After U.S. Empire
October 2 – December 18 (12 weeks)
Mondays from 6-9 PM PST
Occupied Huichin (Oakland)
Militarization operates as a transnational structuring force that has remained undertheorized as a process that has defined, shaped, & regulated Asian & Pacific Islander displacements & diasporas & the formation of transnational resistance, demilitarization, & decolonization movements that cross these regions. Thus, while we emphasize that militarization moves beyond the institution of the military, as a transregional & global force, we wish to highlight how it is also a force that structures subjectivity & human relations in the most intimate forms. That is to say, we underscore how militarization operates as a regulating logic & institutionalized practice in terms of familial & sexual relations & infuses & structures various political, resistance, & decolonization movements.
-Dr. Setsu Shigematsu & Dr. Keith Camacho
What (un)learning needs to happen to invigorate the kind of massive antiwar movement that’s vitally necessary today? To end the military industrial complex. To dismantle the global arms trade that’s fueling bloodshed, nuclear proliferation, political instability, forced migrations from failing states, omnicide, the siphoning of billions in taxes to the war machine, and the annihilationists driving our species to extinction. Considering what comes after U.S. empire is an aspirational invitation. To imagine beyond a suffocating present towards a return to balance. This class will offer historical context & analysis to counter the fear mongering that war profiteers seed into our collective consciousness through militarizing culture, keeping us divided, conquered, and casualties of corporate ‘resource’-grabbing. Through film, we’ll reflect upon how we come to understand war, peace, & ethics, how ‘security’ gets defined and by whom, and how we envision a just society, including the relatedness of communities in a globalized world.
Schedule: (subject to change)
1: Intro to Class
2: no class on Monday Oct 9
3: Militainment: Militarism & Pop Culture (video)
4: Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People by Dr. Jack Shaheen (video)
6: Blood & Oil (video)
8: Living Along the Fenceline (film we’ll watch in class together- so no homework!)
9: consciousness-raising group (no homework or prep- just show up!)
10: Standing Army (video)
11: Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars (video)
Weekend Retreat: November 17-19 in Sebastopol
Assignments (All optional & strongly encouraged)
Feel free to bring plant-based nourishment to share during our weekly classes.
Please watch as much of the assigned materials as possible before each gathering. Give yourself time, as this material is deeply challenging and merits space to process. If you’re not able to complete the entire assignment for a class, feel free to still attend, though. If there are words or concepts you’re unfamiliar with, try to look them up. Please consider watching the films with others (documentary night!) to spread awareness & dialogue. Feel free to jot dot questions that arise while doing the work.
Trigger Warning/Content Note
Many of the films we’ll watch during this season depict scenes of violence, Islamophobia, racism, and imperialist oppression more broadly. Please practice excellent self- & community care before, during & after your viewings.
Every participant is invited to submit an idea for an offering to share during our retreat (ex. a dance class, photography, some skill-share). Please make the most of this invaluable opportunity to polish and refine a gift of yours in a supportive context that you’d like to be able to share with your communities. This is a space for you to workshop a workshop you’ve been dreaming of, pilot a dialogue you’re developing, try out a new recipe or meal, offer up a few hours of childcare, etc. I can share whatever level of feedback you’d like as you vision/plan an offering and afterwards so that it can be the most educational and beneficial experience possible. Please email me your retreat offering idea(s) by October 30 for the purposes of ensuring an appropriate fit, overall program balance, and to finalize the schedule.
To ensure the potency of our collective knowledge-production, (un)learning, and community building, no new participants will be able to sit in after Week 2.
Please let me know at your earliest convenience if you plan to be late or miss a gathering so that we can plan accordingly.
Also, please bring a journal and something to write with each week.
Note* This course will be audio recorded, primarily for folks who may miss a class so that they can access the recordings before our next gathering. Feel free to take this into consideration as you share with whatever level of discernment you prefer.
Since I’m committed to taking seriously questions of access and privilege, this season’s class is available on a sliding scale of $0-300 per participant, with a suggested donation of $20 a gathering. LS operates on a totally donate-what-you-can basis, with no one turned away for lack of funds. This is my full-time labor of love for our collective liberation, so please share what you can.
Sir No Sir (film)
Body of War (video)
ANPO: Art X War (film trailer)
Yellow Fever: Uncovering the Navajo Uranium Legacy (film trailer)
The Power of Nightmares (film)
The Invisible War (video)
On Orientalism by Dr. Edward Said (video)
Women in Black
Dr. Cynthia Enloe’s writings
Liberation Spring has been an incredible source of learning and a place to come together for our collective unlearning. The process of discovering the roots which are the foundation for creating a more just and loving relationship with life itself are just the beginning of the gifts of this education. I’m immensely grateful for Anjali and the way in which she holds the challenge and opportunity of this path of learning which allows me to step into becoming the most powerful force for collective healing that I can become. –Michelle Dench