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Chemical Diasporas: The Kinships and Afterlives of Agent Orange | AASP Winter Speaker Series

When: Tuesday, January 31, 2023
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: Crowe Hall, 1-132, 1860 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Emily Mun   (847) 467-7114

Group: Asian American Studies Program

Category: Academic


TALK BY NATALIA DUONG: Chemical Diasporas: The Kinships and Afterlives of Agent Orange

Agent Orange is commonly known as the main chemical compound that was used in herbicidal warfare during the Vietnam-American War; however, the geographies of chemical spread extend beyond Southeast Asia. This talk introduces the concept of a chemical diaspora as a network of harm but also a source of political solidarity that connects populations who are exposed to herbicides. Through analyses of US military archives and the chemical repertoires of contemporary global agricultural markets, I unpack the ways that military technologies are domesticated to re-expose trans-Pacific ecologies today.

Natalia Duong is a researcher, teacher, and multidisciplinary performance maker. Her current book, Chemical Diasporas: Performing Toxicity through Ecological Kinship investigates the afterlives of Agent Orange by bringing together feminist science studies approaches to toxicity and ethnic studies analyses of diaspora to trace legacies of militarized violence and the performativity of chemicals that are carried in bodies and that span the Pacific Ocean. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Dance from Stanford University, her M.A. in Performance Studies at NYU, and her Ph.D. in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her writing can be found in the Canadian Review of American Studies, Dance Journal, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, and is forthcoming in the anthology Crip Genealogies (Duke UP, 2023) and Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. She previously taught in Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and Gender and Women's Studies at UC Berkeley and in the program in Gender and Women’s Studies at Pomona College. Natalia is currently a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English at UCLA.

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