In 1897, as a white oligarchy made plans to allow the United States to annex Hawai'i, native Hawaiians organized a massive petition drive to protest. Ninety-five percent of the native population signed the petition, causing the annexation treaty to fail in the U.S. Senate. This event was unknown to many contemporary Hawaiians until Noenoe K. Silva rediscovered the petition in the process of researching this book. With few exceptions, histories of Hawai'i have been based exclusively on English-language sources. They have not taken into account the thousands of pages of newspapers, books, and letters written in the mother tongue of native Hawaiians. By rigorously analyzing many of these documents, Silva fills a crucial gap in the historical record. In so doing, she refutes the long-held idea that native Hawaiians passively accepted the erosion of their culture and loss of their nation, showing that they actively resisted political, economic, linguistic, and cultural domination. Drawing on Hawaiian-language texts, primarily newspapers produced in the nineteenth century and early twentieth, Silva demonstrates that print media was central to social communication, political organizing, and the perpetuation of Hawaiian language and culture. A powerful critique of colonial historiography, Aloha Betrayed provides a much-needed history of native Hawaiian resistance to American imperialism.
Aloha Compadre: Latinxs in Hawaiʻi is the first book to examine the collective history and contemporary experiences of the Latinx population of Hawaiʻi. This study reveals that contrary to popular discourse, Latinx migration to Hawaiʻi is not a recent event. In the national memory of the United States for example, the Latinx population of Hawaiʻi is often portrayed as recent arrivals and not as long-term historical communities with a presence that precedes the formation of statehood itself. Historically speaking Latinxs have been voyaging to the Hawaiian Islands for over 190 years. From the early 1830s to the present, they continue to help shape Hawaiʻi’s history, yet their contributions are often overlooked. Latinxs have thus been a part of the cultural landscape of Hawaiʻi prior to annexation, territorial status, and statehood in 1959. Aloha Compadre also explores the expanding boundaries of Latinx migration beyond the western hemisphere and into Oceania.
In Austronesia—the region that stretches from Madagascar in the west to Easter Island in the east—music plays a vital role in both the construction and expression of social and cultural identities. Yet research into the music of Austronesia has hitherto been sparse. Drawing together contemporary cultural studies and musical analysis, Austronesian Soundscapes will fill this research gap, offering a comprehensive analysis of traditional and contemporary Austronesian music and, at the same time, investigating how music reflects the challenges that Austronesian cultures face in this age of globalization.
In Bad Colonists Nicholas Thomas and Richard Eves provide a window into the fantasies and realities of colonial life by presenting separate sets of letters by two late-nineteenth-century British colonists of the South Pacific: Vernon Lee Walker and Louis Becke. Thomas and Eves frame the letters—addressed mostly to the colonists’ mothers—with commentary that explores colonial degeneration in the South Pacific. Using critical anthropology and theories of history-making to view the letter as artifact and autobiography, they examine the process whereby men and women unraveled in the hot, violent, uncivil colonial milieu. An obscure colonial trader, Walker wrote to his mother in England from Australia, the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu), and New Caledonia—and also from ships in between those places—during the 1870s and 1880s. Becke was a trader, too, but he was also a successful author of popular fiction that drew on his experiences in the Pacific. Written from Micronesia in the early 1880s, Becke’s letters are like Walker’s in that they report one setback after another. Both collections vividly evoke the day-to-day experiences of ordinary late-nineteenth-century colonists and open up new questions concerning the making and writing of selves on the colonial periphery. Exposing insecurities in an epoch normally regarded as one of imperial triumph, Bad Colonists will appeal to students and scholars of anthropology, colonial history, cultural studies, and Pacific history and culture.
Engaging voices crossing textual limits, race, and ethnic lines
In this collection of essays, scholars from Oceania open a new dialog regarding the vast, complex, and slippery nature of the Bible and the fluid meanings of borders and belongings. From belonging in a place, a group, or movement to belongings as material and cultural possessions, from borders of a text, discipline, or thought to borders of nations, communities, or bodies, the authors follow the currents of Oceania to the shores of Asia and beyond. Scholars contributing essays include Jeffrey W. Aernie, Merilyn Clark, Jione Havea, Gregory C. Jenks, Jeanette Mathews, Judith E. McKinlay, Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon, David J. Neville, John Painter, Kathleen P. Rushton, Ruth Sheridan, Nasili Vaka‘uta, and Elaine M. Wainwright. Michele A. Connolly, David M. Gunn, and Mark G. Brett provide responses to the essays.
Discussion of the impacts of natural disasters and political and ecological upheavals on biblical interpretation and theological reflection
Fourteen essays on texts in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament
Three responses to the essays provide a range of views on the topics
Prepared for the 2013 National Climate Assessment and a landmark study in terms of its breadth and depth of coverage, Climate Change and the Pacific Islands was developed by the Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment, a collaborative effort engaging federal, state, and local government agencies, non-government organizations, academician, businesses, and community groups to inform and prioritize their activities in the face of a changing climate. The book assesses the state of knowledge about climate change indicators, impacts, and adaptive capacity of the Hawaiian archipelago and the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands.
The book provides the basis for understanding the key observations and impacts from climate change in the region, including the rise in surface air and sea-surface temperatures, along with sea levels, and the changes in ocean chemistry, rainfall amount and distribution, weather extremes, and widespread ecosystem changes.
Rich in science and case studies, it examines the latest climate change impacts, scenarios, vulnerabilities, and adaptive capacity and offers decision makers and stakeholders a substantial basis from which to make informed choices that will affect the well-being of the region’s inhabitants in the decades to come.
A new history of globalization and empire at the crossroads of the Pacific.
