Falgout, Suzanne

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    Time Traces: Cultural Memory and World War II in Pohnpei
    (University of Hawai'i Press - Center for Pacific Islands Studies, 2002) Turner, James West ; Falgout, Suzanne
    While conducting fieldwork in Pohnpei, Micronesia, in the 1980s and 1990s, Suzanne Falgout heard poignant accounts of the Islanders’ experiences during World War II. The stories and songs that she recorded reveal that for Pohnpeians the effects of the war were local and personal—a catastrophe visited on a landscape that they know in intimate terms. In this paper we discuss not only the content of these memories but also the broader role of memory in human culture. First, we critique common understandings of memory. We highlight the ability of memory to transcend time, the diversity of forms that memory can take, and the active role of humans as agents in the process of remembering. Next, we examine the similarities and diff e rences between personal and cultural memory and the p rocesses of transformation from individual experience to collective identity. F i n a l l y, we discuss the nature of Pohnpeian experiences in World War II and what has made them such enduring and compelling cultural memories sixty years after the war. We relate these wartime memories to traditional Pohnpeian understandings of historical knowledge and to the genres, tropes, characters, concerns, and contexts used by Pohnpeians to remember and to articulate the past. We also examine the changing nature and use of war memories as a strategic resource in the context of contemporary Micronesia.
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    Honouliuli’s POWs: Making Connections, Generating Changes
    (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2014) Falgout, Suzanne
    Immediately adjacent to Honouliuli’s internment camp was Hawaii's largest prisoner of war camp. It housed as many as 4,000 or more Japanese, Okinawans, Koreans, and Filipinos sent from various locations in the Pacific Theater, plus Italians picked up from the Atlantic Theater. The Camp served as an important base camp and also as a main transit point for those sent to destinations on the US mainland.

    Although framed within wider Geneva Convention and US military guidelines for the humane treatment of prisoners, conditions of imprisonment differed significantly from one group to another and also changed over time. Those differences were largely dependent on ethnic backgrounds, wartime political statuses, and the reputations of various POW groups. They were also significantly affected by connections made between POWs and the US military, some with internees of their own ethnic groups in the camp, and especially with members of the local community.

    This paper examines those varying conditions of imprisonment. It also describes the significance of transnational, national, and local connections made by Honouliuli’s POWs.