Application Summer Institute on military occupation, Cornell University

“Occupation: Violence and the Long-term Control of Land and People”

The Summer Institute at Cornell University (May 11-15, 2015)

Preoccupation with occupation in its multiple forms is spreading. The theme of the Third Annual Summer Institute at Cornell University is military occupation and its civilian society relatives. Military occupation refers to temporary control of territory by a conquering nation. Such occupation at times continues open-endedly as post-war governance: 11 of 42 military occupations since the end of World War II continue today. This and non-military usurpations of space/resources constitute ‘effective occupation.’ Effective occupation rests on civil law and is under-studied. Still other occupations surge from below and challenge effective occupation by states, corporations, and other entities.

The goal of the Institute is to understand emergent meanings of occupation and recognize its paradigmatic potential for land and resource commandeering in episodes of war and peace. Participants will ponder these questions: How does military occupation insinuate itself into civilian governance after war episodes pass? How do models of military occupation inform (or not) non-military efforts to assert control over people and landscapes? How are subaltern occupations by the occupied similar to or divergent from military occupation? Other likely questions: How is military occupation changing in light of the changing nature of war? Does occupation ever improve conditions in subjugated zones (“transformative occupation”), an assumption informing today’s U.N. Peacekeepers and other humanitarian interveners? How do corporations occupy landscapes (patents, debt obligations, take-overs, accumulation by dispossession, land/sea grabs)? How is occupation different from enclosure, annexation, and colonial dominion?

Applications: Application deadline is midnight (EST), January 15, 2015 (send to: Include a cover letter, a paper abstract of 500 words, one letter of recommendation, a CV, and writing sample of 30 pages. Accepted applicants will be notified by February 15. Travel (up to $1000 per participant), food, and housing costs are covered by the Institute. International participants will be responsible for researching and completing their own visa and related legal arrangements. Accepted applicants must attend the entire Institute and submit a working draft of their paper by March 15 for circulation to other participants.

What to Expect: The Institute is interdisciplinary and targets ABD graduate students and post-doctoral students 3 years beyond Ph.D. or less. Over five days and through a mix of self-presentations, intensive discussions, invited speaker sessions, and regional excursions, participants engage one another in a collegial setting. Historical period and world region are open. All final papers due on Sept. 1 for inclusion in a peer-reviewed special journal issue. The 2015 Institute is coordinated by Professors Charles Geisler (Development Sociology), Raymond Craib (History), and Paul Nadasdy (Anthropology). Please direct questions to Youjin Chung at

Institute for the Social Sciences at Cornell
342 Ives East, Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-3304