Complete Story

JACK, Jordynn

Summer 2007, 37:3, pages 229 - 250

Space, Time, Memory: Gendered Recollections of Wartime Los Alamos

In this article, I examine configurations of space and time in memory texts written by men and women who lived at Los Alamos, New Mexico, during World War II. These accounts each use somewhat different parameters to frame their recollections, drawing attention to the gendered hierarchy of space-times involved in the work of the Manhattan Project.  Despite their heterogeneous authors and motivations, however, these frameworks circumscribe memories within a narrow time and space -- the physical boundaries of the Los Alamos site and the frantic tempo of wartime work. In this way, they construct a collective memory of Los Alamos that overlooks the broader spaces and times within which the development of the atomic bomb was situated. Far from being neutral, like dates on a calendar or coordinates on a map, space and time function ideologically to shape memories in ways that support the ideological interests of scientists.

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