We are thrilled to deliver this special issue, “Tours of Duty and Tours of Leisure.” Along with the 2015 special issue, “Pacific Currents,” this was a project that our editorial team had in mind when the University of Hawai‘i first became the editorial home of American Quarterly.
Based in Hawai‘i, where tourism and the military are driving forces of the state economy, we experience daily the impact of these two industries on the social fabric, culture, and mind-set of the islands’ residents. Tourism and militarism deeply shape the residents’ relationship to history and place, natural and built environment, culture and commodity; they also influence one’s thinking about the islands’ place in the national and global politics and economy. At the same time, the often taken-for-granted predominance of tourism and the military also means that many facets of the ideological, economic, cultural, and psychological work of these sectors are hidden in plain sight, even for—or perhaps especially for—those who live and work in them. The dominance and role of tourism and the military are not specific to Hawai‘i, of course, and have a deep imprint on the lives and histories in many regions across the globe. The increased mobility of some—and immobility of others—and the intensified discourse of security in the age of war on terror make these issues all the more pertinent. The American Quarterly editorial team wanted to use the tools of American studies to critically interrogate not only how tourism and militarism shape experiences and epistemologies of different subjects but also how they work in conjunction with, and sometimes in tension with, each other. We are delighted that three scholars with perfect expertise—Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Jana K. Lipman, and Teresia Teaiwa—have taken on this important project as guest editors and compiled a brilliant and exciting volume.
This special issue presents a rich array of scholarship that covers a wide spectrum of historical, geographical, and cultural contexts, ranging from World War II Italy and postwar Hiroshima to contemporary Hawai‘i, the Caribbean, and occupied Palestine. The works are also wonderfully diverse in their sources and methodologies, including historical archives, ethnography, and media studies. The forum traces the formations and developments of critical scholarship on tourism and militarism by putting together the essays by pioneers in the field with those by emerging scholars carrying their torches in new directions. The review essays discuss recent books that address some of the key questions of the special issue in different historical and political contexts. [End Page vii]
On behalf of the editorial board, I would like to express our awe and admiration for the hard work of the guest editors and all the contributors who made this volume possible. [End Page viii]