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November 14: Elizabeth DeLoughrey

Presentation from 12 - 1:30pm in 10383 Bunche Hall

"Heliography: Wars of Light" by Global Fellow Elizabeth DeLoughrey


This paper examines the militarization of the Pacific Islands in terms of what Paul Virilio refers to as "light wars," particularly the intersections between nuclearization and war photography as they are inscribed by Maori novelist James George in his recent work "Ocean Roads" (2006). George explores the irradiated earth, a space scorched beyond recognition in the atomic bombings of Trinity, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Bikini Atoll as well as the napalm-incinerated villages of Vietnam. As such, the novel remaps the militarized Pacific as an American frontier, an extension of the "Indian Wars" across the region. In this paper, I explore George's depiction of the war-torn lives of one New Zealand family from 1945, the advent of the Nuclear Age, to 1989, the end of the Cold War, particularly the natural figures of the sun, radiation, and light to explore their constitution of a heliocentric global modernity.


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