University of Minnesota Press
Author: Kathy E. Ferguson, Phyllis Turnbull
Format: Softcover; 270 pgs.
Everywhere you look in Hawai’i, you might see the military. And yet, in daily life few residents see the military at all — it is hidden in plain sight. This paradox of invisibility and visibility is the subject of Oh, Say, Can You See?, which maps the power relations involving gender, race, and class that define Hawai’i in relation to the national security state.
Authors Kathy E. Ferguson and Phyllis Turnbull locate and “excavate” cemeteries, memorials, monuments, and museums, to show how the military constructs its gendered narrative upon prior colonial discourses. Among the sites considered are Fort DeRussy, Pearl Harbor, and Punchbowl Cemetery.
This semiotic investigation of ways the military marks Hawai’i necessarily explores the intersection of immigration, colonialism, military expansion, and tourism on the islands. Attending to the ways in which the military represents itself and others represent the military, the authors locate the particular representational elements that both conceal and reveal the military’s presence and power.