Located halfway between Hawai‘i and Australia, the islands of Samoa have long been a center of Oceanian cultural and economic exchange. Accustomed to exercising agency in trade and diplomacy, Samoans found themselves enmeshed in a new form of globalization after missionaries and traders arrived in the middle of the nineteenth century. As the great powers of Europe and America competed to bring Samoa into their orbits, Germany and the United States eventually agreed to divide the islands for their burgeoning colonial holdings.
In Coconut Colonialism, Holger Droessler examines the Samoan response through the lives of its workers. Ordinary Samoans—some on large plantations, others on their own small holdings—picked and processed coconuts and cocoa, tapped rubber trees, and built roads and ports that brought cash crops to Europe and North America. At the same time, Samoans redefined their own way of being in the world—what Droessler terms “Oceanian globality”—to challenge German and American visions of a global economy that in fact served only the needs of Western capitalism. Through cooperative farming, Samoans contested the exploitative wage-labor system introduced by colonial powers. The islanders also participated in ethnographic shows around the world, turning them into diplomatic missions and making friends with fellow colonized peoples. Samoans thereby found ways to press their own agendas and regain a degree of independence. Based on research in multiple languages and countries, Coconut Colonialism offers new insights into the global history of labor and empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.
"...valuable information, ideas, and contrasts."
The legendary Margaret Mead changed Americans' views of themselves by relating information collected from remote peoples to our society--a society that she did not consider necessarily to be the pinnacle of human development. However, Mead and her followers have been criticized for promulgating sensationalized and inaccurate images of Melanesian societies, including savagery, cannibalism, and wanton sexuality. This book deals with the consequences of such Western condescension.
Destined to be highly controversial, this book for the first time brings a multicultural outlook to bear on Margaret Mead, scrutinizing her role and impact on Western anthropology, colonialism, and strategic and business interests in the South Pacific. The contributors, most of them avowedly activist supporters of the concept of a nuclear-free and independent Pacific, include Warilea Iamo, Papua New Guinea's first anthropologist; John D. Waiko, Director of the New Guinea Institute of Applied Social and Economic Research; Nahau Rooney, the daughter of one of Mead's informants, and; Susanna Ounei, a leader of a New Caledonian independence front.
"This book is a remarkable portrait of a scholar and a field, both fierce and fair. The conjecture of perspectives--ethnography and empire, personal history and public practice, voices from the Pacific as well as the United States--makes a document important for assessing anthropology, both past and future."
--Dell Hymes, University of Virginia, and editor of Reinventing Anthropology
"Mead's attitude toward and activities in relation to her country's foreign and military policies are under scrutiny here, and so is her relationship with the subjects of her research. Such critical assessment of leading scholars is crucial to improvement of academic research and scholastic work and building trust, confidence, and good relations among poe0ples of the world."
--Amelia Rokotuivuna, Young Women's Christian Association, Fiji, and former Chair of the Nuclear-Free Pacific Conference
Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson: Travel, Narrative, and the Colonial Body is the first book-length study about the influence of travel on Robert Louis Stevenson’s writings, both fiction and nonfiction. Within the contexts of late-Victorian imperialism and ethnographic discourse, the book offers original close readings of individual works by Stevenson while bringing new theoretical insights to bear on the relationship between travel, authorship, and gender identity.
Oliver S. Buckton develops “cruising” as a critical term, linking Stevenson’s leisurely mode of travel with the striking narrative motifs of disruption and fragmentation that characterize his writings. Buckton follows Stevenson’s career from his early travel books to show how Stevenson’s major works of fiction, such as Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Ebb-Tide, derive from the innovative techniques and materials Stevenson acquired on his global travels.
Exploring Stevenson’s pivotal role in the revival of “romance” in the late nineteenth century, Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson highlights Stevenson’s treatment of the human body as part of his resistance to realism, arguing that the energies and desires released by travel are often routed through resistant or comic corporeal figures. Buckton also focuses on Stevenson’s writing about the South Seas, arguing that his groundbreaking critiques of European colonialism are formed in awareness of the fragility and desirability of Polynesian bodies and landscapes.
Cruising with Robert Louis Stevenson will be indispensable to all admirers of Stevenson as well as of great interest to readers of travel writing, Victorian ethnography, gender studies, and literary criticism.
For thirty years before the coming of the European missionaries, European explorers were able to observe Tahitian society as it had existed for centuries. Now Edwin Ferdon, Polynesian archaeologist and veteran of Thor Heyerdah's expedition to Easter Island, has interwoven their records to show us in fascinating detail what that society was like.
Ethnographic observations and experiences on the Tongan Islands up to 1810—just prior to intensive Christian missionary activities—provide an early historic baseline of culture for those interested in alter culture change in Tonga, the only Polynesian island group that has never been ruled by outsiders. Ferdon has drawn on a variety of records to provide a well-documented and highly readable account of major aspects of Tongan life—material culture, government, food and drink, recreation, customs, trade, and warfare—at the time when European influences were only beginning to modify traditional island patterns.
The ethnohistorical approach to early Tongan culture offers not only a fascinating glimpse into a world long past but also a basis for the comparative study of European acculturation throughout Polynesia.
Edwin N. Ferdon first became interested in early Polynesia while serving as an archaeologist with Thor Heyerdahl’s 1955 expedition to Easter Island. He is also the author of Early Tahiti As the Explorers Saw It, 1767–1797.
The Echo of Things is a compelling ethnographic study of what photography means to the people of Roviana Lagoon in the western Solomon Islands. Christopher Wright examines the contemporary uses of photography and expectations of the medium in Roviana, as well as people's reactions to photographs made by colonial powers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For Roviana people, photographs are unique objects; they are not reproducible, as they are in Euro-American understandings of the medium. Their status as singular objects contributes to their ability to channel ancestral power, and that ability is a key to understanding the links between photography, memory, and history in Roviana. Filled with the voices of Roviana people, The Echo of Things is both a nuanced study of the lives of photographs in a particular cultural setting and a provocative inquiry into our own understandings of photography.
