Nuclear Imaginaries Publication date : September 8, 2021
Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer, a philosopher and Ph.D. in political science, is Director of the Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM) at the French Ministry for the Armed Forces. He teaches at Sciences Po and at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.
Céline Jurgensen, graduate of Sciences Po and the École Nationale d’Administration, is director for strategy and policy at the military applications division of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and teaches at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and at the Panthéon-Assas and Aix-Marseille universities.
James Bond, Godzilla, Dr. Strangelove, or more recently the feature film The Wolf’s Call or the game Fallout; images in black-and-white, in color, literary or documentary descriptions, scientific papers: contemporary imagery is saturated with references to nuclear weapons. How are these images produced? What is their connection to geopolitical and scientific reality?
For an understanding of this phenomenon located at the intersection of fiction and reality there has lacked a cross-sectional approach. It is this gap that has been filled in a completely novel way by the joint work of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and the Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM) at the French Ministry for the Armed Forces.
What would a nuclear conflict look like? How can one survive the “day after”? How have contemporary representations linked to nuclear weapons been constructed? What are the representations of anti-bomb protests?
By contrasting the views of academics, specialists of strategic issues, but also artists and writers, this work makes available the acts of the conference “Imaginaires nucléaires - Nuclear Imaginaries” held in December 2019 at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.