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A discussion on the morality of war

​Nipissing welcomes William Hamilton to campus for a special talk tilted, In the Grim Dark Future there is Only War: Problematizing the Morality of War Itself in the Science Fiction Fantasy Table Top War Game, ‘Warhammer 40 000', on Friday, November 18, at 2:30 p.m. in room A252.

The talk is sponsored by the History Seminar Series.

Hamilton, from Concordia University, examines how Warhammer 40 000 presents an anti-militaristic message aimed squarely at post-WWII British fantasy literature, such as works by J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis.


The social and political messages contained in war games and toys have been studied by scholars from across the academic spectrum in historical contexts ranging from Victorian England to the contemporary United States. This body of literature generally concludes that these products promote militarism, normalize colonialism, and present war as a conflict between good and evil. Warhammer 40 000, a British tabletop war game, presents a very strong anti-war message, a rebuttal against calls for militarism and a postcolonial reflection of British Imperialism and Western history. This game problematizes the morality of war itself by placing it within an ambiguous moral context and emphasizing the violence of war in any time period. This approach was taken in deliberate opposition to post-WWII British fantasy literature, such as J. R. R. Tolkien or C. S. Lewis, that romanticized premodern war as a struggle of good versus evil.

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