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Aftermaths of Empires: Cold War Narratives of the Black Pacific

Saito, Nozomi (Nakaganeku) (2023) Aftermaths of Empires: Cold War Narratives of the Black Pacific. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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“Aftermaths of Empires: Cold War Narratives of the Black Pacific” examines the aftermaths of militarism, occupation, and settler colonialism in the development of Cold War security as sites of contested meaning-making. The aftermaths generate competing narratives of empires in Asia and the Pacific, emerging at critical periods when the United States seeks to distance itself from its image as a colonial power while expanding its empire of overseas bases. This dissertation joins recent scholarship in Asian American and transpacific studies, which have shown that Cold War epistemes produced logics of Asian disposability and invisibility within dominant historical framings of the Cold War. By bringing these fields into conversation with Black Pacific studies, this dissertation argues that underlying the Cold War security formations that expanded US militarism were not only the entangled structures of European and Japanese settler colonialisms but also the reproduction of their racial logics of anti-Blackness and Indigenous erasure. The critical literature that illustrates the entanglements of Black, Pacific Islander, and Asian racializations in articulating the aftermaths of militarism constitute the Cold War narratives of the Black Pacific. Each chapter of the dissertation takes up a denotation of the “aftermaths” as an analytic frame, examining the ecological aftermaths of US militarism and European settler colonialism in Pacific Island poetics; the carceral aftermaths of US militarism and policing in Black feminist literature; and racial representations of Amerasians as children of the aftermaths in Asian American literature and US legislation. The “aftermath” in archaic uses stems from agriculture, referring to the “second crop or new growth” that emerges after a mowing (math). Chapter five examines the “new growths” of a Black Okinawan culture in Teruya that emerged after the US military mowed indigenous Okinawan farmlands, tracing the signs of Indigenous persistence in Okinawan literature and landscape. By analyzing the aftermaths of empires within a constellation of transpacific archives and literatures, I show how the aftermaths helps theorize the struggle for meaning and the demands for demilitarization and decolonization in ways that continue to inform our perspectives of settler security in Asia and the Pacific.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Saito, Nozomi (Nakaganeku)nos30@pitt.edunos300000-0002-5597-0552
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairPuri,
Committee CoChairMyers,
Committee MemberGwiazda,
Committee MemberCarter, Mitzi
Date: 6 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 12 May 2023
Approval Date: 6 September 2023
Submission Date: 23 June 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 224
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: aftermaths, Black Pacific, Cold War, settler colonialism, militarism
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2023 19:19
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 19:19

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