Everyday Militarisms: Hidden in Plain Sight/Site

Introduction by
Caren Kaplan, Gabi Kirk, and Tess Lea

This forum, edited by Caren Kaplan, Gabi Kirk, and Tess Lea, analyzes how militarism is both obscured and perceptible, particularly in “everyday life,” across diverse sites and histories. The pieces gathered here explore some of the outer reaches of modern militarization, in order to explicate new historical and geographical insights on the legacies of colonialism, imperialism and environmental extractivism.

W

hen does war begin or end? Where does war take place? Who lives a life protected from militarized violence, geographically or historically? How are the effects of warfare felt across spaces and times, by whom, and in what ways? The contributors to this forum pose these questions in relation to everyday landscapes and locations. The pieces gathered here explore some of the outer reaches of modern militarization, in order to explicate new historical and geographical insights on the legacies of colonialism, imperialism and environmental extractivism. From walking amidst landmines in Colombia to harvesting kelp to make explosive munitions, from re-occupying Indigenous land for recreational hiking or recovering the military history of a university arboretum, to the social media of military recruitment, these short articles explore the porous line between the exceptional and the quotidian, military and civilian, and the particularity of place and the universality of ideology. As brief instigations, they remind us of the violence embedded in seemingly banal sites, “hidden in plain sight” and propose further questions and topics to engage between what can and cannot be seen.

essays in this forum

The Explosivity of Kelp

Uncovering kelp’s hidden past as an ingredient in explosives may have the answer to preserving its future survival under climate change.

By

Javier Arbona

Residue and Restoration: Hiking through Militarized Landscapes

Along a hiking trail in Wisconsin, questions of military toxicity and colonial dispossession linger in efforts to restore the prairie.

By

Toby Beauchamp

The Militarized Campus Arboretum

Why did the US Army test bombs in a campus garden? Uncovering the militarized and colonial legacies of the land-grant university.

By

Gabi Kirk and Robert Moeller

Selfies and Submarines: The Social Media of Military Recruitment

The Australian Navy pulls on the “inane gestures and aesthetics of social media” to normalize and expand military recruitment.

By

Stella Maynard

On Landmines and Suspicion: How (not) to Walk Explosive Fields

Improvised landmines in the Colombian hinterlands “provoke uncertainty and unknowability” – even after they’ve been removed.

By

Diana Pardo Pedraza

Editors' Letter. Everyday Militarisms: Hidden in Plain Sight/Site

This Forum analyzes how militarism is both obscured and perceptible, particularly in “everyday life,” across diverse sites and histories.

By

Caren Kaplan, Gabi Kirk, and Tess Lea, editors