Search titles

Displaying results 1 to 10 of 11.

What’s France got to do with it? »

Contemporary memoirs of Australians in France

Authored by: Juliana de Nooy
Publication date: 2020
While only one book-length memoir recounting the sojourn of an Australian in France was published in the 1990s, well over 40 have been published since 2000, overwhelmingly written by women. Although we might expect a focus on travel, intercultural adjustment and communication in these texts, this is the case only in a minority of accounts. More frequently, France serves as a backdrop to a project of self-renovation in which transplantation to another country is incidental, hence the question ‘What’s France got to do with it?’ The book delves into what France represents in the various narratives, its role in the self-transformation, and the reasons for the seemingly insatiable demand among readers and publishers for these stories. It asks why these memoirs have gained such traction among Australian women at the dawn of the twenty-first century and what is at stake in the fascination with France.

Coming soon

Notify me

War and Other Means »

Power and violence in Houaïlou (New Caledonia)

Authored by: Michel Naepels
Publication date: October 2017
War and Other Means describes and analyses the practices of war, the ‘objects of war’ and the conventions of the use of violence in Houaïlou, New Caledonia. It focuses on the colonial repression conducted in 1856 and after, the anti-sorcerer hunt in 1955, the independence mobilisation in the 1980s and the village feuds in the 2000s. Through this archaeology of violence, it reports on the practical inventiveness, intelligence and cunning of the Kanaks involved in social, often violent, conflicts. The use of archival material and recourse to the oral stories gathered from the inhabitants of Houaïlou restores the depth of these historical moments and the nested contexts of the political action that unfolded; it also questions the value and limits of fieldwork investigation. These episodes are moments of change in the social, administrative, land and political organisation of New Caledonia; they make it possible to understand, from France’s takeover to the present day, the real modalities of implementation of colonial and postcolonial governmentality. The attention given to the invention, the importation or the adaptation of repressive techniques, closely linked to the French experience in Algeria, opens up a geopolitics of colonisation. Through this detailed description of the social logics of conflict, Michel Naepels also invites us to reflect on the place of European fantasies on violence and on the representations of otherness. For the French edition, Conjurer la guerre. Violence et pouvoir à Houaïlou (Nouvelle-Calédonie), published by Éditions de l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales, please visit editions.ehess.fr/ouvrages/ouvrage/conjurer-la-guerre

Ngapartji Ngapartji »

In turn, in turn: Ego-histoire, Europe and Indigenous Australia

Publication date: November 2014
In this innovative collection, Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars from Australia and Europe reflect on how their life histories have impacted on their research in Indigenous Australian Studies. Drawing on Pierre Nora’s concept of ego-histoire as an analytical tool to ask historians to apply their methods to themselves, contributors lay open their paths, personal commitments and passion involved in their research. Why are we researching in Indigenous Studies, what has driven our motivations? How have our biographical experiences influenced our research? And how has our research influenced us in our political and individual understanding as scholars and human beings? This collection tries to answer many of these complex questions, seeing them not as merely personal issues but highly relevant to the practice of Indigenous Studies. I think this rich collection will become a landmark text and a favourite within Australian scholarship. I am keen to see it published so that I can recommend it to others — Professor Emerita Margaret Allen, Gender Studies and Social Analysis, University of Adelaide The idea was to explain the link between the history you have made and the history that has made you  — Pierre Nora

The Naturalist and his 'Beautiful Islands' »

