Co-Conjuring: Practicing Decolonial Nuclear Criticism

  • Lisa Yoneyama (Author)


The article explores decolonial nuclear criticisms in transpacific contexts. It focuses on different cultural productions—film, play, ethnography, historical narrative, and literary criticism—to consider what I call cultural practices of co-conjuration. Co-conjuring practices in some of the texts I explore alert us to the entangled relations between apparently distinct nuclear catastrophes—for example, among radiogenic harm suffered by Indigenous communities, the wartime use of atom bombs, and the meltdown of nuclear reactors. By calling forth ghosts, memories, affects, and a sense of justice associated with nuclear-specific loss and pain in the longue durée of colonialism, militarized empires, extractive settler capitalism, and environmental crises, co-conjuring has the potential to produce relational sensibilities that can move us beyond the colonial partitioning of nuclear knowledge. The paper furthermore considers what must be wagered when we attempt to produce relational knowledge by connecting incommensurable histories and experiences across disparate times and spaces.


Decolonial Justice, Nuclear Universalism, Relationality, Hauntology, The Sahtu Dene of Great Bear Lake, Hiroshima, Fukushima