Environmental Humanities

Environmental and Cultural Entanglements of Militarisms

'Camouflage tree' by Marika Lüders, via Flickr Commons

Militarism is part of our everyday environmental, cultural and social worlds

The militarisation of everyday life has arguably become so banal that we barely notice it, even as it has pushed some of the great social, environmental and cultural shifts of recent generations. From the advent of the internet and the mechanization of human labour, to facilitating physical and visual access to once unfathomable environments (such as the deep sea and outer space), to the ubiquity of chemical compounds in both human and non-human bodies, militarisms are everywhere. Military legacies, infrastructures, and technologies continue to shape and reshape possibilities for planetary futures.

Recently, increasing attention has turned to the entanglements between militarisation and more-than-human worlds. For example: How are military technologies called upon to help address questions ranging from species conservation to climate change? How are extractive industries tethered to the military industrial complex? How do toxic legacies of war both foreclose and make possible the flourishing of different kinds of life? How does our understanding of “security” necessarily shift in the Anthropocene epoch, when any separation between human cultures and natural worlds is fundamentally untenable?

This research cluster seeks to develop important new interdisciplinary environmental humanities and cultural studies perspectives on militarisms that centre intersectional and decolonial approaches. Through collaborations across disciplines, with key partners within and beyond academia, our research refuses either the simple celebration or condemnation of militarisation. Instead we seek new modes and frames through which to understand and act in the context of this complex phenomenon in which we are all implicated.

To date, we have established key partnerships with the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC) and researchers at the UC Davis Critical Militarization, Policing, and Security Studies research group.