Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
plan2 masthead
Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Thomas G Palaima

Professor Ph.D. 1980, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Thomas G Palaima

Contact

Biography

Tom Palaima, a MacArthur fellow for his work in Aegean prehistory and early Greek language and culture, is director of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP: see web page). He has held Fulbright fellowships/profesorships in Greece (79-80), Austria (92-93), and Spain (2007) and has been a fellow of the University of Wisconsin Humanities Institute (1983) and the University of Texas Humanities Institute (2002, 2010). In 2007, he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London.  For his public commentaries and service within the University, he was chosen one of three honorable mentions for Longhorn of the Year, Daily Texan, December 2010.

He has lectured, written and taught extensively on the subjects of ancient writing systems, the reconstruction of ancient culture, decipherment theory, Greek language, war and violence studies, ancient religion, ethnicity, feasting ritual and kingship ideology and practice, song as an important means of communicating social criticism, and Dylanology.

He is a regular commentary writer for the Austin American-Statesman and a regular reviewer and occasional feature writer for the Times Higher Education. He has also written for The Texas Observer and Michigan War Studies Review. He has appeared on NPR, national and Boston, and on Wisconsin Public Radio.

He received the UT Alumni/ae Association's Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching for academic year 2003-2004 and the Plan II Chad Oliver Teaching Award in 2004-2005. He has taught in the Free Minds Program for poverty-level adults, the Telluride Program summer seminars, the Odyssey program (one of UT's outreach programs), and many times at UT's annual open house (Explore UT) and in the summer Honors Colloquium.

He has taught UT's Summer Intensive Greek program many years 1997-present:

http://www.utexas.edu/research/pasp/greek/index.html.

With Sara Kimball, he has taught for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and for Undergraduate Studies, courses on how to reconstruct Anatolian Hittite and Aegean Mycenaean cultures through textual, archaeological, art historical and traditional literary sources. He also has strong interest in ancient religion and how it is reconstructed and interpreted. His course "Homer's Banquet" (UGS 303) uses ancient and modern creative works of all kinds to raise questions about ethics, leadership and human behavior.

In public service, he has given seminars on the experience of warfare, ancient and modern at the Smithsonian Institute, the USMA West Point, and as a Phi Beta Kappa National Traveling Lecturer. He has given seminars on the decipherment of Linear B at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, MD and at the Smithsonian Institute. He has taught in outreach programs about youth and violence. And he has done readings and lectured in the Aquila Theater/NEH program Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives in New York city, Austin and Los Angeles.

Tom serves on the editorial advisory board, Texas Studies in Language and Literature (2010- ) and on the Consejo Científico, Minos, Revista de Filología Egea y del Epos Arcaico, (2012-).

From 2008-2011, he was UT representative on the national Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. His COIA reports for 2009, 2010 and 2011 can be found by searching the UT Faculty Council Web site.

His article in the March 22, 2010 The Texas Observer surveys the entire history of the harmful effects on higher education of big-time sports and its supporters. http://www.texasobserver.org/the-golden-football/

His more recent publications include:

—with Larry Trittle, “The Legacy of War in the Classical World,” in Brian Campbell and Larry Tritle eds. The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World (OUP 2013) 726-742

— “Songs of the ‘Hard Traveler’ from Odysseus to the Never-Ending Tourist,” Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 26-27 (2010/2011 [2012]) 189-207

—"Security and Insecurity as Tools of Power in Mycenaean Palatial Kingdoms," Études mycéniennes 2010, édités par Pierre Carlier, Charles De Lamberterie, Markus Egetmeyer, Nicole Guilleux, Françoise Rougemont, Julien Zurbach (Pasiphae; Pisa-Rome, 2012) 345-356

—"Scribes, Scribal Hands and Palaeography," in Y. Duhoux and A. Morpurgo Davies  eds., A Companion to Linear B Texts (Bibliothèque des Cahiers de l’Institut de Linguistique de Louvain 127:2; Peeters: Louvain-la-Neuve, 2011)  33-136


—“The Ongoing War in Our Time and in Aristophanes’,” AAS June 25, 2012

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/opinion/the-ongoing-war-in-our-time-and-in-aristophanes/nRpjL/

—“The First Casualty” Times Higher Education  December 20/27, 2012

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/the-first-casualty/422152.article


—“Time the Revelator” Times Higher Education  May 17, 2012  

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/419920.article

Interests

Aegean scripts & prehistory, Greek language, war & violence studies, public intellectual writing, music as social criticism, Dylanology

T C 357 • Myths Of War And Violence

43775 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CRD 007A
show description

Instructors: Thomas Palaima, Professor, Department of Classics, College of Liberal Arts & Stephen Sonnenberg, MD, Adjunct Professor, Plan II & Humanities Institute, College of Liberal Arts

 

Description:

How would you talk about, explain, remember or forget violence or killing that you had witnessed, experienced, or done? How did ancient Greek culture and late-19th and 20th-into-21st century British and American cultures deal with the concepts and realities of violence and warfare?  How do we now approach the realities of war in an age of email, YouTube and other forms of rapid communication? 

