Thursday, November 12, 2015
4:00pm, 3201 Hart Hall
Rusty Bartels, CST PhD Student
“THE PARKS ARE NOT INNOCENT: HOW THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AND WWII MEMORY SUPPORTS AMERICA’S PACIFIC EMPIRE”
World War II is the war of America’s “greatest generation”; a war against fascism, against empires, and for defense. National Parks have been called “America’s Best Idea,” as sites of national identity and democratic possibility. What happens when National Parks and WWII collide? Throughout the American states and territories in the Pacific World, the National Park Service administers parks that interpret and commemorate WWII. These parks, I argue, participate in narratives of inclusion via sacrifice: where the nation claims territories because of American lives lost there; where marginalized communities claim inclusion by their sacrifices for America and its values. In this talk, I use two case studies of national parks in Guam and California to show that the National Park Service is not innocent in the expansion of American empire; rather, it is a key agency in America’s imperial reach throughout the Pacific World.
Rusty Bartels is a PhD Candidate in the Cultural Studies Graduate Group at University of California, Davis, with a Designated Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies. His dissertation War Memories, Imperial Ambitions: World War II National Parks in the US Pacific World examines the role that WWII memory plays in securing contemporary American occupation of states and territories in the Pacific World. His research interests stem from questions about land use and historical memory in the American West and Pacific World, focusing on how cultural institutions and activities promote the interests of the state.
Asian American Studies Program Coordinator
Cultural Studies Graduate Program Coordinator
Hart Interdisciplinary Programs
3102 Hart Hall