Blurring the Color Line: Racial Fictions, Militarized Humanity, and the Pax Americana in the Cold War Pacific Rim


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project examines the US military’s centrality to the political and cultural imagination of racialized subjects situated in the post-1945 US sphere of influence in Asia and the Pacific, and at home. Coded by violence, the racially integrated expansion of humanity under US national security auspices was central to US militarism’s democratizing promise. Insofar as the Cold War in Asia catalyzed advances in US civil rights, with the Korean War the impetus behind military desegregation, this project examines the price of inclusion within US military empire. Casting a geopolitical lens onto cultural texts preoccupied with black freedom, Asian liberation, and Pacific Islander decolonization against the backdrop of US militarism in the Pacific Rim, this study considers how participation in and alignment with the US military, under the aegis of the pax Americana, blurred the color line.