Carceral Architectures of the Pacific War Redress, Recovery and Commemoration
Room 494 Wurster Hall [use South Stairway or Elevator]
Anoma Pieris, Professor of Architectural History, University of Melbourne, Australia
Lynne Horiuchi, Independent Scholar, Oakland, California, USA
Sites of wartime incarceration across the Pacific Basin suffered exceptional levels of neglect and erasure after the war ended when compared with those related to heroic military encounters or events. The recovery and commemoration of their material and human remains mobilised former captives and their host communities in ways that challenge and circumvent national histories.
These processes reveal how architecture comes to mediate national and transnational representations of sovereignty, drawing attention to related issues of racialisation, dispossession and border politics.
This presentation focuses on former concentration camp sites at Manzanar in California and at Cowra, Australia where very different experiences of citizen, civilian and prisoner of war incarceration have been addressed and sustained through ongoing commemorative and landscape strategies. The resilient material cultural practices invoked in creating these environments uncover hidden human dimensions of the conflict. Their politicisation for redress and reconciliation highlights how the war impacted the struggle for civil liberties within settler societies and shaped subsequent regional relationships in the Asia Pacific.
Please join us for this two-part interdisciplinary workshop:
Part One (3:30pm - 4:45pm): Upper Division Undergraduates and Graduate Students from departments across the campus, are invited to present their work-in-progress on topics broadly related to the themes of Horiuchi’s and Pieris’s presentation. Each student will give a brief summary (no more than 10 minutes in length) that introduces their research topic and outlines how the relationship between theories and methods has been conceptualized and put into practice. A summary discussion will follow led by Horiuchi and Pieris.
Part Two (5:00 - 6:30pm): Horiuchi and Pieris will present their comparative research on the Manzanar Park in California, and the Cowra Japanese Garden in Japan, and engage students in a discussion about the relationship between theories and methods in their work, and that of student presenters from Part One of the workshop.
Note: Students who wish to attend Part One of workshop should email the workshop coordinator at:
Anoma Pieris is a professor at the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne. She has published widely on issues of nationalism, citizenship and sovereignty. She is the author, most recently of the anthology, Architecture on the Borderline: boundary politics and built space (Routledge, Architext series 2019). Lynne Horiuchi is an architectural historian. Her work is cross-disciplinary examining incarceration, race, space, mobility, everyday racism, and civil justice. She recently co-edited a collection of essays with Tanu Sankalia, Urban Reinventions: San Francisco’s Treasure Island (University of Hawaii Press, 2017). This presentation introduces their collaborative project on the Pacific War concentration camps.
This event is made possible by funding from the Arcus Chair for Gender, Sexuality and the Built Environment, of the College of Environmental Design