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Pacific Internationalism: Movements for a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific | AASP Winter Speaker Series

When: Wednesday, January 25, 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 SIMEON MAN: Pacific Internationalism: Movements for a Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific

The buildup of Japan’s nuclear industry in the 1950s-60s is often told as a Cold War story of “soft power” and the revival of Japan as an industrial engine in Asia. Yet there is another dimension of this story, that of a persistent settler colonialism, in which indigenous lands and peoples are rendered as past even as they were mobilized anew for US imperial projects. This talk explains the colonial violence undergirding the rise of mid-century transpacific capitalism, and the formation of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) in the 1970s-80s. As a political project, the NFIP made visible and disrupted the colonial relations of extraction, industrial pollution, and militarized violence that were pivotal to, yet absented from, the making of the “transpacific” as a fantasy of Cold War development. This talk aims to bring into conversation Asian American Studies and Pacific Islander Studies and asks how these two fields, which have been largely siloed, can meaningfully engage with each other around the study of empire and decolonization.

Simeon Man (PhD, American Studies, Yale University) is Associate Professor of History and affiliate faculty of Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies at UC San Diego. He was the inaugural director of UCSD's Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies Program (2020-22), and he was recently named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. He is the author of Soldiering Through Empire: Race and the Making of the Decolonizing Pacific (University of California Press, 2018), and other essays published in American Quarterly, Race & Class, Radical History Review, The Abusable Past, and other anthologies. He co-edited the issue of Radical History Review, “Militarism and Capitalism: The Work and Wages of Violence,” and is currently working on two book projects, Antimilitary Movements in the Pacific (under contract with UC Press), which examines contemporary antimilitary struggles in Guåhan, South Korea, Hawai‘i, the Philippines, and Okinawa; and a project on transpacific nuclearism and antinuclear movements in the Pacific.

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