Reclaiming Militarized Lands

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Association for the Study of Literature and Environment

Virtual panel proposed at the 2023 ASLE + AESS Conference: “Reclaiming the Commons”

This panel welcomes discussions on the environmental consequences of the U.S. imperialist military activities (with a focus in the Pacific region) on the off-limits sites of military bases, of war zones, of weapon testing, storage, and disposal and nearby lands. The U.S. military has left a severe environmental legacy accompanying its military operations: nuclear weapon tests on the Hawaiian islands, waste disposal in the Pacific Ocean, and military bases in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, and the Philippines all result in toxic landscapes and toxic bodies. As scholar Hsuan Hsu reports in “Representing Environmental Risk in the Landscapes of US Militarization,” the U.S. military has exposed vulnerable populations to “environmental ills ranging from noise pollution and toxic dumping to radioactive exposure, sexual violence, and accidental civilian deaths.” And these environmental ills are disproportionately born by poor non-white populations. However, compared to sensational environmental disasters, the environmental costs of the U.S. militarization on these foreign lands constitute a kind of “slow violence” that are often submerged and less visible. Thus this panel welcomes discussions on how scholars have used arts (novels, films, photography, etc) to convey the harmful effects of militarization on the local landscape.

Submit abstracts by December 1, 2022 to Ling Liu at