Abstract

abstract:

During World War II, the University of California College of Agriculture (now the University of California, Davis) was closed and transformed into the Western Signal Corps School, a radar and radio training school for the US Army. This article analyzes the militarized past and present at the University of California (UC) Davis through our "Militarized Arboretum Walking Tour." The tour comprises multiple stops through the university's Arboretum botanical garden and central campus. By combining archival materials with situated observations on natural and built environments, participants examine how militarized and colonial systems, landscapes, and legacies impact and reflect ordinary life beyond the spectacle of the battlefield or wartime. We analyze how our walking tour, as a historical geographic method, offers participants novel ways of understanding and analyzing local and global, historical and present, issues of "everyday militarism." We focus particularly on how the tour "unsettles" the campus environment undergraduate students encounter as a quotidian living and working space, and offer both direct student reflections and our own pedagogical insights on walking tours as an engaged strategy to teach both the local and transnational history of US empire.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2331-7523
Print ISSN
1091-6458
Pages
pp. 40-74
Launched on MUSE
2021-09-30
Open Access
No
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