Until the New Deal, most groups seeking protection from imports were successful in obtaining relief from Congress. In general the cost of paying the tariffs for consumers was less than the cost of mounting collective action to stop the tariffs. In 1934, with the passage of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, all of this changed. The six decades that followed have produced a remarkable liberalization of trade policy in the United States. This occurred despite the fact that domestic politics, according to some of the best developed theories, should have prevented this liberalization.
Michael Gilligan argues that liberalization has succeeded because it has been reciprocal with liberalization in other countries. Our trade barriers have been reduced as an explicit quid pro quo for reduction of trade barriers in other countries. Reciprocity, Gilligan argues, gives exporters the incentive to support free trade policies because it gives them a clear gain from free trade and thus enables the exporters to overcome collective action problems. The lobbying by exporters, balancing the interests of groups seeking protection, changes the preferences of political leaders in favor of more liberalization.
Gilligan tests his theory in a detailed exploration of the history of American trade policy and in a quantitative analysis showing increases in the demand for liberalization as the result of reciprocity in trade legislation from 1890 to the present. This book should appeal to political scientists, economists, and those who want to understand the political underpinnings of American trade policy.
Michael J. Gilligan is Assistant Professor of Politics, New York University.
Entangled Objects threatens to dislodge the cornerstone of Western anthropology by rendering permanently problematic the idea of reciprocity. All traffic, and commerce, whether economic or intellectual, between Western anthropologists and the rest of the world, is predicated upon the possibility of establishing reciprocal relations between the West and the indigenous peoples it has colonized for centuries.
Drawing on his work on contemporary postcolonial Pacific societies, Nicholas Thomas takes up three issues central to modern anthropology: the cultural and political dynamics of colonial encounters, the nature of Western and non-Western transactions (such as the gift and the commodity), and the significance of material objects in social life. Along the way, he raises doubts about any simple “us/them” dichotomy between Westerners and Pacific Islanders, challenging the preoccupation of anthropology with cultural difference by stressing the shared history of colonial entanglement.
Thomas integrates general issues into a historical discussion of the uses Pacific Islanders and Europeans have made of each other’s material artifacts. He explores how nineteenth- and twentieth-century islanders, and visitors from the time of the Cook voyages up to the present day, have fashioned identities for themselves and each other by appropriating and exchanging goods. Previous writers have explored museums and the tribal art market, but this is the first book to concentrate on the distinct interests of European collectors and the islanders. In its comparative scope, its combination of historical and ethnographic scholarship, and its subversive approach to anthropological theory and traditional understandings of colonial relationships, Entangled Objects is a unique and challenging book. It will be tremendously interesting to all those working in the fields of cultural studies, from history to literature.
"As my sense of the turpitude and guilt of sin was weakened, the vices of the natives appeared less odious and criminal. After a time, I was induced to yield to their allurements, to imitate their manners, and to join them in their sins . . . and it was not long ere I disencumbered myself of my European garment, and contented myself with the native dress. . . ."—from Narrative of the late George Vason, of Nottingham
As George Vason's anguished narrative shows, European encounters with Pacific peoples often proved as wrenching to the Europeans as to the natives. This anthology gathers some of the most vivid accounts of these cultural exchanges for the first time, placing the works of well-known figures such as Captain James Cook and Robert Louis Stevenson alongside the writings of lesser-known explorers, missionaries, beachcombers, and literary travelers who roamed the South Seas from the late seventeenth through the late nineteenth centuries.
Here we discover the stories of the British buccaneers and privateers who were lured to the Pacific by stories of fabulous wealth; of the scientists, cartographers, and natural historians who tried to fit the missing bits of terra incognita into a universal scheme of knowledge; and of the varied settlers who established a permanent European presence in Polynesia and Australia. Through their detailed commentary on each piece and their choice of selections, the editors—all respected scholars of the literature and cultures of the Pacific—emphasize the mutuality of impact of these colonial encounters and the continuity of Pacific cultures that still have the power to transform visitors today.
Sprinkled across the tropical Pacific, the innumerable islands of Oceania are home to some of the most unique bird communities on the planet, and they sustain species found nowhere else on earth. Many of the birds that live in this region are endangered, however; many more have become extinct as a result of human activity, in both recent and prehistoric times.
Reconstructing the avian world in the same way archeologists re-create ancient human societies, David Steadman—a leading authority on tropical Pacific avian paleontology—has spent the past two decades in the field, digging through layers of soil in search of the bones that serve as clues to the ancient past of island bird communities. His years of indefatigable research and analysis are the foundation for Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds, a monumental study of the landbirds of tropical Pacific islands—especially those from Fiji eastward to Easter Island—and an intricate history of the patterns and processes of island biology over time.
Using information gleaned from prehistoric specimens, Steadman reconstructs the birdlife of tropical Pacific islands as it existed before the arrival of humans and in so doing corrects the assumption that small, remote islands were unable to support rich assemblages of plants and animals. Easter Island, for example, though devoid of wildlife today, was the world’s richest seabird habitat before Polynesians arrived more than a millennium ago. The forests of less isolated islands in the Pacific likewise teemed with megapodes, rails, pigeons, parrots, kingfishers, and songbirds at first human contact.
By synthesizing data from the distant past, Steadman hopes to inform present conservation programs. Grounded in geology, paleontology, and archeology, but biological at its core, Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds is an exceptional work of unparalleled scholarship that will stimulate creative discussions of terrestrial life on oceanic islands for years to come.
Alike in many aspects of their histories, Australia and the United States diverge in striking ways when it comes to their working classes, labor relations, and politics.