Charles Morris Woodford in the Western Pacific

Publication date: October 2014
‘I know no place where firm and paternal government would sooner produce beneficial results then in the Solomons … Here is an object worthy indeed the devotion of one’s life’. Charles Morris Woodford devoted his working life to pursuing this dream, becoming the first British Resident Commissioner in 1897 and remaining in office until 1915, establishing the colonial state almost singlehandedly. His career in the Pacific extended beyond the Solomon Islands. He worked briefly for the Western Pacific High Commission in Fiji, was a temporary consul in Samoa, and travelled as a Government Agent on a small labour vessel returning indentured workers to the Gilbert Islands. As an independent naturalist he made three successful expeditions to the islands, and even climbed Mt Popomanaseu, the highest mountain in Guadalcanal. However, his natural history collection of over 20,000 specimens, held by the British Museum of Natural History, has not been comprehensively examined. The British Solomon Islands Protectorate was established in order to control the Pacific Labour Trade and to counter possible expansion by French and German colonialists. It remaining an impoverished, largely neglected protectorate in the Western Pacific whose economic importance was large-scale copra production, with its copra considered the second-worst in the world. This book is a study of Woodford, the man, and what drove his desire to establish a colonial protectorate in the Solomon Islands. In doing so, it also addresses ongoing issues: not so much why the independent state broke down, but how imperfectly it was put together in the first place. David Russell Lawrence is an anthropologist who has managed environmental programs in Melanesia and Southeast Asia for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. His most recent book was a re-examination of the place in Melanesian anthropology of the Finnish sociologist Gunnar Landtman who spent two years working with the Kiwai people of the lower Fly estuary. He recently managed a large-scale survey of 300 communities in the Solomon Islands for the Community Sector Program and has assisted with a number of the annual RAMSI People’s Surveys in the islands. This work has given him insight into the colonial heritage of the Solomon Islands and a desire to tell the story of the establishment of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate through the eyes of the first Resident Commissioner, Charles Morris Woodford.

A Political Memoir of the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides »

Authored by: Keith Woodward
Publication date: October 2014
Keith Woodward has produced an inside account of the intricacies of official politics in the latter stages of the history of the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides, which will be essential reading for anyone interested in the colonial period of Vanuatu. Woodward spent 25 years in the New Hebrides (1953 to 1978) based in the British Residency and it is his long service which makes his memoir so informative and important. Following a fascinating and insightful description of Port Vila and the New Hebrides when he arrived in the 1950s, Woodward focuses the rest of his memoir on issues relating to the difficulties the British faced in convincing the French that the two powers should come to an agreement on decolonisation of the New Hebrides—that is, to establish a process of constitutional advancement leading ultimately to independence. — Howard Van Trease, Honorary Research Fellow, Emalus Campus, University of the South Pacific, Port Vila This is a highly original, evocative and engaging memoir which offers an insightful firsthand account of colonial administration, bilateral French and British relations, political change and decolonisation in Vanuatu. It addresses some lacunae in the historiography of Vanuatu and dispels a number of assumptions about French intentions there. It will be of great benefit to people interested in Vanuatu, and more broadly in political change in the Pacific, constitutional arrangements, decolonisation, French-British relations, and particularly the divergent colonial policies of France and the United Kingdom. — Gregory Rawlings, Anthropology, University of Otago

Watriama and Co »

Further Pacific Islands Portraits

Authored by: Hugh Laracy
Publication date: October 2013
Watriama and Co (the title echoes Kipling’s Stalky and Co!) is a collection of biographical essays about people associated with the Pacific Islands. It covers a period of almost a century and a half. However, the individual stories of first-hand experience converge to some extent in various ways so as to present a broadly coherent picture of ‘Pacific History’. In this, politics, economics and religion overlap. So, too, do indigenous cultures and concerns; together with the activities and interests of the Europeans who ventured into the Pacific and who had a profound, widespread and enduring impact there from the nineteenth century, and who also prompted reactions from the Island peoples. Not least significant in this process is the fact that the Europeans generated a ‘paper trail’ through which their stories and those of the Islanders (who also contributed to their written record) can be known. Thus, not only are the subjects of the essays to be encountered personally, and within a contextual kinship, but the way in which the past has shaped the future is clearly discernible. Watriama himself features in various historical narratives. So, too, certain of his confrères in this collection, which is the product of several decades of exploring the Pacific past in archives, by sea, and on foot through most of Oceania.

