Kalissa Alexeyeff

Kalissa Alexeyeff is a Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the University of Melbourne. She has a background in critical theory and social anthropology and conducts ongoing research in the Cook Islands and Sāmoa in the home islands and diaspora. Her main research interest is the intersection of gender, sexuality and culture in contemporary contexts. She is the author of Dancing from the heart: Movement, gender and Cook Islands globalization (2009) and co-editor of Gender on the edge: Transgender, gay, and other Pacific Islanders (2014) and Touring Pacific cultures (2016).

Unequal Lives »

Gender, Race and Class in the Western Pacific

Publication date: January 2021
As we move further into the twenty-first century, we are witnessing both the global extensification and local intensification of inequality. Unequal Lives deals with the particular dilemmas of inequality in the Western Pacific. The authors focus on four dimensions of inequality: the familiar triad of gender, race and class, and the often-neglected dimension of generation. Grounded in meticulous long-term ethnographic enquiry and deep awareness of the historical contingency of these configurations of inequality, this volume illustrates the multidimensional, multiscale and epistemic nature of contemporary inequality. This collection is a major contribution to academic and political debates about the perverse effects of inequality, which now ranks among the greatest challenges of our time. The inspiration for this volume derives from the breadth and depth of Martha Macintyre’s remarkable scholarship. The contributors celebrate Macintyre’s groundbreaking work, which exemplifies the explanatory power, ethical force and pragmatism that ensures the relevance of anthropological research to the lives of others and to understanding the global condition. ‘Unequal Lives is an impressive collection by Melanesianist anthropologists with reputations for theoretical sophistication, ethnographic imagination and persuasive writing. It brilliantly illuminates all aspects of the multifaceted scholarship of Martha Macintyre, whose life and teaching are also highlighted in the commentaries, tributes and interview included in the volume.’ — Robert J. Foster, Professor of Anthropology and Visual and Cultural Studies, Richard L. Turner Professor of Humanities, University of Rochester ‘Inspired by Martha Macintyre’s work, the contributors to Unequal Lives show that to theorise inequality is a measured project, one that requires rescaling its exercise over several decades in order to recognise the reality of inequality as it is known in social relations and to document it critically, unravelling their own readiness to misjudge what they see from the lives that are lived by the people with whom they have lived and studied. This fine volume shows how the ordinariness of everyday work and care can be a chimera wherein the apparent reality of inequality might mislead less critical reports to obscure its very account. From reading it, we learn that such unrelenting questioning of what makes lives unequal becomes the very analytic for better understanding lives as they are lived.’ — Karen M. Sykes, Professor of Anthropology, University of Manchester
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Touring Pacific Cultures »

Publication date: December 2016
Tourism is vital to the economies of most Pacific nations and as such is an important site for the meaningful production of shared and disputed cultural values and practices. This is especially the case when tourism intersects with other important arenas for cultural production, both directly and indirectly. Touring Pacific Cultures captures the central importance of tourism to the visual, material and performed cultures of the Pacific region. In this volume, we propose to explore new directions in understanding how culture is defined, produced, experienced and sustained through tourism-related practices across that region. We ask, how is cultural value, ownership, performance and commodification negotiated and experienced in actual lived practice as it moves with people across the Pacific?   ‘This collection is a welcome addition to tourism studies, or perhaps we should say post- or para-tourism. The essays bring out many facets and experiences too quickly bundled under a single label and focused exclusively on “destinations” visited by “outsiders”. Tourism, we see here, actively involves many different populations, societies, and economies, a range of local/global/regional engagements that can be both destructive and creative. Western outsiders aren’t the only ones on the move. Unequal power, (neo)colonial exploitation and capitalist commodification are very much part of the picture. But so are desire, adventure, pleasure, cultural reinvention and economic development. The effect, overall, is an attitude of alert, critical ambivalence with respect to a proliferating historical phenomenon. A bumpy and rewarding ride.’ — James Clifford, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Cruz
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