Greg Patmore and Shelton Stromquist curate innovative essays that use transnational and comparative analysis to explore the two nations’ differences. The contributors examine five major areas: World War I’s impact on labor and socialist movements; the history of coerced labor; patterns of ethnic and class identification; forms of working-class collective action; and the struggles related to trade union democracy and independent working-class politics. Throughout, many essays highlight how hard-won transnational ties allowed Australians and Americans to influence each other’s trade union and political cultures.
Contributors: Robin Archer, Nikola Balnave, James R. Barrett, Bradley Bowden, Verity Burgmann, Robert Cherny, Peter Clayworth, Tom Goyens, Dianne Hall, Benjamin Huf, Jennie Jeppesen, Marjorie A. Jerrard, Jeffrey A. Johnson, Diane Kirkby, Elizabeth Malcolm, Patrick O’Leary, Greg Patmore, Scott Stephenson, Peta Stevenson-Clarke, Shelton Stromquist, and Nathan Wise
German Colonialism Revisited brings together military historians, art historians, literary scholars, cultural theorists, and linguists to address a range of issues surrounding colonized African, Asian, and Oceanic people’s creative reactions to and interactions with German colonialism. This scholarship sheds new light on local power dynamics; agency; and economic, cultural, and social networks that preceded and, as some now argue, ultimately structured German colonial rule. Going beyond issues of resistance, these essays present colonialism as a shared event from which both the colonized and the colonizers emerged changed.
Whether presented as exotic fantasy, a strategic location during World War II, or a site combining postwar leisure with military culture, Hawaii and the South Pacific figure prominently in the U.S. national imagination. Hollywood’s Hawaii is the first full-length study of the film industry’s intense engagement with the Pacific region from 1898 to the present.
Delia Malia Caparoso Konzett highlights films that mirror the cultural and political climate of the country over more than a century—from the era of U.S. imperialism on through Jim Crow racial segregation, the attack on Pearl Harbor and WWII, the civil rights movement, the contemporary articulation of consumer and leisure culture, as well as the buildup of the modern military industrial complex. Focusing on important cultural questions pertaining to race, nationhood, and war, Konzett offers a unique view of Hollywood film history produced about the national periphery for mainland U.S. audiences. Hollywood’s Hawaii presents a history of cinema that examines Hawaii and the Pacific and its representations in film in the context of colonialism, war, Orientalism, occupation, military buildup, and entertainment.
In this collection of essays, Nicholas Thomas, a leading theorist of historical anthropology, explores the historicization of cultural encounters in the region referred to as Oceania. Basing his claims on wide-ranging historical and ethnographic research and building on his celebrated studies of exchange and colonialism in the Pacific, Thomas describes how outsiders and islanders alike have constructed indigenous cultures over the last two hundred years. In Oceania documents and analyzes the "rhetorical artifacts" of explorers, missionaries, fiction and travel writers, and the people of the Pacific themselves to illustrate how Oceanic identities have been represented over time. Not content with conventional methods of anthropology or history, Thomas draws on postcolonial theory and literary analysis in extraordinarily wide-ranging analyses of texts, visual images, and historical processes. He demonstrates how cultures of the Pacific Islands have dealt with colonialist ventures, modernity, and the debate about the recuperation of histories and traditions. The picture Thomas paints of Oceania, however, is not one of a group of societies stripped of meaning, but one that shows how the interactions between indigenous cultures and European influences have created entirely new identities.
Islands of History
Marshall Sahlins University of Chicago Press, 1987 Library of Congress DU28.3.S24 1985 | Dewey Decimal 990
Marshall Sahlins centers these essays on islands—Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand—whose histories have intersected with European history. But he is also concerned with the insular thinking in Western scholarship that creates false dichotomies between past and present, between structure and event, between the individual and society. Sahlins's provocative reflections form a powerful critique of Western history and anthropology.
This book is the result of a conference organised by the Contemporary Portuguese Political History Research Centre (CPHRC) and the University of Dundee that took place during September 2000. The purpose of this conference, and the resulting book, was to bring together various experts in the field to analyse and debate the process of Portuguese decolonisation, which was then 25 years old, and the effects of this on the Portuguese themselves. For over one century, the Portuguese state had defined its foreign policy on the basis of its vast empire &endash; this was the root of its 'Atlanticist' vision. The outbreak of war of liberation in its African territories, which were prompted by the new international support for self determination in colonised territories, was a serious threat that undermined the very foundations of the Portuguese state. This book examines the nature of this threat, how the Portuguese state initially attempted to overcome it by force, and how new pressures within Portuguese society were given space to emerge as a consequence of the colonial wars.
This is the first book that takes a multidisciplinary look at both the causes and the consequences of Portuguese decolonisation &endash; and is the only one that places the loss of Portugal's Eastern Empire in the context of the loss of its African Empire. Furthermore, it is the only English language book that relates the process of Portuguese decolonisation with the search for a new Portuguese vision of its place in the world.
This book is intended for anyone who is interested in regime change, decolonisation, political revolutions and the growth and development of the European Union. It will also be useful for those who are interested in contemporary developments in civil society and state ideologies. Given that a large part of the book is dedicated to the process of change in the various countries of the former Portuguese Empire, it will also be of interest to students of Africa. It will be useful to those who study decolonisation processes within the other former European Empires, as it provides comparative detail. The book will be most useful to academic researchers and students of comparative politics and area studies.
Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an ethnographic account of the relationship between the Ipili, an indigenous group in Papua New Guinea, and the large international gold mine operating on their land. It was not until 1939 that Australian territorial patrols reached the Ipili. By 1990, the third largest gold mine on the planet was operating in their valley. Alex Golub examines how "the mine" and "the Ipili" were brought into being in relation to one another, and how certain individuals were authorized to speak for the mine and others to speak for the Ipili. Considering the relative success of the Ipili in their negotiations with a multinational corporation, Golub argues that a unique conjuncture of personal relationships and political circumstances created a propitious moment during which the dynamic and fluid nature of Ipili culture could be used to full advantage. As that moment faded away, social problems in the valley increased. The Ipili now struggle with the extreme social dislocation brought about by the massive influx of migrants and money into their valley.