How is violence used, controlled, encouraged, punished, experienced, remembered and explained by different societies and by individuals within those societies?  What effects, short-term and long-term, does the experience of violence have on people and how do they use what we call 'myths' (a shorthand for different forms of 'story-telling') to deal with those effects?  How does language fail us when we try to make sense of violence.

We shall consider these questions while reading, viewing and discussing a range of mythic forms: for the 19th-20th and now 21st century: poetry and prose: fiction (historical and parable-form novels) and non-fiction (including biography, memoir, oral history, journalistic essays, and critical/analytical studies), music and film (including documentary); psychoanalytic and psychological studies and essays. 

 We shall look at (1) modern accounts of war and atrocity and serious discussions of what these accounts mean; (2) the earliest literate western culture and how it dealt with these same phenomena: ancient Greek culture and Homer, Thucydides and Euripides.

We shall then consider how myths are constructed in reaction to war and violence and how they deal with important social concepts: the human capacity for good and evil, truth, law, justice and injustice, idealism and pragmatism.

In this version of the course, students will benefit from two scholarly perspectives.  We are: Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg, a clinical psychoanalyst and humanities scholar who looks at how the experience of violence and war is mythologized and what effects such stories have; and Professor Tom Palaima, an ancient historian and specialist in how and why stories in many different forms about war and violence are created and used by individuals. Together Sonnenberg and Palaima have well over fifty years of deep concern for the human consequences of violent acts. We have collaborated on a wide variety of projects in the last few years and are very much looking forward to exploring the important issues in this course collectively.

We hope that all participants will explore these myths actively, understand how they are related to basic human psychological and social needs, and develop better their abilities to think critically about the nature of violence (state-sanctioned in war and otherwise enacted), how violence affects individuals directly and indirectly, and what it does to the communities, small and large, in which human beings, like ourselves, live.

 

Readings:

Homer, The Iliad (Lombardo translation)

Euripides, The Trojan Women

T. O’Brien, The Things They Carried

E. Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls. 

[MAIN READINGS SUBJECT TO CHANGE]

A course booklet or on-line selections from some of the following: Book of Genesis, the sacrifice of Isaac; S. Freud, “Thoughts for the Times on War and Death” (1915) and “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917); J. Shay, Achilles in Vietnam; Thucydides, On Justice Power and Human Nature; A. Lincoln “Gettysburg Address”; Robert F. Kennedy, speech on the death of Martin Luther King; S. Crane The Red Badge of Courage; S. Sassoon and W. Owen, selected poems; P. Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory; The Boys' Crusade; K. Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five; Martin Wangh, “A Psychogenic Factor in the Recurrence of War” (1968) and “National Socialism and the Genocide of the Jews” (1964); Bessel van der Kolk, “Posttraumatic Therapy in the Age of Neuroscience” (2002); S. Hersh, My Lai 4, A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath; M. Herr, Dispatches; B. Edelman, ed., Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam; Wallace Terry, Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans; Michael Lesy, Wisconsin Death Trip and The Forbidden Zone; S. Terkel, The Good War; Ricardo Ainslie, Long Dark Road; L. Dahmer, A Father’s Story; James Dawes, Evil Men (forthcoming); S. Peebles, Welcome to the Suck; selected journalism and photojournalism; additional selected war poetry and essays by Whitman, Amichai, Hinojosa Smith, Patterson, Jarrell, Hemingway; etc.

