Settler Militarism: World War II in Hawai‘i and the Making of US Empire


ACLS Fellowship Program


American Studies


"Settler Militarism" explores the understudied period of martial law in Hawai‘i (1941-44), with chapters that focus specifically on the US military’s acquisition of land, wartime public health, domestic science, education, and the internment of Japanese Americans and prisoners of war. These martial law projects utilized logics of “wartime necessity” to create racialized and gendered forms of service for Hawai‘i’s civilians, while also naturalizing military expansion, land appropriation, and Indigenous displacement. Together, these chapters analyze “settler militarism”: the dynamic through which settler colonialism and militarization perpetuated, legitimated, and concealed one another in Hawai‘i, in a particular confluence specific to US empire in Asia and the Pacific Islands.