Hot Spotter’s Report

Hot Spotter's Report

Military Fables of Toxic Waste

Shiloh R. Krupar

How biopolitical militarism in the U.S. obscures the domestic remains of war

360 Pages, 6 x 9 in



Hot Spotter's Report

Military Fables of Toxic Waste

Series: A Quadrant Book

Shiloh R. Krupar

ISBN: 9780816676392

Publication date: June 24th, 2013

360 Pages

8 x 5

"The nuclear remaking of the world is the ambitious theme of Shiloh Krupar’s innovative and often startling new text. Dispatches from a natural world saturated with the toxic products of the U.S. nuclear state perform the uncertain futures, mutant ecologies, and new subjectivities of a post-nuclear America—an important contribution not only to environmental studies, critical theory, and nuclear studies but also to narrative form." —Joseph Masco, University of Chicago

"Hot Spotter’s Report is at once a devastating indictment of ‘green war’ and a hopeful search for new conditions of existence in and beyond the toxic residues of militarism. Written with wit and passion, Krupar’s irreverent experiments with fable, satire, and creative non-fiction do much more than disrupt the ongoing sanitization of military violence; they open space for new coalitions and political imaginings in domestic landscapes marked by the legacies of imperial war. A refreshingly novel approach to environmental and political geography." —Bruce Braun, University of Minnesota

Many nuclear and other U.S. military facilities from World War II and the Cold War are now being closed and remediated. Some of these sites have even been transformed into nature refuges and hailed as models of environmental stewardship. Yet, as Shiloh R. Krupar argues, these efforts are too often doing less to solve the environmental and health problems caused by military industrialism than they are acting to obscure the reality of ongoing contamination, occupational illnesses, and general conditions of exposure.

Using an unusual combination of empirical research, creative nonfiction, and fictional satire, Hot Spotter’s Report examines how the biopolitics of war promotes the idea of a postmilitary and postnuclear world, naturalizing toxicity and limiting human relations with the past and the land. The book’s case studies include the conversion of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal into a wildlife refuge, a project that draws on a green “creation story” to sanitize other histories of the site; the cleanup and management of the former plutonium factory Rocky Flats, where the supposed transfiguration of waste into wilderness allows the government to reduce the area it must manage; and a federal law intended to compensate ill nuclear bomb workers that has sometimes done more to benefit former weapons complexes.

Detecting and exposing such “hot spots” of contamination, in part by satirizing government reports, Hot Spotter’s Report seeks to cultivate irreverence, controversy, coalitional possibility, and ethical responses. The result is a darkly humorous but serious and powerful challenge to the biopolitics of war.

Shiloh R. Krupar is a geographer and assistant professor of culture and politics at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.





1. Where Eagles Dare: A Biopolitical Fable about the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

National Wildlife Refuge

2. Alien Still Life: Managing the End of Rocky Flats

3. Hole in the Head Gang: The Reductio ad absurdum of Nuclear Worker

Compensation (EEOICPA)

4. Transnatural Revue: Irreverent Counterspectacles of Mutant Drag and Nuclear Waste


Conclusion: Hot Spotting