Imperial Futures Past: Specter and Speculation in (De)militarized Landscapes

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Military Geography Specialty Group, Landscape Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Cleveland 2, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Bridget Martin
Chairs: Alexander Arroyo

Call for Submissions

The organizers welcome papers with a theoretical or empirical focus. We aim to bring together research rooted in different geographies and scales in order to hold a wide-ranging discussion on the significance of the spectral geographies of (de)militarization.

Please send abstracts of 250 words maximum to martb244@berkeley.edu and a.s.arroyo@berkeley.edu by October 23, 2018. As AAG abstracts are due October 25, 2018, the organizers will notify respondents by that date. Please also submit your PIN, which is activated only once you have registered for AAG.


Description

Session organizers: Bridget Martin (UC-Berkeley); Alexander Arroyo (UC-Berkeley)

Drawing on recent scholarship focusing on the rich material (Cram 2015; Gregory 2015), ecological and environmental (DeLoughrey 2013; Adey 2014; Kaplan 2017), and infrastructural (Khalili 2017; Cowen 2014) domains of militarism, the session explores the significance of contemporary transformations of (de)militarized landscapes and other milieux of (de)militarization as vestiges of shifting imperial relationships. As (de)militarized sites and spaces undergo multiple and often overlapping cycles of de- and re-militarization, empire remains as both spectral presence and speculative force.

As specter, militarized milieux are the uncanny yet embodied remainders of geopolitical imaginaries altered, deferred, dismantled, or abandoned. Even as military facilities, equipment, technologies, and infrastructures are decommissioned or civilianized, legacies of social trauma and sex work (Moon 1997), environmental contamination (Krupar 2013) and “waste formations” (Dillon 2013), and settler-militarist (Nebolon 2017) complexes of race, indigeneity, and language persist. Further, various attempts to memorialize, preserve, and create “sites of memory” (Nora 1989) reconstitute these milieux as performative spaces of simultaneous (de)militarization (in both senses).

As speculation, (de)militarization is legible in these milieux as a mode of infrastructural, technological, and real estate development bound up with the interlocking geoeconomic strategies of war and capital (Alliez & Lazzarato 2018). While social relations and economies of violence accreted around (de)militarized landscapes endure as imperial futures past, new speculative imaginaries reinvest these milieux with probing flows of capital. Here, empire assembles future constellations of market and martial force. Imperial rail lines, rocket launchpads, naval ports, and training ranges are converted into bike paths, logistics centers, commercial ports, ecological conservation zones, and golf courses in the name of both demilitarization and development. At the same time, new militarized spaces concresce elsewhere, forming a vagrant series of rapid mobilizations and demobilizations around “small wars”, informal conflict, and climate change catastrophe.

Taken in these spectral and speculative modes, (de)militarization offers a view into an “everywhere war” (Gregory 2011) not only diffused spatially, but also dislocated in time. Landscapes and other milieux of (de)militarization gesture toward alternative (de)imperial futures of historical reckoning, geoeconomic integration and disintegration, "telemorphic" or spatially disparate ecologies of destruction (Cohen 2012; Hill 2012), and sites of remembering and forgetting.

Possible topics include:
- Re-wilding, conservation or park creation in active and/or decommissioned military training ranges, areas and bases
- Repurposing or expansion of existing military infrastructures
- The development politics of base closure and location
- Spatial reconfiguration of military installations, logistical networks, and commodity supply chains in the context of everywhere war
- Race and gender formation through the production of (de)militarized space
- Real estate development and speculation and/or the urban politics of military space
- Discourses and meanings of (de)militarization and development
- Geographies of military service economies and/or the military industrial complex
- Landscape-based approaches to the natures, ecologies, and materialities of (de)militarization
- Materiality of (de)militarization in atmospheric, oceanic, electromagnetic, or other milieux

Session Information

The organizers welcome papers with a theoretical or empirical focus. We aim to bring together research rooted in different geographies and scales in order to hold a wide-ranging discussion on the significance of the spectral geographies of (de)militarization.

Please send abstracts of 250 words maximum to martb244@berkeley.edu and a.s.arroyo@berkeley.edu by October 23, 2018. As AAG abstracts are due October 25, 2018, the organizers will notify respondents by that date. Please also submit your PIN, which is activated only once you have registered for AAG.


References

Adey, P. (2014) Security atmospheres or the crystallisation of worlds, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 32 (5): 834–51.

Alliez, É., & Lazzarato, M. (2018). Wars and Capital, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Semiotext(e).

Cram, S (2015) “Wild and scenic wasteland: Conservation politics in the nuclear wilderness.” Environmental Humanities 7: 89–105.

Cowen, D. (2014) The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

DeLoughrey E.M. (2013) “The myth of isolates: Ecosystem ecologies in the nuclear Pacific.” Cultural Geographies 20: 167–184.

Dillon, L. (2013) “Race, Waste, and Space: Brownfield Redevelopment and Environmental Justice at Hunters Point Shipyard”, Antipode 46(5), pp. 1205-1221.

Gregory, D. (2016) “The natures of war.” Antipode, 48(1), 3-56.

––––––––– (2011) “The everywhere war.” The Geographical Journal, 177(3), 238-250.

Hill, M. (2012) “Ecologies of War: Dispatches from the Aerial Empire” in Cohen, T. (ed), Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change, vol. 1. Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities Press.

Khalili, L. (2017) “The infrastructural power of the military: The geoeconomic role of the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Arabian Peninsula”. European Journal of International Relations, 1354066117742955.

Krupar, S. R. (2013) Hot Spotters Report: Military Fables of Toxic Waste, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Moon, K.H.S. (1997) Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in US-Korea Relations. New York: Columbia University Press.

Nebolon, J. (2017). “‘Life Given Straight from the Heart’: Settler Militarism, Biopolitics, and Public Health in Hawai'i during World War II”, American Quarterly, 69(1), 23-45.

Nora, P. (1989) “Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire”, Representations 26 (special issue), pp. 7-24.

Woodward, R. (2014) “Military landscapes: Agendas and approaches for future research”, Progress in Human Geography 38, no. 1: 40–61.


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Bridget Martin*, University of California, Berkeley, Into Seoul’s Forbidden Land: Building the City and “Healing” the Nation through US Yongsan Garrison’s Green Demilitarization 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Alexander Arroyo*, University of California - Berkeley, Making the Earth Count: From Living Laboratory to Laboratory Planet 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Muira McCammon*, , Children as Civilian Non-Knowers and Hunters: Reimagining and Demilitarizing the Adak Naval Base 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Andrew Merrill*, University of Toronto, Spectres of War: Spectacle, Arms Fairs and the Martial Sublime 20 9:00 AM
Discussant Shiloh Krupar Georgetown University 20 9:20 AM

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