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International Journalism: Literature of War Journalism


Admission requirements

Students should have taken a 100-level course in Global Citizenship before enrolling on this course, which gives access to 300-level courses in Global Citizenship and Political Arts.


This reading-intensive course seeks to give students an understanding of how war and the journalistic coverage of wars has changed and developed during the 19th and 20th centuries. Six wars in particular will be studied – the Crimean War of 1853-56; the First World War of 1914-18; the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39; the Vietnam War of 1955-75; the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan of 1979-89; and the War in Bosnia of 1992-95. Whilst there will be lectures dealing with the causes and development of each war, the focus will be on the journalism. There will be one separate lecture on the Holocaust. By reading books and articles by war correspondents students will gain an insight into what it entails to be a war correspondent; into how the nature of war (between nations or a civil war) affects the coverage; into how far journalists can be judged to be reliable sources; into how some shaped myths, suppressed facts and acted as propagandists; and how changes in technology have altered the nature of war journalism.

Course objectives

  • To give a clear insight into how war (also as a political choice) has changed and developed over the past 150 years

  • To give an understanding of what war journalism entails and to what it can achieve – both positive and negative

  • To give an understanding of the different techniques of reporting, interviewing and writing that journalists have used and developed over the past 150 years


Please see the LUC website:

Mode of instruction

Apart from during the first week, when there will be two lectures, classes will be split between lectures (every Friday) and student-led class discussions (every Tuesday). There are readings linked to every lecture and every week students will be expected to write a short (around 600 words), personal reflection both on the war covered during that week and on the readings that went with it. Students will be graded both on the quality of their essays and on their participation in the class discussions. I will be available every week for individual meetings with students and will try to arrange to show two films during evenings.

Assessment method

  1. Interactive engagement with course material: assessed through In-class participation (20% of final grade):Ongoing Weeks 1 – 7
  2. Individual engagement with and understanding of course readings: assessed through six weekly essays (500 words each (10% each, yielding 60% of final grade): Due weeks 2 – 7 Mondays at 12:00
  3. Expression of holistic understanding of the course: assessed through Final research essay
    (1000 words; 20% of final grade): due Week 8 Thursday at 17:00


This course is supported by a BlackBoard site

Reading list

The following books will be used during the course:

Compulsory Literature:
Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell (Spanish Civil War)
Storm of Steel – Ernst Junger (First World War)
Dispatches – Michael Herr (Vietnam)
The Face of War – Martha Gellhorn (Spanish Civil War and the Holocaust)
If This Is A Man – Primo Levi (Holocaust)
My War Gone By, I Miss it So – Anthony Loyd (Bosnian War)

Chosen segments of the following books will be made available electronically. Purchase is therefore not compulsory, but of course recommended:

The Invention of Peace – Michael Howard (general reflection on war from a western perspective)
Zinky Boys – Svetlana Alexievich (Afghanistan)
The First Casualty – Philip Knightley (general historical overview of war journalism)
Special Correspondent of the Times – William Howard Russell (Crimean War)


This course is only open for LUC The Hague students.

Contact information

Aernout van Lynden –

Weekly Overview

Week 1: Introductory lecture + lecture on Crimean War
Week 2: Discussion on Crimean War + lecture on First World War
Week 3: Discussion on First World War + lecture on Spanish Civil War
Week 4: Discussion on Spanish Civil War + lecture on Vietnam
Week 5: Discussion on Vietnam + lecture on Afghanistan
Week 6: Discussion on Afghanistan + lecture on Bosnia
Week 7: Discussion on Bosnia + lecture on Holocaust

Preparation for first session

If possible do the readings on the Crimean War.