Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

Reader 1

Alfred Flores

Reader 2

April Mayes

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Rights Information

© 2023 Marina Aina


American militarism and imperialism in Oceania led to the partitioning of Sāmoa, transforming Eastern Sāmoa into an unincorporated American territory, one that persists to this day. Sāmoans living in the United States continue to face numerous chronic health illnesses to this day. Both of these statements are true, but how are they related to one another? This thesis proposes “militarized foodways” as a way to bridge the gap and understand how those two statements are connected to one another. Militarized foodways refers to how the cultural, social, and economic practices concerning production and consumption of food have taken a military quality following militarization (or reliance on the military as an institution) of a space. Focusing on the role of imported food, this paper demonstrates how these imported foods (and the cultural cuisines in which they exist in) are an embodiment of legacies of American militarism and colonialism, while also bringing into conversation agency and ingenuity demonstrated by Sāmoan people. As a result, this thesis foregrounds militarized foodways (via its utilization of food imports) as an avenue to highlight the connection between the militarization of American Sāmoa and chronic health conditions experienced by Sāmoans living in the U.S.