A grandson’s photo album. Old postcards. English porcelain. A granite headstone. These are just a few of the material objects that help reconstruct the histories of colonial people who lived during Japan’s empire. These objects, along with oral histories and visual imagery, reveal aspects of lives that reliance on the colonial archive alone cannot. They help answer the primary question of Lost Histories: Is it possible to write the history of Japan’s colonial subjects? Kirsten Ziomek contends that it is possible, and in the process she brings us closer to understanding the complexities of their lives.
Lost Histories provides a geographically and temporally holistic view of the Japanese empire from the early 1900s to the 1970s. The experiences of the four least-examined groups of Japanese colonial subjects—the Ainu, Taiwan’s indigenous people, Micronesians, and Okinawans—are the centerpiece of the book. By reconstructing individual life histories and following these people as they crossed colonial borders to the metropolis and beyond, Ziomek conveys the dynamic nature of an empire in motion and explains how individuals navigated the vagaries of imperial life.
The Magnificent Boat
Götz Aly Harvard University Press, 2023 Library of Congress DU740.3.A5913 2023 | Dewey Decimal 995.3
From an eminent and provocative historian, a wrenching parable of the ravages of colonialism in the South Pacific.
Countless museums in the West have been criticized for their looted treasures, but few as trenchantly as the Humboldt Forum, which displays predominantly non-Western art and artifacts in a modern reconstruction of the former Royal Palace in Berlin. The Forum’s premier attraction, an ornately decorated fifteen-meter boat from the island of Luf in modern-day Papua New Guinea, was acquired under the most dubious circumstances by Max Thiel, a German trader, in 1902 after two decades of bloody German colonial expeditions in Oceania.
Götz Aly tells the story of the German pillaging of Luf and surrounding islands, a campaign of violence in which Berlin ethnologists were brazenly complicit. In the aftermath, the majestic vessel was sold to the Ethnological Museum in the imperial capital, where it has remained ever since. In Aly’s vivid telling, the looted boat is a portal to a forgotten chapter in the history of empire—the conquest of the Bismarck Archipelago. One of these islands was even called Aly, in honor of the author’s great-granduncle, Gottlob Johannes Aly, a naval chaplain who served aboard ships that helped subjugate the South Sea islands Germany colonized.
While acknowledging the complexity of cultural ownership debates, Götz Aly boldly questions the legitimacy of allowing so many treasures from faraway, conquered places to remain located in the West. Through the story of one emblematic object, The Magnificent Boat artfully illuminates a sphere of colonial brutality of which too few are aware today.
Recounts the social, racial, and political dramas that attended the deployment of a major Deep South infantry division, both at home and abroad
Chris Rein’s study of the Thirty-First Infantry Division, known officially as the “Dixie Division,” illuminates the complexities in mobilizing American reserve units to meet the global emergency during World War II. Citizen soldiers from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi formed the core of one of the ninety infantry divisions the Army successfully activated, trained, equipped, and deployed to defeat fascism in Europe and race-based imperialism in the Pacific. But the Army mobilized ideas along with manpower, and soldiers from across the Jim Crow South brought their racial ideas and views with them into the ranks and then exported these across the South Pacific. If the American victory in World War II represents a “double victory” over racism abroad and at home, the division’s service is a cogent reminder that the same powerful force could pull in opposite directions.
While focused on the division’s operational service during the war years, Mobilizing the South: The Thirty-First Infantry Division, Race, and World War II spans the division’s entire service from 1917 to 1967, from an interwar period highlighted by responses to natural disasters and facing down lynch mobs through a postwar service that included protecting activists in the most important struggles of the civil rights era. But the division’s extended service as a training establishment highlights lingering resentments and tensions within the American military system between the active and reserve components. Despite this, the division performed well in General Douglas MacArthur’s island-hopping campaign across the South Pacific. Using official records as well as details drawn from correspondence and oral histories, Rein captures how individual soldiers framed their exposure to a larger world, and how service alongside African American, New Guinean, and Filipino units both reinforced and modified views on race and postwar American society.
In Monsters and Revolutionaries Françoise Vergès analyzes the complex relationship between the colonizer and colonized on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion. Through novels, iconography, and texts from various disciplines including law, medicine, and psychology, Vergès constructs a political and cultural history of the island’s relations with France. Woven throughout is Vergès’s own family history, which is intimately tied to the history of Réunion itself. Originally settled by sugar plantation owners and their Indian and African slaves following a seventeenth-century French colonial decree, Réunion abolished slavery in 1848. Because plantation owners continued to import workers from India, Africa, Asia, and Madagascar, the island was defined as a place based on mixed heritages, or métissage. Vergès reads the relationship between France and the residents of Réunion as a family romance: France is the seemingly protective mother, La Mère-Patrie, while the people of Réunion are seen and see themselves as France’s children. Arguing that the central dynamic in the colonial family romance is that of debt and dependence, Verges explains how the republican ideals of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment are seen as gifts to Réunion that can never be repaid. This dynamic is complicated by the presence of métissage, a source of anxiety to the colonizer in its refutation of the “purity” of racial bloodlines. For Vergès, the island’s history of slavery is the key to understanding métissage, the politics of assimilation, constructions of masculinity, and emancipatory discourses on Réunion.
Native identity is usually associated with a particular place. But what if that place is the ocean? Once Were Pacific explores this question as it considers how Māori and other Pacific peoples frame their connection to the ocean, to New Zealand, and to each other through various creative works. Māori scholar Alice Te Punga Somerville shows how and when Māori and other Pacific peoples articulate their ancestral history as migratory seafarers, drawing their identity not only from land but also from water.