S. Hersh’s original My Lai stories: http://pierretristam.com/Bobst/library/wf-200.htm  [SELECTED READINGS SUBJECT TO CHANGE]

Film viewing from among: Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam; Little Dieter Needs to Fly; Tattooed Under Fire; Restrepo; Regeneration, Jarhead, Apocalypse Now. [FILMS SUBJECT TO CHANGE]

Music: Selections of War Music: 1. Steve Earle "Rich Man's War" (Iraq, Afghanistan); 2. Richie Havens, "Handsome Johnny" (historical sweep from Revolutionary War to civil rights movement); 3. Richie Havens, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Civil War); 4. Bob Dylan, "John Brown" (unspecified); 5. Blind Willie Johnson, "When the War Was On" (WW I); 6. Woody Guthrie, "Sinking of the Reuben James" (WW II); 7. Perry Como, "Dig You Later (A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba) (WW II); 8. Townes van Zandt, "Ballad of Ira Hayes" (WW II); 9. Sunnyland Slim, "Back to Korea Bluees" (Korean War); 10. Bob Dylan & Mark Knopfler, "Clean Cut Kid" studio session (Vietnam War);

T C 357 • Myths Of War And Violence

42970 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm CRD 007A
show description

How would you talk about, explain, remember or forget violence or killing that you had witnessed, experienced, or done? How did ancient Greek culture and late-19th and 20th-into-21st century British and American cultures deal with the concepts and realities of violence and warfare?  How do we now approach the realities of war in an age of email, YouTube and other forms of rapid communication? 

 

How is violence used, controlled, encouraged, punished, experienced, remembered and explained by different societies and by individuals within those societies?  What effects, short-term and long-term, does the experience of violence have on people and how do they use what we call 'myths' (a shorthand for different forms of 'story-telling') to deal with those effects?  How does language fail us when we try to make sense of violence.

 We shall consider these questions while reading, viewing and discussing a range of mythic forms: for the 19th-20th and now 21st century: poetry and prose: fiction (historical and parable-form novels) and non-fiction (including biography, memoir, oral history, journalistic essays, and critical/analytical studies), music and film (including documentary); psychoanalytic and psychological studies and essays. 

 We shall look at (1) modern accounts of war and atrocity and serious discussions of what these accounts mean; (2) the earliest literate western culture and how it dealt with these same phenomena: ancient Greek culture and Homer, Thucydides and Euripides.

 We shall then consider how myths are constructed in reaction to war and violence and how they deal with important social concepts: the human capacity for good and evil, truth, law, justice and injustice, idealism and pragmatism.

 In this version of the course, students will benefit from two scholarly perspectives.  We are: Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg, a clinical psychoanalyst and humanities scholar who looks at how the experience of violence and war is mythologized and what effects such stories have; and Professor Tom Palaima, an ancient historian and specialist in how and why stories in many different forms about war and violence are created and used by individuals. Together Sonnenberg and Palaima have well over fifty years of deep concern for the human consequences of violent acts. We have collaborated on a wide variety of projects in the last few years and are very much looking forward to exploring the important issues in this course collectively.

 We hope that all participants will explore these myths actively, understand how they are related to basic human psychological and social needs, and develop better their abilities to think critically about the nature of violence (state-sanctioned in war and otherwise enacted), how violence affects individuals directly and indirectly, and what it does to the communities, small and large, in which human beings, like ourselves, live.

Readings: Homer, The Iliad (Lombardo translation); Euripides, The Trojan  Women; T. O’Brien, The Things They Carried; E. Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls.  [MAIN READINGS SUBJECT TO CHANGE]

 A course booklet or on-line selections from some of the following: Book of Genesis, the sacrifice of Isaac; S. Freud, “Thoughts for the Times on War and Death” (1915) and “Mourning and Melancholia” (1917); J. Shay, Achilles in Vietnam; Thucydides, On Justice Power and Human Nature; A. Lincoln “Gettysburg Address”; Robert F. Kennedy, speech on the death of Martin Luther King; S. Crane The Red Badge of Courage; S. Sassoon and W. Owen, selected poems; P. Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory; The Boys' Crusade; K. Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five; Martin Wangh, “A Psychogenic Factor in the Recurrence of War” (1968) and “National Socialism and the Genocide of the Jews” (1964); Bessel van der Kolk, “Posttraumatic Therapy in the Age of Neuroscience” (2002); S. Hersh, My Lai 4, A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath; M. Herr, Dispatches; B. Edelman, ed., Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam; Wallace Terry, Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans; Michael Lesy, Wisconsin Death Trip and The Forbidden Zone; S. Terkel, The Good War; Ricardo Ainslie, Long Dark Road; L. Dahmer, A Father’s Story; James Dawes, Evil Men (forthcoming); S. Peebles, Welcome to the Suck; selected journalism and photojournalism; additional selected war poetry and essays by Whitman, Amichai, Hinojosa Smith, Patterson, Jarrell, Hemingway; etc.

