Trinity College Assistant Professor of American Studies Juliet Nebolon has been awarded a 2022 fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). The fellowship grant will support Nebolon during the next academic year as she completes her first book, Settler Militarism: World War II in Hawai‘i and the Making of U.S. Empire. ACLS fellowships and grants are awarded to individual scholars for excellence in research in the humanities and related social sciences.

Assistant Professor of American Studies Juliet Nebolon
Assistant Professor of American Studies Juliet Nebolon

“The ACLS fellowship granted me a full year of support to undertake the final stages of research and writing for this project,” Nebolon said. “I’m so excited and grateful to have this time to complete my first book.”

Settler Militarism explores the period of martial law in Hawai‘i from 1941 to 1944. “Through close analysis of wartime projects that range from mandatory immunization and blood donation programs, to the sudden influx of cookbooks written for the ‘wartime hostess,’ to the internment of Japanese immigrants and prisoners of war, I illustrate how the mechanisms of martial law not only transformed landscapes and security measures, but also the responsibilities of citizenship, standards for health and well-being, language and cultural production, and the economics of the home and family—all in the name of military defense and mobilization,” Nebolon said. “These martial law projects utilized logics of ‘wartime necessity’ to create racialized and gendered forms of service for Hawai‘i’s civilians, while also naturalizing military expansion, land appropriation, and Indigenous displacement.” Chapters on these topics and others analyze settler militarism, which Nebolon defined as the dynamic through which settler colonialism and militarization perpetuated, legitimated, and concealed one another in Hawai‘i.

For Nebolon, it is important to bring the insights, critiques, and knowledge gained from her research into her courses and independent studies at Trinity. “To have this year to focus on my own scholarship is also an opportunity to continue to read deeply in the academic fields with which I consider myself in conversation,” she said. “This inevitably enriches my teaching, as I continually aim to bring new texts and scholarship into the classroom.”

At Trinity, Nebolon was a Writing Fellow in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric in spring 2021 and received a Curricular Development Grant from the Indigenous Studies Working Group in 2020.

Nebolon received her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her research and teaching bring a transnational perspective to the study of race, indigeneity, and gender in the United States, with a particular focus on U.S. war and empire in Asia and the Pacific Islands. In addition to teaching courses on these subjects, Nebolon also teaches the first-year seminar, “Race and American Culture.”

Her article published in American Quarterly, “‘Life Given Straight from the Heart’: Settler Militarism, Biopolitics, and Public Health in Hawai‘i during World War II,” was awarded the American Studies Association’s 2018 Constance M. Rourke Prize. She recently published a second article, “Settler-Military Camps: Internment and Prisoner of War Camps across the Pacific Islands during World War II,” in the Journal of Asian American Studies.

“It’s truly an honor to have received this fellowship,” Nebolon added. “I’m so looking forward to having this time to focus on my book, but I also will miss being in the classroom and look forward to returning to teaching in fall 2023.”