Migratory Times: Militarisms, Displacements & Death Worlds

Join me for my presentation at the Militarism & Migration conference. My paper is entitled, “Migratory Times: Militarisms, Displacements, & Death Worlds.” I am grateful to the collaborators of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects in our project, “Migratory Times.” This paper thinks through some of the conceptual frames I have been sitting with regarding death, social death, death worlds, and militarisms, for some time now. Some of these original questions appeared in my manuscript Migrant Crossings, in particular my chapter where I examine militarized sexual violence and “comfort women.” This paper is a growth out of this earlier thinking.

Militarism & Migration Conference


FRIDAY, April 21

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CHECK-IN

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. KEYNOTE PANEL

Impact of Militarization and Migration on Indigenous Communities

Moderator: Professor Erin Suzuki, Literature, UC San Diego

Keynote speakers: Professor Perse Hooper Lewis and Dr. Kalamaoka’ina Niheu

Professor Perse Hooper Lewis is a citizen of the Yomba Band of Shoshone Indians, located in the beautiful mountains of central Nevada. A settler to San Diego, she has spent her career serving the local tribal and urban communities on a variety of issues related to education, health, community development, and culture. A proponent of sovereignty and self-determination, Perse works with Indian-serving nonprofits and tribes to ensure program design, implementation, and evaluation reflect the needs and strengths of the community. In addition to her consulting duties, she holds a full-time position at the University of San Diego as the Tribal Liaison and a Professor of Practice in the Ethnic Studies Department.

Dr. Kalamaoka’ina Niheu, MD is a co-founder and convener for `Aha Aloha. She is a founding member and Kauka (Physician) for Onipa`a; Hui Kalo, the Hawai`i wide traditional taro farmer’s association, a Medical Officer in the Polynesian Voyaging Society Hokule`a, a Board Member of `Ahahui o; Kauka, and has served as Hawai`i Representative to the United Nations as a member of the Pacific Caucus. As one of approximately 800 Indigenous Peoples who gathered in Alta, Norway in 2013 she helped craft the Alta Outcome Document as an extension of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her published works include “Pu`uhonua: Sanctuary and Struggle at Makua, Hawai`i” and “The Effect of the Military on the Health of Native Hawaiians.”

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. DINNER and COMMUNITY PANEL

Community Panel: A panel with recently resettled refugees from Syria, Sudan, and the Congo

7:30 – 9:00 p.m. COMMUNITY HOUR/BAZAAR

“African Band with Dance Kings and Queens.” A 15-minute performance by the local Congolese choir and dance troupe

Tabling with local community organizations, artisans, craft-makers, and UCSD undergraduates.

SATURDAY, April 22

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CHECK IN


Panel 1. Militarized Citizenship

Joining the Military as Migration: Indigenous Soldiers in the Mexican Military, Ivan Sandoval-Cervantes, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso

The Local Imaginaries Leading to Militarized Youth, Heather Rae-Espinoza, Department of Human Development, Cal State Long Beach

Divergent Paths towards Militarized Citizenship: Korean International Male Students’ Military Service in S Korea and in the US in their Pursuit of Mobility and Citizenship, Hee Jung, Migration and Social-Integration Research Center, Konkuk University; and Ga Young, Education Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Every Breath You Take: Asbestosis, the U.S. Navy, & The Militarization of  Chamoru Diasporic Bodies, Antoinette Charfauros McDaniel, Independent Scholar

Discussant: Simeon Man, History, UCSD

Panel 2. Feminist Epistemologies and Everyday Survival

Marching Beggars: Militarism and Social Welfare in U.S.-Occupied Okinawa, Asako Masubushi, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto

Because Food is the Essence of the Everyday; or, the Palestinian Hearth and Everyday Survival, Lila Sharif, Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Migratory Times: Militarisms, Displacements & Death Worlds, Annie Fukushima, Ethnic Studies, University of Utah

Thug Love and Arab-Region Militarism: The Affective Logic of Migrating Investors and Megaprojects, Paul Amar, Global Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Discussant: Kamala Visweswaran, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 3. Refugeetude, Labor, and Citizenship

The Latinization of Los Angeles, Central American Refugees, and Identity, Alexis Meza, History, UC San Diego

Race, Nation, and the Immigration of Korean War Adoptees, Susie Woo, American Studies, California State University, Fullerton

Refugeetude: When Does a Refugee Stop Being a Refugee, Vinh Nguyen, Department of Culture and Language Studies, University of Waterloo

Imagining Inhumanity and North Korea: Emotional Citizenship in Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters, Joseph Han, Department of English, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Discussant: Anita Casavantes Bradford, Chicano/Latino Studies & History, UC Irvine