S. Hersh’s original My Lai stories: http://pierretristam.com/Bobst/library/wf-200.htm  [SELECTED READINGS SUBJECT TO CHANGE]

 Film viewing from among: Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam; Little Dieter Needs to Fly; Tattooed Under Fire; Restrepo; Regeneration, Jarhead, Apocalypse Now. [FILMS SUBJECT TO CHANGE]

 Music: Selections of War Music: 1. Steve Earle "Rich Man's War" (Iraq, Afghanistan); 2. Richie Havens, "Handsome Johnny" (historical sweep from Revolutionary War to civil rights movement); 3. Richie Havens, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Civil War); 4. Bob Dylan, "John Brown" (unspecified); 5. Blind Willie Johnson, "When the War Was On" (WW I); 6. Woody Guthrie, "Sinking of the Reuben James" (WW II); 7. Perry Como, "Dig You Later (A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba) (WW II); 8. Townes van Zandt, "Ballad of Ira Hayes" (WW II); 9. Sunnyland Slim, "Back to Korea Bluees" (Korean War); 10. Bob Dylan & Mark Knopfler, "Clean Cut Kid" studio session (Vietnam War); 11. Bob Dylan, "Masters of War" Gerdes Feb. 1963 (Cold War period, unspecified); 12. Bob Dylan, "Masters of War" Berlin 2002 (unspecified); 13. J.B. Lenoir, "Veitnam (sic) Blues) (Vietnam War); 14. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son" (Vietnam War period); 15. Todd Snider, "Fortunate Son"; 16. Johnny Cash, "Drive On" (Vietnam War veterans); 17. Willie Nelson, "Jimmy's Road" (Vietnam War); 18. Bruce Springsteen, "Devils and Dust" (Iraq and Afghanistan); 19. Emily Kaitz, "It's Not Enough to Give Our Love" (general); 20. Bruce Springsteen, "Born in the USA" (Vietnam veterans).

 

Requirements:   One six-page paper  (20%) 

One twelve page paper (30%)                      

three 2-page film responses (20%)

one or two sets of notes of class meetings  (10%)       

discussion leading with a polished handout and a written retrospective (20%)

 

Students will volunteer to lead discussion during class meetings. One student will write up a summary of discussion for circulation later in the class. We expect ready volunteers.

 

Films are viewed outside of normal class meetings.  Students are required to read texts carefully, view films critically, and hear and feel what music conveys. All these forms of myth raise questions about the human response to the act of killing another human being and the mythic recovery, presentation and preservation of particular or universal memories of violence.  Students are encouraged in both papers, but especially the second, to bring their outside interests, readings, and film viewings to bear upon the topics and material in this course. We shall also learn about forms of social violence and power.  But we aim to learn most about the human heart and mind. Attempts are made to bring distinguished visitors in for discussion.

 

Visitors: We are planning on having in 3-4 distinguishes visitors who work firsthand  with the topics covered in this course.

 

About the teachers:

 Professor Palaima, a Macarthur fellow,  has lectured, written and taught extensively on the subjects of ancient writing systems, the reconstruction of ancient culture, decipherment theory, Greek language, war and violence studies, music as social commentary and Bob Dylan. He is a regular contributor of editorials to the Austin American-Statesman and a regular reviewer and occasional feature writer for the Times Higher Education Supplement and the Texas Observer. He teaches this course so that all involved, including himself, can see human life more clearly.

 Dr. Sonneberg was educated at Princeton University, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The University of Wisconsin, the National Institute of Mental Health, and The Baltimore-DC Institute for Psychoanalysis. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, Adjunct Professor at the School of Architecture and Fellow-in-Residence at the Humanities Institute, The University of Texas at Austin.  His research focuses on the points of intersection between psychoanalysis and other areas of scholarly inquiry. Subjects of study include war, violence, decision-making, architecture and design, psychic trauma and post traumatic psychological disorders, addiction and the treatment of addiction, and education and effective teaching methods. 

Publications

The Golden Football: The University of Texas' Bad Example, The Texas Observer March 5, 2010, pp. 15-17.

[This article shows how budgetary practices within the NCAA sports program at the University of Texas at Austin, the self-declared Jonese of big-time college sports, have set trends that have had harmful effects upon NCAA programs nationwide. It provides some historical perspective and examples of uncontrolled expenditures that are at odds with the critical educational and cultural missions of a state flagship research university.]