France in the South Pacific »

Power and Politics

Authored by: Denise Fisher
Publication date: May 2013
France is a Pacific power, with three territories, a military presence, and extensive investments. Once seen by many as a colonial interloper in the South Pacific, by the early 2000s, after it ended nuclear testing in French Polynesia and negotiated transitional Accords responding to independence demands in New Caledonia, France seems to have become generally accepted as a regional partner, even if its efforts concentrate on its own territories rather than the independent island states. But France’s future in the region has yet to be secured. By 2014 it is to have handed over a set of agreed autonomies to the New Caledonian government, before an independence referendum process begins. Past experience suggests that a final resolution of the status of New Caledonia will be divisive and could lead once again to violent confrontations. In French Polynesia, calls continue for independence and for treatment under UN decolonisation procedures, which France opposes. Other island leaders are watching, so far putting faith in the Noumea Accord, but wary of the final stages. The issues and possible solutions are more complex than the French Pacific island population of 515,000 would suggest. Combining historical background with political and economic analysis, this comprehensive study offers vital insight into the intricate history – and problematic future – of several of Australia’s key neighbours in the Pacific and to the priorities and options of the European country that still rules them. It is aimed at policy-makers, scholars, journalists, businesspeople, and others who want to familiarise themselves with the issues as France’s role in the region is redefined in the years to come.

The Hmong of Australia »

Culture and Diaspora

Edited by: Nicholas Tapp, Gary Yia Lee
Publication date: November 2010
The Hmong are among Australia’s newest immigrant populations. They came as refugees from Laos after the communist revolution of 1975 ended their life there as highland shifting cultivators. The Hmong originate from southern China where many still remain, and others live in Vietnam, Thailand and Burma. Hmong refugees are now also settled in the USA, Canada, France, Germany and French Guyana. Already the beauty and richness of traditional Hmong culture, in particular their shamanism and embroidered costume, has attracted the attention of the Australian public, but little is known about these people, their background or the struggles they have faced to adjust to a new life in Australia.This interdisciplinary collection of articles deals with their music and textiles, gender and language, their social adaptation and their global diaspora. The book aims to bring knowledge of the Hmong to a wider public and contribute to the understanding of these people.

Transnational Ties »

Australian Lives in the World

Edited by: Desley Deacon, Penny Russell, Angela Woollacott
Publication date: December 2008
Australian lives are intricately enmeshed with the world, bound by ties of allegiance and affinity, intellect and imagination. In Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World, an eclectic mix of scholars—historians, literary critics, and museologists—trace the flow of people that helped shape Australia’s distinctive character and the flow of ideas that connected Australians to a global community of thought. It shows how biography, and the study of life stories, can contribute greatly to our understanding of such patterns of connection and explores how transnationalism can test biography’s limits as an intellectual, professional and commercial practice.

First Contacts in Polynesia »

The Samoan Case (1722–1848) Western Misunderstandings about Sexuality and Divinity

Authored by: Serge Tcherkézoff
Publication date: August 2008
This book explores the first encounters between Samoans and Europeans up to the arrival of the missionaries, using all available sources for the years 1722 to the 1830s, paying special attention to the first encounter on land with the Lapérouse expedition. Many of the sources used are French, and some of difficult accessibility, and thus they have not previously been thoroughly examined by historians. Adding some Polynesian comparisons from beyond Samoa, and reconsidering the so-called ‘Sahlins-Obeyesekere debate’ about the fate of Captain Cook, ‘First Contacts’ in Polynesia advances a hypothesis about the contemporary interpretations made by the Polynesians of the nature of the Europeans, and about the actions that the Polynesians devised for this encounter: wrapping Europeans up in ‘cloth’ and presenting ‘young girls’ for ‘sexual contact’. It also discusses how we can go back two centuries and attempt to reconstitute, even if only partially, the point of view of those who had to discover for themselves these Europeans whom they call ‘Papalagi’. The book also contributes an additional dimension to the much-touted ‘Mead-Freeman debate’ which bears on the rules and values regulating adolescent sexuality in ‘Samoan culture’. Scholars have long considered the pre-missionary times as a period in which freedom in sexuality for adolescents predominated. It appears now that this erroneous view emerged from a deep misinterpretation of Lapérouse’s and Dumont d’Urville’s narratives.