Panel 4. Colonial Violence, Militarism, and Mobility

Rehabilitating the Golden Triangle: The Long Strive to Move From a Drug-Based Economy to New Forms of Neoliberal Development, Josto Luzzu, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney

Time and Haste in Differentiation of Settler/Native Mobilities in North America, Carrie Alexander, History, UC Davis

Permissible Militancy and Racialized Hierarchy: Diasporic Korean Militarism and the Nebraska Youth Military Academy, 1908-1914, Youngoh Jung, History, UC San Diego

Nicaragua was Spanish for Palestine: Israeli Covert Arms and Counterinsurgency for the Contras, 1978-1985, Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn, American Studies, Yale University

Discussant: Victor Bascara, Asian American Studies, UCLA

Panel 5. Military Technologies, Counterinsurgency, and Cyber Resistance

Tracking Mobility: Techno-Paranoia and Benevolent Dictatorships, Christopher Patterson, Humanities and Creative Writing, Hong Kong Baptist University

Economy of Excess: The Value of Military Waste Materials, Davorn Sisavath, Anthropology and Asian American Studies, California State University, Fresno

Militarized Sexuality: Queer Fantasies, Slash Fiction, and Cyber Resistance, Keva Bui, Department of English, Dartmouth

Creating ‘Positive Peace’ in the ‘Pivoting Pacific, Sylvia Frain, Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Otago/ Te Whare Wānanga Otāgo, Dunedin/ Otepoti, Aotearoa New Zealand

Discussant: Charles Thorpe, Sociology, UCSD

Panel 6. Militarization, Securitization, and Border Imaginaries

Migrating Islands and Reframing Environmental Refuge(e)s, Olivia Quintanilla, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Urban Security Regimes and Border Militarization in Southern Mexico: Preliminary Findings from Tapachula, Chiapas, Krys Mendez Ramirez, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

La Leyenda Negra: Racial Imaginaries of Haiti and the US/Mexico Border, Katherine Steelman, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

The 4.3 Massacres, Anti-Base Activism in Jeju, and the Haunting Metaphor, Esther Choi, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Discussant: David Pedersen, Anthropology, UCSD

12:00 – 2:00 p.m. LUNCH and WALKING TOUR.

City Heights has become a hub for the resettlement of refugees from around the world, from Vietnam to Somalia to Iraq. Take this hour-long walking tour to learn about the history of refugee resettlement in the city.


Panel 7. Comparative Settler Colonialisms, Subimperialisms, and Refugees

Racialized Encounters: Vietnamese Refugees and Native Chamorros on Post-1975 Guam, Evyn Le Espiritu, Rhetoric, UC Berkeley

Decolonization and Subimperialism: Okinawa Postwar Emigration to Latin America, Symbol Lai, History, University of Washington

Asian Settler Colonialism: Resettlement of Vietnamese Refugees on Tongva Land, Saramosing Demiliza and Tiffany Tran, Asian American Studies, UCLA

Cultural Formations of Uchinanchu and Shima On the Move, Ayano Ginoza, Asian Studies, University of Redlands

Discussant: Daphne Taylor-Garcia, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 8. Queer(ing) Refugees and Militarized and Heteronormative Kinship

From Destruction and Flight among Queer-Identified Syrian Refugees, Sofian Merabet, Department of Anthropology, UT Austin

That Childhood Fantasy of Returning to My Family’: Migration and Queer Kinship in Transnational Korean Adoption Narratives, S Moon Cassinelli, Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Militarized Kinship: Black women, surveillance and place-making in San Diego, Christina Carney, Department of Women’s & Gender Studies and Department of Black Studies, University of Missouri

The Transnational Legacy of Sexual Enslavement and Militarized Heteronormativity in Fox Girl, Sam Ikehara, Department of English, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Discussant: Jillian Hernandez, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 9. War Trauma and Memories Across Generations

Trauma Through the Generations: Education, Identity, and Resilience Amidst Social Violence, Yvonne Kwan, Sociology, Dartmouth

The Search for Healing in Lan Cao’s The Lotus and the Storm, Jeff Gibbons, Department of English and Philosophy, US Military Academy, West Point

“You’re Korean, Don’t You Care About Your Own People?”: The Korean Diaspora Politics of LiNK’s “People Over Politics” Campaign. Lisa Ho, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Medicating Trauma: Dis-ease and Contested Medicinal Care in Mukherjee’s “Fathering,” Catherine Nguyen, Comparative Literature, UCLA

Discussant: Khatharya Um, Asian American Studies, UC Berkeley

Panel 10. Militarism and Migration in the Postwar City

How Do Refugees Not See Race?”- SF East Bay Refugee Perspectives on Race, War, and Migration, Jennifer KA Tran, American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Militarized Settlement and Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1940s-1970s), Christina Juhasz-Wood, Women’s Studies, University of New Mexico