 

download

"UT's Byzantine Budget: On $5 Million Coaches and Laid-Off Lecturers," The Texas Observer January 6, 2010.

http://www.texasobserver.org/archives/item/15900-uts-byzantine-budget-on-5-million-coaches-and-laid-off-lecturers

[This article provides a full analysis of the University of Texas at Austin budget and its funding sources. State appropriations have increased well under the rate of inflation over the last twenty years. Tuition increases have been capped. Now the Available University (endowment) Fund payouts are down.  The amount coming to the University from state appropriations and the permanent endowment fund is well below what faculty and programs bring in in research grants and service fees. This explodes the myth of 'lazy liberal faculty living off the public dole'.

At this juncture, with major layoffs of lecturers and graduate assistants, firing of staff, and cutting back on advising and other student services, the University regents and president approved a $2 million increase for head football coach Mack Brown. 

We dismantle the ludicrous arguments advanced by President Powers and Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds that Mack Brown deserves this level of compensation. Consider:

A prime argument in support of Brown's pay raise cited by Powers and Dodds is the upswing in football revenues from $21.3 million in 1997 when Brown was hired to now $87.5 million, a 410 percent increase. Even if Brown were responsible for this, a 410-percent increase in his 1997 salary would bring it to $3,081,000, right where it was before December's $2 million increase.

Also in 2008, Wayne H. Pace, CFO of Time Warner, Inc., earned $5 million. His company was ranked 49th in the Fortune 500. It had revenues of $26.6 billion dollars and $133.8 billion in assets. At the same salary, Mack Brown is the head football coach and public face of Longhorns Inc. In 2008, his company had $138 million in total revenues.

Worse still the University allows the sports programs to use 90% of trademark and royalty revenues that could and should be supporting academics. 

Bottom line, Longhorns Inc. as the sports program is called, exists for the entertainment of skybox renters, club seat purchasers and the general television and sports-addicted public. Graduation rates and dismissal rates show that, as Prof. of Law Lino Graglia stated long ago, the program is run as a 'fraudulent enterprise'.]

For a video of a debate between Palaima and Graglia, about the viability and value of big-time college football, see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_766YDSMWvE.

download

"Our Wounds, Our Duty" (co-authored with Steve Sonnenberg), Austin American Statesman Insight Section, December 6, 2009    http://www.utexas.edu/research/pasp/publications/editorials/06dec09.html

[In this article Dr. Sonneberg and I argue that there is a serious need within our culture to communalize the experience and effects of violence in truly sympathetic ways that acknowledge the pain and trauma experienced by those who fight our wars and those who share in and absorb their pain. We stress that the effects of war radiate out from each individual exposed in primary or secondary ways to the violence and dangers and horrors of war. We cite ancient Athenian practice as a good example of making clear to soldiers and others who have been in the sphere of combat that all members of society are making serious efforts to learn and understand what they have done and will come to terms with the effects of their experience collectively, responsibly and sympathetically.]

download

The Great Debate: Thomas Palaima and Lino Graglia square off over football Octobr 28, 2009

UT KNOW TRANSCRIPT

http://www.utexas.edu/know/2010/01/06/debate-college-football/

download

“1984: It’s Coming,” Times Higher Education September 3, 2009. [In this article, I discuss the ways in which American society resembles Orwell's vision of society in 1984, only twenty-five years later.]

download

“Continuity from the Mycenaean Period in an historical Boeotian Cult of Poseidon (and Erinys)” in D. Danielidou ed.,  Doron: Timetikos Tomos gia ton Kathegete Spyro Iakobide (Academy of Athens Center for Research in Antiquity Monograph 6: Athens 2009) 527-536 [This paper examines odd features of local Boeotian cults to Poseidon as documented in early Greek poetry and traces them to elements of Mycenaean ritual.]

download

"The Tools of Power" Times Higher Education (2 April 2009) 32-39. [This article discusses Barack Obama's rhetorical skills and the rhetorical presentation of the Obama inauguration ceremony from an ancient and moden historical perspective. It makes clear that Obama has been influenced not only by Cato and Martin Luther King, but also by Big Bill Broonzy, folk and blues and Sunday church preaching.]

download

“The Significance of Mycenaean Words Relating to Meals, Meal Rituals, and Food,” in Louise A. Hitchcock, Robert Laffineur and Janice Crowley eds., DAIS. The Aegean Feast. Proceedings of the 12th International Aegean Conference University of Melbourne, Centre for Classics and Archaeology, 25-29 March 2008. Aegaeum 29, Liège and Austin: 2008, pp. 383-389.

