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Our History

CRTMIL began as a UCHRI-funded working group called Cultures of Militarization. UC Davis American Studies professor Caren Kaplan was the Principal Investigator. The faculty collaborators on the grant were: Paul Amar (UCSB), Toby Beauchamp (UCSD), Kelly Gates (UCSD), Peter Limbrick (UCSC), Colin Milburn (UCD), Minoo Moallem (UCB), Jennifer Terry (UCI). Read more here. A follow-up forum appears in Society and Space here.

Over the years, the group has operated as a roving lab, meeting to discuss key texts, ideas, and methods. Our invited talks have included:

  • Naomi Paik, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, “Rightlessness: Hunger Strikes, Force-feeding, and Testimony at Guantanamo”
  • Jennifer Greenburg, UC Berkeley, “‘We’re an NGO with guns:’ Haitian Geographies of US Militarized Development.” September 29, 2015.
  • Roberto Gonzalez, San Jose State University, “Human Terrain by Any Other Name: The Pentagon’s Ongoing Quest for Ethnographic Intelligence.” October 15, 2015
  • Simone Browne, University of Texas at Austin. “Black. Life. Forms.” May 14, 2015
  • Deborah Cowen, University of Toronto, “Circulating Stuff: From Military Art to Business Science.” October 13th, 2011.

Furthermore, Lindsey Dillon and Javier Arbona co-organized paper sessions called “Bases, Bunkers and Ports: Shifting Geographies of Militarization” and “The Militarization of Everyday Life: Culture and Social Practice” at the American Association of Geographers Conference in 2015. Presenters from these sessions continue to be frequent collaborators with the group.

The cast of participants in CRTMIL publish in various academic and general-audience venues, and often work with artists and activists focused on militarization, broadly understood.