Although Māori are ethnically Polynesian, and Aotearoa New Zealand is clearly a part of the Pacific region, in New Zealand the terms “Māori” and “Pacific” are colloquially applied to two distinct communities: Māori are Indigenous, and “Pacific” refers to migrant communities from elsewhere in the region. Asking how this distinction might blur historical and contemporary connections, Te Punga Somerville interrogates the relationship between indigeneity, migration, and diaspora, focusing on texts: poetry, fiction, theater, film, and music, viewed alongside historical instances of performance, journalism, and scholarship.
In this sustained treatment of the Māori diaspora, Te Punga Somerville provides the first critical analysis of relationships between Indigenous and migrant communities in New Zealand.
Shipwrecked sailors, samurai seeking a material and sometimes spiritual education, and laborers seeking to better their economic situation: these early Japanese travelers to the West occupy a little-known corner of Asian American studies. Pacific Pioneers profiles the first Japanese who resided in the United States or the Kingdom of Hawaii for a substantial period of time and the Westerners who influenced their experiences.
Although Japanese immigrants did not start arriving in substantial numbers in the West until after 1880, in the previous thirty years a handful of key encounters helped shape relations between Japan and the United States. John E. Van Sant explores the motivations and accomplishments of these resourceful, sometimes visionary individuals who made important inroads into a culture quite different from their own and paved the way for the Issei and Nisei.
Pacific Pioneers presents detailed biographical sketches of Japanese such as Joseph Heco, Niijima Jo, and the converts to the Brotherhood of the New Life and introduces the American benefactors, such as William Griffis, David Murray, and Thomas Lake Harris, who built relationships with their foreign visitors. Van Sant also examines the uneasy relations between Japanese laborers and sugar cane plantation magnates in Hawaii during this period and the shortlived Wakamatsu colony of Japanese tea and silk producers in California.
A valuable addition to the literature, Pacific Pioneers brings to life a cast of colorful, long-forgotten characters while forging a critical link between Asian and Asian American studies.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, colonial powers clashed over much of Central and East Asia: Great Britain and Germany fought over New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Fiji, and Samoa; France and Great Britain competed over control of continental Southwest Asia; and the United States annexed the Philippines and Hawaii. Meanwhile, the possible disintegration of China and Japan’s growing nationalism added new dimensions to the rivalries. Surveying these and other international developments in the Pacific basin during the three decades preceding World War I, Kees van Dijk traces the emergence of superpowers during the colonial race and analyzes their conduct as they struggled for territory. Extensive in scope, Pacific Strife is a fascinating look at a volatile moment in history.
This book provides a concise overview of the history of Polynesia, focusing on New Zealand and its outlying islands, during the period 900–1600. It provides a thematic examination of Polynesia to avoid placing the region’s history into an inaccurate, linear Western chronology. The themes of movement and migration, adaptation and change, and development and expansion offer the optimal means of understanding Polynesia during this time. Through this innovative and unique perspective on Polynesian history, which has not been previously undertaken, the reader is encouraged to think about regions outside Europe in relation to the premodern period.
From their earliest encounters with Indigenous Pacific Islanders, white Europeans and Americans asserted an identification with the racial origins of Polynesians, declaring them to be racially almost white and speculating that they were of Mediterranean or Aryan descent. In Possessing Polynesians Maile Arvin analyzes this racializing history within the context of settler colonialism across Polynesia, especially in Hawai‘i. Arvin argues that a logic of possession through whiteness animates settler colonialism, by which both Polynesia (the place) and Polynesians (the people) become exotic, feminized belongings of whiteness. Seeing whiteness as indigenous to Polynesia provided white settlers with the justification needed to claim Polynesian lands and resources. Understood as possessions, Polynesians were and continue to be denied the privileges of whiteness. Yet Polynesians have long contested these classifications, claims, and cultural representations, and Arvin shows how their resistance to and refusal of white settler logic have regenerated Indigenous forms of recognition.
During the nineteenth century, British and American settlers acquired a vast amount of land from indigenous people throughout the Pacific, but in no two places did they acquire it the same way. Stuart Banner tells the story of colonial settlement in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Today, indigenous people own much more land in some of these places than in others. And certain indigenous peoples benefit from treaty rights, while others do not. These variations are traceable to choices made more than a century ago--choices about whether indigenous people were the owners of their land and how that land was to be transferred to whites.
Banner argues that these differences were not due to any deliberate land policy created in London or Washington. Rather, the decisions were made locally by settlers and colonial officials and were based on factors peculiar to each colony, such as whether the local indigenous people were agriculturalists and what level of political organization they had attained. These differences loom very large now, perhaps even larger than they did in the nineteenth century, because they continue to influence the course of litigation and political struggle between indigenous people and whites over claims to land and other resources.
Possessing the Pacific is an original and broadly conceived study of how colonial struggles over land still shape the relations between whites and indigenous people throughout much of the world.
The violence, wonder, and nostalgia of voyaging are nowhere more vivid than in the literature of South Seas exploration. Preserving the Self in the South Seas charts the sensibilities of the lonely figures that encountered the new and exotic in terra incognita. Jonathan Lamb introduces us to the writings of South Seas explorers, and finds in them unexpected and poignant tales of selves alarmed and transformed.
Lamb contends that European exploration of the South Seas was less confident and mindful than we have assumed. It was, instead, conducted in moods of distraction and infatuation that were hard to make sense of and difficult to narrate, and it prompted reactions among indigenous peoples that were equally passionate and irregular. Preserving the Self in the South Seas also examines these common crises of exploration in the context of a metropolitan audience that eagerly consumed narratives of the Pacific while doubting their truth. Lamb considers why these halting and incredible journals were so popular with the reading public, and suggests that they dramatized anxieties and bafflements rankling at the heart of commercial society.
