Pacific women's anti-nuclear poetry: centring Indigenous knowledges

Rebecca H. Hogue, Anaïs Maurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article expands feminist IR research on global nuclear politics by presenting a heretofore unassembled archive of Indigenous Pacific women's anti-nuclear poetry and by arguing for the importance of this poetry as a transformative mover of international discourse on nuclear imperialisms. Pacific activists, and especially women, have been some of the world's most active opponents to the global nuclear industrial complex, systematically working on the frontline of grassroots organizing in the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP) movement. Yet, the role played by Pacific women in the movement is understudied. To begin rectifying this omission, we chronologically retrace the evolution and the complexity of women's role in the global anti-nuclear movement by outlining the history of the development of anti-nuclear conferences in the 1970s understood alongside and also through Pacific women's poetic reflection on and activism against nuclearization in the Pacific. The poems by Pacific women presented in this article contribute to debates about nuclear politics in feminist IR and beyond, as they bring Pacific Islander voices into view and provide a more complex picture of Indigenous organizing, highlighting tensions based on gender and class within organizations such as the NFIP movement. In addition, these poems also contribute to ongoing challenges in IR to what constitutes valid forms of political discourse, by pushing back against the field's patriarchal tendency to favour administrative language and statistical reports at the expense of embodied knowledge and emotional experience. As such, this article also addresses broader questions of knowledge production in IR, particularly in the context of debates about decolonizing the field, and advocates for centring Indigenous knowledges of international politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1267-1288
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


  • Feminism
  • Indigenous
  • Militarization
  • Nuclear
  • Pacific


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