Bases, Bunkers, and Ports
AAG 2015 CFP:
Bases, Bunkers, and Ports: Shifting Geographies of Militarization
In her article, “Making War at Home in the United States,” Catherine Lutz defines the term “militarization” as “the simultaneously material and discursive nature of military dominance” (Lutz 2002). She further argues that militarization describes a tense process through which societies organize the production of violence. Yet rather than straight-forward or uncontested, as the exercise of military power is often depicted, this process is often contradictory, unstable, and actively challenged.
As events in Ferguson, Missouri, during the past year demonstrated, painfully, militarization is also “intrinsic to the political and economic operations of modern nation-states” (Kaplan 2011). Ongoing forms of surveillance and the securitization of ports, urban spaces, and other sites/sights in the U.S. and throughout the world reveal further instances of the militarized foundations of everyday life. Upon closer scrutiny, projections of security against abstract, foreign enemies elsewhere often turn out to be precisely focused on up-close dissent. Furthermore, the militarization of information (biometrics, big data, and such) constitutes another way in which everyday life is increasingly structured by (while also structuring) projects of “security”. These emergent geographies of militarization and their histories call for sustained scholarly investigation.
This paper session seeks to bring together innovative scholarship on contemporary forms of militarization, at the material and discursive registers, and which foreground, analytically, the spatialities of securitization, surveillance, and violence. In particular, we hope to develop, as analytical lenses, several key spatial nodes in the process of militarization and the production of violence; thus: bases, bunkers and ports. Far from fixed categories or easily controlled spaces, we provisionally theorize “bases, bunkers, and ports” as dense sites through which militarization — as a contested process— takes material shape.
In addition to more traditional scholarly methods and analysis, the paper session also seeks artists, activists, journalists, and authors; modes of art, research, and creative critique which, along with the discipline of geography, has worked to expose the everydayness of militaritarization. Along these lines, this session encourages scholarship that examines aesthetics, visuality, and in particular, contestations of militarization. For example, what representations have “bases, bunkers, and ports” elicited and what sorts of temporal ruptures, countermeasures, or social transformations do they propose?
Possible paper topics for this session include:
- The spatialities of new surveillance technologies (e.g. data servers, fusion centers, air/space/coastal port surveillance, etc.)
- Race, biometrics, and “digital epidermalization” (Browne 2010)
- The militarization of U.S. law enforcement, and biopolitics of cities
- Geographies of detention, incarceration, migration, and rights
- Militarized environments, toxic cleanup sites, and the “weaponization of nature” (Hamblin 2013)
- Military humanitarianism, human terrain systems, and the role of academia in military knowledge and optics
- Modes of representing and visualizing militarization in art and literature
- Visual cultures of militarization; scopic regimes and visibility/visuality under militarization
- Spaces of (il-)legality, protests, and gazes of security
- Cartographic or counter-cartographic practices
- Monuments and military memorialization; the spatial politics of memory and forgetting
Note: This paper session takes place in conjunction with a speaker series on militarization through the American Studies Program and the Militarization Studies Cluster at UC Davis in the Spring Quarter of 2014. We are particularly interested in working with scholars hoping to develop their paper as a journal article or book, as part of a collected, broader publication on these themes.
Please email an abstract and short (2-page CV) to Javier Arbona (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Lindsey Dillon (email@example.com) by Friday, October 10th (the deadline for AAG abstracts is November 10th). Thank you!
Browne, Simone. “Digital epidermalization: race, identity and biometrics.”Critical Sociology 36, no. 1 (2010): 131-150.
Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. Arming Mother Nature: The Birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Kaplan, Caren. “The Balloon Prospect: Aerostatic Observation and the Emergence of Militarized Aeromobility.” In Keynote Address at the Mobilities in Motion conference, Drexel University, Philadelphia. 2011.
Catherine Lutz. “Making War at Home in the United States: Militarization and the Current Crisis.” American Anthropologist 104, no. 3 (September 1, 2002): 723–35.
A WEAPONIZED URBANITY: MORNING DRIFT IN MILITARIZED DOWNTOWN OAKLAND — Conversation recorded with Demilit (Bryan Finoki, Nick Sowers, and Javier Arbona) in Oakland, on May 2, 2014.
Un mensaje a la comunidad puertorriqueña
Inbox: Medicine on the Edge at the Science & Justice Research Center, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz
Please see the below announcement for a workshop this Friday and Saturday
that many of you will find interesting. Hosted by Science & Justice
members Matthew Wolf-Meyer and Nancy Chen from the Anthropology
department, this workshop features a number of previous S&J guests and
other scholars whose work is relevant to many of our themes.
Additionally, Karen Sue Taussig will also be presenting her work at the
Anthropology colloquium on Monday, “Mobilizing Life: Citizenship,
Subjectivity, and the Quest for a Molecular Medical Clinic.”
Medicine on the Edge Workshop
May 3-4, 2013
Social Sciences 1 Room 261
Medicine exists to mediate the relationship between individuals and social
institutions. This reality is often obscured by individual and social
pursuits of cures and the daily use of therapies. The innocuousness and
ubiquity of treatment – from daily pills to medicinal teas – both obscures
and renders manifest the place of contemporary medicine. This
intensification of medicine in everyday life exists alongside the
increased use of complementary and alternative medicines, the rise of
comorbid diagnoses, and debates around medical citizenship and the state.
Medicine, while long a part of society, is increasingly the basis of
social engagement and political organization. This two-day workshop is
intended to address the ways that medicine has crept out of the clinic and
laboratory, becoming an integral component of contemporary everyday life
around the world. What are the political economies of medicine? How do
medicine and science rarify cultural expectations of normalcy? How does
medicine change interpersonal relationships and relationships between
individuals and institutions? How can medical anthropologists engage with
ongoing concerns of health disparities, forms of new medical technologies,
and notions of personhood and governance? How might anthropology inform
formations of global and public health? Medical anthropology stands poised
to address many of these questions, and to provide theoretical conceptions
of the individual and society that will push the social study of medicine
and science forward, and point towards possible futures for medical
Friday, May 3rd
TS Harvey (UC Riverside, Anthropology)
[outbox] Can Fareed Zakaria write about universities?
(Article by Fareed Zakaria for Time)
After his plagiarism scandal where he was forced to quit from Yale’s board—he blamed an unnamed “assistant” for his lapses—he still gets a pass. Other journalists or academics would have been fired from their magazine or newspaper, or their academic department/lab. Instead, Zakaria —the unflappable friend of the richest and most powerful— still has the podium to write for Time and CNN. Setting aside the fact that those news outlets should not have reinstated him, he showed that if there’s a topic that should be off limits to him, it is universities. He gets a special privilege that most of us do not.
[inbox] Bicycles, Race, and Equity
Critical Urbanisms Student Workshop
This Thursday April 4
575 McCone, UC Berkeley
Bicycles, Race, and Equity
Two Berkeley PhD students will present their research and solicit feedback.
Making Visible the Invisible: Travel Behavior of Immigrant Latino Bicyclists
Department of City and Regional Planning
"White Lanes": Race, Class and the Politics of Bicycle Infrastructure
Department of Geography
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet from Al Javieera (@AlJavieera)
Al Javieera (@AlJavieera) tweeted at 3:25 PM on Fri, Feb 22, 2013: @Sucesor58 Saludos monseñor, una pena que su idea de “identidad nacional” no sea inclusiva de toda nuestra gran historia de boricuas LGBTQ. (https://twitter.com/AlJavieera/status/305096028124758017) Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download