The paradox of progressivism continues to fascinate more than one hundred years on. Democratic but elitist, emancipatory but coercive, advanced and assimilationist, Progressivism was defined by its contradictions. In a bold new argument, Marilyn Lake points to the significance of turn-of-the-twentieth-century exchanges between American and Australasian reformers who shared racial sensibilities, along with a commitment to forging an ideal social order. Progressive New World demonstrates that race and reform were mutually supportive as Progressivism became the political logic of settler colonialism.
White settlers in the United States, who saw themselves as path-breakers and pioneers, were inspired by the state experiments of Australia and New Zealand that helped shape their commitment to an active state, women’s and workers’ rights, mothers’ pensions, and child welfare. Both settler societies defined themselves as New World, against Old World feudal and aristocratic societies and Indigenous peoples deemed backward and primitive.
In conversations, conferences, correspondence, and collaboration, transpacific networks were animated by a sense of racial kinship and investment in social justice. While “Asiatics” and “Blacks” would be excluded, segregated, or deported, Indians and Aborigines would be assimilated or absorbed. The political mobilizations of Indigenous progressives—in the Society of American Indians and the Australian Aborigines’ Progressive Association—testified to the power of Progressive thought but also to its repressive underpinnings. Burdened by the legacies of dispossession and displacement, Indigenous reformers sought recognition and redress in differently imagined new worlds and thus redefined the meaning of Progressivism itself.
On March 1, 1954, the US military detonated “Castle Bravo,” its most powerful nuclear bomb, at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Two days later, the US military evacuated the Marshallese to a nearby atoll where they became part of a classified study, without their consent, on the effects of radiation on humans. In Radiation Sounds Jessica A. Schwartz examines the seventy-five years of Marshallese music developed in response to US nuclear militarism on their homeland. Schwartz shows how Marshallese singing draws on religious, cultural, and political practices to make heard the deleterious effects of US nuclear violence. Schwartz also points to the literal silencing of Marshallese voices and throats compromised by radiation as well as the United States’ silencing of information about the human radiation study. By foregrounding the centrality of the aural and sensorial in understanding nuclear testing’s long-term effects, Schwartz offers new modes of understanding the relationships between the voice, sound, militarism, indigeneity, and geopolitics.
An alternative approach to biblical interpretation from a Tongan standpoint
In Reading Ezra 9–10 Tu'a-wise, Nasili Vaka'uta establishes a theoretical framework for reading that is informed by Tongan cultural perspectives—in this case the “eye-/I-s” of a Tongan commoner (tu’a). She applies a methodology for analysis of biblical texts based on the established theoretical framework and tests the methodology on Ezra 9–10. The book emphasizes contextualizing the task of biblical interpretation (using contextual or specifically indigenous categories of analysis) rather than contextualizing the Bible (applying the insights from one’s reading to one’s situation).
Oceanic way of reading the Biblical texts
Critical engagement with contextual biblical interpretation
In this compelling critique Rob Wilson explores the creation of the “Pacific Rim” in the American imagination and how the concept has been variously adapted and resisted in Hawai‘i, the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and Australia. Reimagining the American Pacific ranges from the nineteenth century to the present and draws on theories of postmodernism, transnationality, and post-Marxist geography to contribute to the ongoing discussion of what constitutes “global” and “local.” Wilson begins by tracing the arrival of American commerce and culture in the Pacific through missionary and imperial forces in the nineteenth century and the parallel development of Asia/Pacific as an idea. Using an impressive range of texts—from works by Herman Melville, James Michener, Maori and Western Samoan novelists, and Bamboo Ridge poets to Baywatch, films and musicals such as South Pacific and Blue Hawaii, and native Hawaiian shark god poetry—Wilson illustrates what it means for a space to be “regionalized.” Claiming that such places become more open to transnational flows of information, labor, finance, media, and global commodities, he explains how they then become isolated, their borders simultaneously crossed and fixed. In the case of Hawai’i, Wilson argues that culturally innovative, risky forms of symbol making and a broader—more global—vision of local plight are needed to counterbalance the racism and increasing imbalance of cultural capital and goods in the emerging postplantation and tourist-centered economy. Reimagining the American Pacific leaves the reader with a new understanding of the complex interactions of global and local economies and cultures in a region that, since the 1970s, has been a leading trading partner of the United States. It is an engaging and provocative contribution to the fields of Asian and American studies, as well as those of cultural studies and theory, literary criticism, and popular culture.
An Inspiring Story of Survival and Friendship
At the same time as the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan captured American Guam. Given the choice of surrendering or being taken prisoner, George R. Tweed escaped into the countryside. Aided by Chamorro natives who risked their lives to keep him safe, Tweed survived for two and a half years until he was eventually rescued by the U.S. Navy. In Robinson Crusoe, USN, first published in 1945, Tweed recounts his remarkable experiences and the debt of gratitude he held for those who help keep him alive.
This book offers readings of the Bible by native biblical critics from the South Pacific (Pasifika). An essay from editor Jione Havea introduces the volume by locating these essays within islander criticism and by explaining the flow of the book. Essays are presented in three sections. “Island Twists” offers readings that twist, like a whirlpool, biblical texts around insights of Pasifika novelists, composers, poets, and sages. “Island Turns” contains contextual readings that turn biblical texts toward Pasifika. “Across the Sea” contains responses by biblical critics from across the sea.
Contributions to islander criticism
A showcase of texts by native writers, poets, and composers
Explores the impact of European colonization on Native American and Pacific Islander technology and culture
This is the first comprehensive analysis of the partial replacement of flaked stone and ground stone traditions by metal tools in the Americas during the Contact Era. It examines the functional, symbolic, and economic consequences of that replacement on the lifeways of native populations, even as lithic technologies persisted well after the landing of Columbus. Ranging across North America and to Hawai'i, the studies show that, even with wide access to metal objects, Native Americans continued to produce certain stone tool types—perhaps because they were still the best implements for a task or because they represented a deep commitment to a traditional practice.