[Here I examine the vocabulary for meals in the Mycenaean texts and in early (especially Homeric) and later Greek. It is clear that the control of food production (esepcially high-end meat protien) and banqueting (and associated rituals) was one way the central palace's elites created a sense of palatial beneficence and benevolence. Interesting is that the palace officials who saw to the activities of the 16 different counties or second-order territories within the two provinces of late Bronze Age Messenia were called 'agents of satiety' and 'assistant agents of satiety'.  These palatial coinings disappeared from the later Greek lexicon, but combined with another such term (da-mo-ko-ro or 'he who sates the people')  form a conscious self-presentation that, in realtive historical terms, was not far from the truth. The Mycenaean palatial period brought stability, protection, a rise in imports, and a higher standrad of living for many.]

download

“ Mycenaean Religion,” in C.W. Shelmerdine, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age (CUP 2008) 342- 355, 358-361. [Here I provide a concise handbook overview of the challenges of reconstructing protohistoric religion from the evidence  of material culture, iconography, architecture, clay economic records, regional survey, later traditions, and comparative anthropology.]

download

"Civilian Knowledge of War and Violence in Ancient Athens and Modern America." In M. Cosmopoulos (Ed.), Experiencing War: Trauma and Society from Ancient Greece to the Iraq War (pp.9-34). Chicago:2007.

[In this paper I analyze how governments and the military have from World War I to the present made successful efforts to keep knowledge of what is really happening in places where wars are being fought and all related effects away from their civilian populations.  I then describe, historically, the costs this has had for societies as a whole and individuals in them.  I use as a test case from the congressionally authorized presidential use of preemptive force in Iraq, media coverage of the death of Shane Childers, which was inaccurately reported by imbedded reported Gordon Dillow and then led to the heroization or haigiographizing of 2nd Lt. Childers (especially through coverage of his funeral by Rinker Buck. I contrast our situation with that of the ancient Athenians who expressly held public funerary services to communalize grief, had what we would call a full draft, and who created a mechyanism for adult citizen soldiers to re-witness and come to terms with the terrible things they did and experienced while fighting for Athens. Other topics covered: Homer's Iliad, embedded reporting,WW I poets (Sassoon, Owen, Graves) post traumatic stress, and Cpl. Jesse Odom who held Childers as he died and has now written a firsthand account: Through Our Eyes.  This article is dedicate to Col. Ted Westhusing, a former student and colse friend, who died as a conmtractor base camp outside Baghdad on June 5, 2005, after bringing to light serious problkems with contractors and with the security of Iraqi security forces. See T. Christian Miller's book Blood Money.]

 

 

download

Palaima, T. (2007) "Ilios, Tros and Tlos: Continuing Problems with to-ro, to-ro-o, to-ro-wo, to-ro-ja, wi-ro and a-si-wi-ja/a-si-wi-jo. In F. Lang, C. Reiholdt & J. Weilhartner (Eds.), STEFANOS ARISTEIOS Festschrift fur Stefan Hille zum 65. Geburtstager (pp.197-204). Phoibos Verlag Vienna.  [here I survey the words in the Linear B corpus that have been linked to Troy, Ilion and Assuwa (Asia) and show how problematical they are.]

download

"The Missing Entries from 'A Gaza Diary'," Jerusalem Post  09/25/03

[In this article, I demonstrate how Chris Hedges, then an award-winning war reporter for the New York Times, by his own admission fails to use the high standards of fact-checking, confirming or refuting of hearsay, and corroborating the always problematical memories of what people themselves think they witnessed under the stress of violence. Mr. Hedges' account is widely used as the 'poster child' for the asserted fact that Israeli Defense Force troops in the Gaza strip intentionally lure children into positions where they can shoot and kill them. 

This article was written from a non-partisan perspective and was shopped to Harper's and elsewhere. Mr. Hedges has given three accounts of this incident. These contradict one another on crucial assertions and in one case he even removes a claim about seeing silencers on M-16's  and seeing the children shot.

This account irresponsibly foments hatred in my opinion. This is not good considering Hedges' overall admirable body of work and his important anti-war efforts.]

download

Palaima, T.  Mycenaean Society and Kingship: Cui Bono? A Counter-Speculative View.   Aegaeum.

download

bottom border