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Between Ruin and Rebellion: Everyday Sovereignties in Okinawa’s Black District

April 8, 2024 @
4:30 p.m.
- 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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Image of Nozomi Nakaganeku Saito
Dr. Nozomi Nakaganeku Saito

In the aftermath of World War II, the US Occupation Authority in Okinawa razed farmlands to establish Koza City, a military town associated in collective memory with the racial-gendered and sexualized ruination of Okinawa. The segregation of Black and white US soldiers in Koza led to the creation of the “Black District,” a hotbed of political uprising and solidarities between Black soldiers and Okinawan activists. But these narrative frames don’t tell the whole story—between ruin and rebellion, the stories of Okinawans’ everyday lives offer a different perspective of how to persist in spite of militarization. In this talk, Nozomi Nakaganeku Saito, an Uchinanchu scholar and postdoctoral fellow/visiting assistant professor in English at Amherst College, will examine these stories and the relationship between place and narrative to highlight the practice of everyday sovereignties in Okinawa’s Black District.

Immediately following the lecture, Clark University professor Alexander Murphy (Language, Literature, and Culture) will host a Q&A with Professor Nakaganeku Saito.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Also streamed live – register now:

This event is part of Clark University’s celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and is sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Asian Studies Program, and the Department of Language, Literature, and Culture through the LLC Speaker Series.

About the Speaker

Nozomi Nakaganeku Saito is an Uchinanchu scholar and postdoctoral fellow/visiting assistant professor in English at Amherst College. Her research draws on transpacific, Native and Indigenous, and critical demilitarization studies to examine the impact of US militarization. She is currently working on a book project, Re-seeding Empire: Contested Sovereignties and Indigenous Ecologies in Okinawa, which traces the contradictory logics of weaponizing ecologies in the name of security under the US-Japan Security Treaty and how Okinawan practices have adapted to preserve Indigenous relationships to land, water, and ancestral knowledge.


April 8, 2024
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Clark University, Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons – 2nd Floor
36 Maywood Street
Worcester, MA 01610 United States
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