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UC WORKING GROUP ON THE CULTURES of MILITARIZATION


c o l l a b o r a t i o n s


Funded through a grant from the UC Humanities Re- search Institute, the Cultures of Militarization Working


Group, led by UC Davis Professor of American Studies Caren Kaplan, spent 2011-2012 exploring all aspects of militarization, both historically and in relation to cur- rent conflicts. “I have got photos of camouflage snug- gies, camouflage tricycles, camouflage everything. It’s unbelievable what they will put camouflage print on,” said Kaplan. These products are symptomatic of the many ways in which the line between military and civil- ian life has become blurred. Such everyday instances of militarization often are missed in more narrowly disci- plinary approaches to the topic, according to Kaplan.


‘‘These products are symptomatic of the many ways in which the line between military and civilian life has become blurred.’’


The challenge of the working group’s approach is to understand militarization in a way that does not reduce complex and subtle parts of the story to an overgeneral- ized “deep structure.” The cultural studies of militariza- tion can elicit the subtler and possibly more unsettling disparate aspects of the operations of thinking, seeing, and being a part of a military project, especially in the age of globalization. That is, in part, why Kaplan and a cohort of faculty from UC Davis, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Bar- bara, took a more interdisciplinary approach in their ongoing working group.


36 d h i . u c d a v i s . e d u


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