Chapters are ordered in terms of relative degree of European contact, beginning with groups that experienced brief episodes of interaction, such as the Wichita-French meeting on the Arkansas River, and ending with societies that were heavily influenced by colonization, such as the Potawatomi of Illinois. Because the anthology draws comparisons between the persistence of stone tools and the continuity of other indigenous crafts, it presents holistic models that can be used to explain the larger consequences of the Contact Era.
Marvin T. Smith, of Valdosta State University has stated that, “after reading this volume, no archaeologist will ever see the replacement of lithic technology by metal tools as a simple matter of replacement of technologically inferior stone tools with their superior metal counterparts. This is cutting-edge scholarship in the area of contact period studies.”
The history of tattooing is shrouded in controversy. Citing the Polynesian derivation of the word “tattoo,” many scholars and tattoo enthusiasts have believed that the modern practice of tattooing originated in the Pacific, and specifically in the contacts between Captain Cook’s seamen and the Tahitians. Tattoo demonstrates that while the history of tattooing is far more complex than this, Pacific body arts have provided powerful stimuli to the West intermittently from the eighteenth century to the present day. The essays collected here document the extraordinary, intertwined histories of processes of cultural exchange and Pacific tattoo practices. Art historians, anthropologists, and scholars of Oceania provide a transcultural history of tattooing in and beyond the Pacific.
The contributors examine the contexts in which Pacific tattoos were “discovered” by Europeans, track the history of the tattooing of Europeans visiting the region, and look at how Pacific tattooing was absorbed, revalued, and often suppressed by agents of European colonization. They consider how European art has incorporated tattooing, and they explore contemporary manifestations of Pacific tattoo art, paying particular attention to the different trajectories of Samoan, Tahitian, and Maori tattooing and to the meaning of present-day appropriations of tribal tattoos. New research has uncovered a fascinating visual archive of centuries-old tattoo images, and this richly illustrated volume includes a number of those—many published here for the first time—alongside images of contemporary tattooing in Polynesia and Europe. Tattoo offers a tantalizing glimpse into the plethora of stories and cross-cultural encounters that lie between the blood on a sailor’s backside in the eighteenth century and the hammering of a Samoan tattoo tool in the twenty-first.
Contributors. Peter Brunt, Anna Cole, Anne D’Alleva, Bronwen Douglas, Elena Govor, Makiko Kuwahara, Sean Mallon, Linda Waimarie Nikora, Mohi Rua, Cyril Siorat, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Nicholas Thomas, Joanna White
In Transculturality and German Discourse in the Age of European Colonialism, Chunjie Zhang examines the South Pacific travel writings of George Forster and Adelbert von Chamisso, literary works by August von Kotzebue and Johann Joachim Campe, Herder’s philosophy of history, and Kant’s theory of geography from the perspective of non-European impact during the age of Europe’s colonial expansion. She explores what these texts show about German and European superiority, the critique of the slave trade, European moral debauchery, acknowledgments of non-European cultural achievements, and sympathy with colonized peoples. Moving beyond the question of empire versus enlightenment, Zhang’s book diligently detects global connections, offering much to scholars of literature, culture, and intellectual history.
In a beautifully crafted narrative that transports the reader from the salons of Europe to the shores of Tahiti, Harry Liebersohn examines the transformation of global knowledge during the great age of scientific exploration. He moves beyond the traditional focus on British and French travelers to include Germans, Russians, and some Americans, as well as the Tahitian, Hawaiian, and other Pacific islanders they encountered. Germany gets special attention because its travelers epitomized the era’s cosmopolitanism and its philosophers engaged most fully in a multicultural understanding of humanity.
Famous adventurers like Captain Cook make appearances, but it’s the observations of such naturalists as Philibert Commerson, George Forster, and Adelbert von Chamisso that helped most to generate a new understanding of these far-flung societies. These European travelers saw non-Europeans neither as “savages” nor as projections of colonial fantasies. Instead the explorers accumulated a rich storehouse of perceptions through negotiations with patrons at home, collaborators abroad, salon philosophers, and missionary rivals.
Liebersohn illuminates the transformative nature of human connections. He examines the expectations these servants of empire brought to the peoples they encountered, and acknowledges the effects of Oceanian behaviors, including unexpected notions of sexuality, on the Europeans. Equally important, he details the reception of these travelers upon their return home.
An unforgettable voyage filled with delightful characters, dramatic encounters, and rich cultural details, The Travelers’ World heralds a moment of intellectual preparation for the modern global era. We now travel effortlessly to distant places, but the questions about perception, truth, and knowledge that these intercontinental mediators faced still resonate.
New Zealand anthropologist Derek Freeman ignited a ferocious controversy in 1983 when he denounced the research of Margaret Mead, a world-famous public intellectual who had died five years earlier. Freeman's claims caught the attention of popular media, converging with other vigorous cultural debates of the era. Many anthropologists, however, saw Freeman's strident refutation of Mead's best-selling Coming of Age in Samoa as the culmination of a forty-year vendetta. Others defended Freeman's critique, if not always his tone.
Truth's Fool documents an intellectual journey that was much larger and more encompassing than Freeman's criticism of Mead's work. It peels back the prickly layers to reveal the man in all his complexity. Framing this story within anthropology's development in Britain and America, Peter Hempenstall recounts Freeman's mission to turn the discipline from its cultural-determinist leanings toward a view of human culture underpinned by biological and behavioral drivers. Truth's Fool engages the intellectual questions at the center of the Mead–Freeman debate and illuminates the dark spaces of personal, professional, and even national rivalries.