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The Fallout of War: Metonyms of Militarism

Sat, May 13, 2023 @ 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Free – $12.00

A video of this May 13, 2023, event is available on the MEP’s YouTube channel.

Yale Working Group on Globalization and Culture

Second of two parts. Part One

War: what is it, and what is it good for? War might seem like a foregone conclusion or a state of exception; in either case it is an archetype of crisis. In two linked sessions, the Yale Working Group on Globalization and Culture presents their collective research on a keyword of contemporary cultural studies – war – and investigates its many valences as lived reality and as metaphor. Trade wars can become militarized, and hot wars can look cold, depending on your vantage point. The race war, Twitter tells us, is impending; but in an age of US forever war(s), understanding war as punctuating the flow of history seems to be entirely insufficient. War is, some argue, a way of life, a structuring condition that shapes our examinations of the history of the present. The war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on COVID, the war on Christmas – war is also a ubiquitous metaphor, a self-righteous idiom that announces moral panic and articulates racial logic in otherwise terms. But metaphors of war have also influenced various radical traditions and social movements, including anti-war activism and Gramsci’s deployment of metaphors of war in his theorizing of hegemony. Taking account of war as constitutive of the present, the working group explores war’s meanings as event, analytic, and metaphor.

Panel II Presentations:
Aanchal Saraf theorizes nuclear fallout in the Pacific as war itself moving through the landscapes, bodies, and generations of the Marshall Islands and its peoples.
Javier Porras Madero explores “Dirty Wars” in Latin America for their classed, raced, and gendered dimensions as well as their implications for how we may understand conflict, violence, and the global Cold War.
Madeleine Han’s presentation focuses on the Han River both as the face of South Korean postwar economic development (referred to as the “Miracle on the Han”) and as a repository of submerged cold war memories.
Maru Pabón examines the dominant genres and styles of two poetic projects that emerged out of anticolonial/anti-imperial struggles in Palestine and Cuba, shiʿr al-muqawama and coloquialismo, in relation to the distinct temporalities of the two conflicts.
Monique Flores Ulysses considers U.S. cultural texts seemingly disconnected from war but nonetheless imbricated in war-making during the early years of the Global War on Terror.
Michael Denning chairs this panel.

The Yale Working Group on Globalization and Culture is an interdisciplinary cultural studies laboratory that has been practicing collective research at Yale University for two decades. Over the years, we have presented work collaboratively at numerous cultural studies conferences as well as at the Marxist Education Project, the Left Forum, Occupy Boston, and the World Social Forum. Past projects have been published as “Going into Debt,” online in Social Text’s Periscope, and as “Spaces and Times of Occupation” in Transforming Anthropology; a collective interview regarding “Matters of Life and Death” appeared in Revue Française d’Études Américaines. The current members—Aanchal Saraf, Damanpreet Pelia, Javier Porras Madero, Jessica Marion Modi, Lucero Estrella, Madeleine Han, Maru Pabón, Michael Denning, Monique Flores Ulysses, and Salonee Bhaman—work in American studies, history, Latinx studies, literary criticism, African-American studies, Asian American studies, comparative literature, and womens, gender and sexuality studies.