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Critical Questions Lecture Series: Proper Conduct, Proper Care: Gas Masks and Their Misuses in Wartime Hawai'i

Talk by Sunny Xian, associate professor of English and affiliate professor of ethnicity, race and migration at Yale University.

This live, remote talk will examine a seemingly bizarre episode in American history: the years of U.S. martial law in the territory of Hawai'i, when all residents were required to carry a gas mask. It frames U.S. gas mask policies between 1941 and 1945 as a means of habituating civilians to militarized rule, rather than as an aberration from "normal life."

Sunny Xiang is a scholar and teacher of transpacific studies with a special interest in cultural genealogies of militarism and imperialism. Her first book, "Tonal Intelligence: The Aesthetics of Aisan Inscrutability during the Long Cold War," was published by Columbia University Press in 2020. Her current work examines the racial unconscious and imperial history of atomic-age fashions.

Presented by the School of Writing, Literature, and Film.
Free, open to all. Registration required for online viewing.

Monday, May 16 at 4:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lecture or Presentation

Event Topic



Faculty and Staff, Student


Lectures, Critical Questions, Sunny Xiang



College of Liberal Arts, School of Writing, Literature, and Film
Contact Name

Felicia Phillips

Contact Email

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