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"Forget the Rest" blog

August 7, 2011

Bulletin #123: Public talk and discussion Tuesday August 9, "The Meaning of Nagasaki," with Dr. Hugh Gusterson

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Dear friends and colleagues --

This Tuesday evening at 7 pm, August 9, Dr. Hugh Gusterson will speak and lead a public discussion, "The Meaning of Nagasaki," at St. John's Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail, in Santa Fe.

This is sure to be an interesting and useful discussion and we hope that many of you can come.  We are grateful that Hugh is willing to speak with us during what is otherwise a brief family vacation.

I asked Hugh to speak on this topic not just because our ordinary meeting fell on August 9 but because in many ways Nagasaki arguably reveals more even than Hiroshima what lay ahead of us in 1945, and what we still must face down today.

Normally we meet in Room 116 but on this Tuesday we may not; look for signs as you enter the church or ask the sexton as you enter.

Hugh teaches cultural studies at George Mason University, is a long-time student of and authority on nuclear weapons culture, and has long been a friend of the Los Alamos Study Group.  His interests include many aspects of modern warfare and the warfare state, including drone warfare and the (mis)use of anthropologists by the military as "human terrain" experts, which he has been instrumental in opposing.  Here's Hugh's brief biography at the GMU web site:

Born in the UK, Hugh Gusterson took a B.A. in history at Cambridge University in 1980, a Masters degree in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1982, and a PhD in anthropology at Stanford University in 1992.  Somewhere in between he worked for a couple of social change organizations.  He was a professor at MIT from 1992-2006, when he came to George Mason University.  He has done fieldwork in the United States and Russia, where he has studied the culture of nuclear weapons scientists and antinuclear activists.  He also writes about militarism and about science more generally, and has a strong interest in professional ethics.  He is the author of Nuclear Rites (UC Press, 1996) and People of the Bomb (Minnesota, 2004) and co-editor of Cultures of Insecurity (Minnesota, 1999) and Why America's Top Pundits Are Wrong (UC Press, 2005).  As well as writing for scholarly journals, he has a regular online column for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and has published in numerous newspapers and magazines.

And here is more at Wikipedia.

We will devote a very few minutes toward the end of the evening to the practical political work many of you are doing, continuing the meeting outside the church if necessary as we must vacate the church at 9 pm as usual. 

I will write again early this coming week with an important announcement for an event we are organizing in Santa Fe for Thursday evening, August 25, including as well as what I hope you will find to be some useful perspectives and issue updates. Trish and I are concluding a family visit and will be "back in the saddle" at the Study Group tomorrow.  

Best wishes,

Greg, for the Study Group

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