Transpacific Worlds (canceled)

Emily Mitchell-Eaton

In recent years, the concept of the “transpacific” has attained new significance, in geography and beyond, as a way of naming the two-way “traffic in peoples, cultures, capital, and ideas between ‘America’ and ‘Asia’, as well as across the troubled ocean that lends its name to this model” (Hoskins and Nguyen, 2014: 2). This interdisciplinary field of inquiry has approached the study of the transpacific from a diversity of perspectives. In this class, we will explore these various perspectives to examine the geographic, political, economic, military, environmental, and cultural spaces of the transpacific. We will explore the circulations of capital, labor, and infrastructure within and across the spaces of the transpacific, both historically and in the present. We will look to militarized regimes of imperial and (settler) colonial violence that have been such pervasive forces of transpacific world-making and diasporic community-building. We will also consider indigenous transpacifics, looking beyond the question of U.S. and East Asian access to the Pacific Islands to longer-standing formations and connections across the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, we will study the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise in the Pacific Islands and the environmental justice struggles of Pacific Islanders living in the Pacific and in diasporas worldwide. Most centrally, we will ask: What do we gain when we think about the transpacific geographically? Is the ‘trans’ in transpacific a bridge? Does it represent a connection or a divide? Is the transpacific an abstraction? A metaphor? What is unique about island geographies and water-based geographies? And ultimately, how can transpacific geographies be named and (re)claimed for socially and environmentally just ends?

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
M 10:00am - 11:50am; Th 10:00am - 11:50am
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as 2000, All courses, Areas of Study, Emily Mitchell-Eaton, Four Credit, Monday and/or Thursday Mornings, SCT, Society Culture and Thought, Updates.