Phục Quốc: Vietnamese Exile Politics After the Fall of Saigon, Y. Nguyen, Sociology, Northwestern University

Militarized Miami: Counterinsurgency and the Refugee City, Emma Shaw Crane, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU

Discussant: Kirstie Dorr, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 11. Policing Migrants Under Neoliberalism

The Legacy of Reagan’s Cold War on Immigrants: Immigration Detention and the Power of Storytelling, Kristina Shull, History, UC Irvine

Debt: Peonage, Payments, Poetics, Calvin Walds, Literature, UC San Diego

Italian colonial expansion and the Criminalization of Migration in the Mediterranean Sea, Maysam Taher, Middle Eastern Studies, NYU

Dead on Arrival: Mexican and Central American Asylum Claims in the Age of Authoritarian Neoliberalism, Alfonso Gonzales, Ethnic Studies, UCR

Discussant: Nigel Hatton, Literature, UC Merced

Panel 12. Settler Colonial Visuality, Digital Activism and Decolonial Epistemologies

Digital Repositories and Social Reproduction: Gendered Publics and Ongoing Resistance in Palestine, Rana Sharif, Department of Gender Studies, UCLA

Perceiving Otherwise: Settler Colonial Visuality & Re-encountering Kimsooja’s An Album: Sewing into Borderlines, Crystal Baik, Department of Ethnic Studies, UCR

Donald Trump’s Wet Dream: The Frontrera Film Noir Landscape of Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer (2008), Felipe Quintanilla, Department of Spanish & Linguistics, Franklin & Marshall College

Multimedia Submission – Images at the Border, Justin De Leon, Lizeth Maria Ruiz-Herrejon, and Jessica Garcia, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Discussant: Lan Duong, Dept. of Media and Cultural Studies, UC Riverside

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. BREAK

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. DINNER

6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Film Screening: Nứớc (Water/Homeland) by Quyên Nguyen-Le

Set in the California drought, Nứớc is a six-minute experimental film about a Vietnamese American teen who attempts to piece together and understand their mom’s experience as a Vietnam War refugee. (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)

7:00 – 9:30 p.m. INTERACTIVE ART & ACTIVISM WORKSHOP with GABRIELA Los Angeles (Alliance of Filipina Women)

Building Solidarity & Resistance Against U.S. Militarism & Forced Migration Through People’s Art

Movements unleash the creativity and vibrancy of people’s struggles. Join this interactive workshop on how U.S. militarism and forced migration impacts Filipina women, children, and indigenous peoples. Participants will learn the art of stenciling posters and have the opportunity to choose pre-designed stencils or create their own designs.

GABRIELA is a grassroots organization and alliance of Filipina women founded in 1984 in the Philippines. GABRIELA Los Angeles is a member organization of the first overseas chapter GABRIELA-USA. They aim to educate, organize, and mobilize Filipino women to fight for their rights and welfare through education, organizing, campaigns, cultural art, and collective action. GABRIELA recognizes that the issues Filipino women face across the globe are rooted in the Philippines and works together to advance the movement for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines.

SUNDAY, April 23

10:00 -11:30 a.m. PANEL WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ACTIVISTS: “Take Back Our Education.”


Maridel “Da” AndradaAnakbayan San Diego.  Anakbayan is a comprehensive national democratic mass organization of Filipino youth and students from all walks of life who are fighting for national democracy, social justice, and equality in the Philippines and around the world.

Melissa Castañeda – Las Fotos Project, Tijuana.  Las Fotos Project is a community-based photography program whose mission is to bring about positive change for teenage girls facing adversity. It provides a creative outlet for students, encouraging them to express their artistic talents and explore their imagination.


The goal of the luncheon is to share stories, cultivate new relationships between community members, and forge partnership between local groups with faculty and students at UCSD.

Redefining Justice: Envisioning New Approaches in Anti-Trafficking Work

Redefining Justice:
Envisioning New Approaches in Anti-Trafficking Work

“Redefining Justice: Envisioning New Approaches in Anti-Trafficking Work,” the 15th Annual Freedom Network USA Human Trafficking Conference, will use a social justice lens to imagine what justice looks like in the anti-trafficking movement. To achieve justice is to talk about inequalities in our society and how injustices can create vulnerabilities to human trafficking and continue to disadvantage trafficking survivors. For the trafficked person, justice might look like the conviction of a trafficker, having access to various benefits, or the development of preventative efforts so that no one else experiences what they went through. What does justice look like to anti-traffickers? It might be through the criminal justice system, the civil legal system or restitution. It may be prevention or looking beyond the legal system or the development of new resources to protect survivors, victims, and potential victims. We look forward to exploring these issues during on April 5 -6, 2017 in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. Registration opened on December 2016.