ISSNTC monograph series, proposal for new scholarly anthology, meeting announcements, Reviews of Ira Chernus & Edward Tabor Linenthal: A Shuddering Dawn: Religious Studies and the Nuclear Age, of John Wittier Treat: Pools of Water, Pillars of Fire: The Literature of Ibuse Masuji, of Edward Linenthal: Symbolic Defense: The Cultural Significance of the Strategic Defence Initiative, bibliography of selected writings on “Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Bomb,” report on Gakov lecture tour, Ion Hobana: “Nuclear War Fiction in Eastern Europe,” films, trivia.

Download issue no. 4, Spring 1990
Reviews of Martha Bartter: The Way to Ground Zero: The Atomic Bomb in American Science Fiction, of Joseph Dewey: In a Dark Time: The Apocalyptic Temper in the American Novel of the Nuclear Age, Jeff Smith: Unthinking the Unthinkable: Nuclear Weapons and Western Culture, correction to Ion Hobana’s article in Issue no. 3.

Download issue no. 5, Fall 1990
Report on the “Facing Apocalypse II” Russian-American conference, reviews of a special issue of Papers on Language and Literature devoted to nuclear war fiction criticism by ISSNTC members (a few copies of this special issue are still available by writing to Paul Brians), of Vladimir Gakov’s Ultimatum, of Richard H. Minear, ed.: Hiroshima: Three Witnesses, of Robert Jay Lifton & Erik Markusen: The Genocidal Mentality: Nazi Holocaust and Nuclear Threat, recent films, comics, and a computer game, announcement of the resignation of Jean Kittrell, founding President of ISSNTC.

Download issue no. 6, Spring 1991
Daniel Zins: “No Time to Stop Worrying, Even If We Don’t Love the Bomb,” reviews of Ira Chernus: Nuclear Madness: Religion and the Psychology of the Nuclear Age, of Millicent Lenz: Nuclear Age Literature for Youth: The Quest for a Life-Affirming Ethic, of James Der Derian & Michael J. Shapiro, eds.: International/Intertextual Relations: Postmodern Readings of World Politics, of Martin Medhurst, Robert L. Ivie, Philip Wander & Robert L. Scott: Cold War Rhetoric: Strategy, Metaphor and Ideology, comics, films, meetings, surivalist postholocaust adventure stories.

Download issue no. 7, Fall 1991
Article by the editor on the future of the newsletter, reviews of Nancy Anisfield, ed.: The Nightmare Considered: Critical Essays on Nuclear War Literature, call for contributions to a book on Indians and the bomb, and another on nuclear bomb films, Daniel Zins: “Seventeen Minutes Till Midnight,” letter from Ian F. Clarke, correction to no. 6.

Download issue no. 8, Fall 1992
Farewell from departing editor Paul Brians and announcement of new editor Daniel Zins, “A Poet from Chernobyl,” “Nuclear Music,” reviews of Mick Broderick: Nuclear Movies: A Critical Analysis and Filmography of International Feature Length Films Dealing with Experimentation, Aliens, Terrorism, Holocaust and Other Disaster Scenarios, 1914-1898, of William Chaloupka: Knowing Nukes: The Politics and Culture of the Atom, letter from Melissa Walker, letter from Millicent Lenz.

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