Here are the abstracts for two of the sessions to which I am most looking forward:
A Decolonial Analysis of Guam’s Media Landscape
The role of media in a society is not simply to report stories and investigate events, but to promote values and norms, usually on behalf of dominant classes or institutions. In a colonial context, such as that of Guam, these roles gain a colonial dimension, as both institutions and individuals will often be compelled to defend and naturalize the colonial status quo. As such, rather than conduct reporting that reflects Guam’s colonial relationship to the US, the media will valorize the US and promote a fantasy of political belonging that doesn’t exist. This panel will attempt to conduct a decolonial analysis of Guam’s media landscape, by discussing current hegemonic structures and attempts to develop decolonial counter-hegemony through independent media.
Independent Journalist, M.A. in English from UOG
Social Work Major, UOG
Chamorro Studies/History Major, UOG
Michael Lujan Bevacqua
Assistant Professor, Chamorro Studies, UOG
A History of Militarization in the Marianas
The Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific sometimes known as “Where America’s Day Begins” other times known as the “tip of the spear.” These islands have been home to the indigenous Chamorro people for thousands of years, but are considered strategic colonial and neocolonial assets to the United States military. As the US continues with its Pacific Pivot, preparing for future threats from Asia by militarizing its Pacific Island possessions, the fate of the Marianas Islands, due to their lack of standing within the US and in the international community, is something easily missed. The purpose of this presentation is to provide a historical overview of the history of militarization in the Marianas Islands over the past century. Special attention will be given to the close connections between the political status and strategic value of the Mariana Islands and how this manifested in terms of US policy.