Dr Sylvia Frain
Dr Sylvia Frain from the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand will present a seminar titled "American Protection and Pacific Vulnerability: Questioning Militarism & Masculinity from Darwin, Australia to Guam, "USA".
This presentation offers a self-reflective inquiry as an American citizen of the "protector/protected" discourse employed by the United States (US) to justify continued colonisation and militarisation across the Pacific (Young, 2003). I specifically seek to examine the imperial ideologies and connections between Guam, "USA' and Darwin, Australia as feminine localities in need of US masculine militaristic protection and defence. These spaces are regarded as the "body of the woman/mother/land that the male citizen soldier must protect against violation, penetration, conquest" (Cohn, 2013).
By 2020, the US Navy plans to position 60 percent of its assets in the Pacific, including an increased Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force presence in Guam and also creating a "rotational presence of Marine Corps forces in Darwin, Australia" (U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, 2015). While members of the National Committee of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) have been publicly critical of Australia's "vulnerability" and the government's "flimsy reasons" for this foreign military presence (Deane, 2018), Indigenous understandings of this remain on the periphery. I seek to use this presentation as an activist intervention to invite [Indigenous] Australian and Pacific perspectives on the increased US military presence. I choose to "engage intersectional theorizing and feminist analysis in challenging heteropatriarchal colonial orders" (Na'puti & Rohrer, 2017) to challenge the colonial masculinities of the US military base network from Darwin, Australia to Guam, "USA'.