Indigeneity on Trial: Colonialism, Law, and Punishment in America's Pacific Empire


Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships


Asian American Studies


This project explores the carceral, indigenous, and juridical confluence of power in the mid-twentieth century Pacific. Drawing from postcolonial studies and its related fields, this project examines a series of court cases wherein the indigenous Chamorros of the Mariana Islands, as former subjects of Japan's wartime empire, came under the scrutiny and judgment of the US Navy's War Crimes Tribunals Program from 1945-1949. These trials focused on collaboration, homosexuality, patriotism, and treason, among other categories of wartime recognition, including cases which involved familial, clan, and village disputes.