Something interesting has been happening in the iconic zones of American World War II memory. They are filling up with more densely interpreted histories of the war in the form of films, media productions, museum exhibits, historic markers, memorials, tour packages, and so on. This expansion of institutionalized representations of World War II is happening at the very moment in which the generation that experienced the war is passing on. This talk will offer some preliminary reflections on this transitional moment, based on ethnographic work on memorial museums, commemorative events, and tourism practices in both Pearl Harbor and Normandy.

Geoffrey White is Professor of Anthropology at UHM and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center. His research in Solomon Islands and Hawaii on memory of the Pacific War now extends to American war tourism in France.

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