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Displaying results 1 to 10 of 12.

Contested Terrain »

Reconceptualising Security in the Pacific

Authored by: Steven Ratuva
Publication date: September 2019
Contested Terrain provides a cutting-edge, comprehensive and innovative approach to critically analysing the multidimensional and contested nature of security narratives, justified by different ideological, political, cultural and economic rationales. This is important in a complex and ever-changing situation involving a dynamic interplay between local, regional and global factors. Security narratives are constructed in multiple ways and are used to frame our responses to the challenges and threats to our sense of safety, wellbeing, identity and survival but how the narratives are constructed is a matter of intellectual and political contestation. Using three case studies from the Pacific (Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands), Contested Terrain shows the different security challenges facing each country, which result from their unique historical, political and socio-cultural circumstances. Contrary to the view that the Pacific is a generic entity with common security issues, this book argues for more localised and nuanced approaches to security framing and analysis.

The Moral Economy of Mobile Phones »

Pacific Islands Perspectives

Publication date: May 2018
The moral economy of mobile phones implies a field of shifting relations among consumers, companies and state actors, all of whom have their own ideas about what is good, fair and just. These ideas inform the ways in which, for example, consumers acquire and use mobile phones; companies promote and sell voice, SMS and data subscriptions; and state actors regulate both everyday use of mobile phones and market activity around mobile phones. Ambivalence and disagreement about who owes what to whom is thus an integral feature of the moral economy of mobile phones. This volume identifies and evaluates the stakes at play in the moral economy of mobile phones. The six main chapters consider ethnographic cases from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Vanuatu. The volume also includes a brief introduction with background information on the recent ‘digital revolution’ in these countries and two closing commentaries that reflect on the significance of the chapters for our understanding of global capitalism and the contemporary Pacific.

Mobilities of Return »

Pacific Perspectives

Edited by: John Taylor, Helen Lee
Publication date: December 2017
In recent decades, the term ‘mobility’ has emerged as a defining paradigm within the humanities. For scholars engaged in the multidisciplinary topics and perspectives now often embraced by the term Pacific Studies, it has been a much more longstanding and persistent concern. Even so, specific questions regarding ‘mobilities of return’—that is, the movement of people ‘back’ to places that are designated, however ambiguously or ambivalently, as ‘home’—have tended to take a back seat within more recent discussions of mobility, transnationalism and migration. This volume situates return mobility as a starting point for understanding the broader context and experience of human mobility, community and identity in the Pacific region and beyond. Through diverse case studies spanning the Pacific region, it demonstrates the extent to which the prospect and practice of returning home, or of navigating returns between multiple homes, is a central rather than peripheral component of contemporary Pacific Islander mobilities and identities everywhere.

Sinuous Objects »

Revaluing Women’s Wealth in the Contemporary Pacific

Publication date: August 2017
Some 40 years ago, Pacific anthropology was dominated by debates about ‘women’s wealth’. These exchanges were generated by Annette Weiner’s (1976) critical reappraisal of Bronisław Malinowski’s classic work on the Trobriand Islands, and her observations that women’s production of ‘wealth’ (banana leaf bundles and skirts) for elaborate transactions in mortuary rituals occupied a central role in Trobriand matrilineal cosmology and social organisation. This volume brings the debates about women’s wealth back to the fore by critically revisiting and engaging with ideas about gender and materiality, value, relationality and the social life and agency of things. The chapters, interspersed by three poems, evoke the sinuous materiality of the different objects made by women across the Pacific, and the intimate relationship between these objects of value and sensuous, gendered bodies. In the Epilogue, Professor Margaret Jolly observes how the volume also ‘trace[s] a more abstract sinuosity in the movement of these things through time and place, as they coil through different regimes of value … The eight chapters … trace winding paths across the contemporary Pacific, from the Trobriands in Milne Bay, to Maisin, Wanigela and Korafe in Oro Province, Papua New Guinea, through the islands of Tonga to diasporic Tongan and Cook Islander communities in New Zealand’. This comparative perspective elucidates how women’s wealth is defined, valued and contested in current exchanges, bride-price debates, church settings, development projects and the challenges of living in diaspora. Importantly, this reveals how women themselves preserve the different values and meanings in gift-giving and exchanges, despite processes of commodification that have resulted in the decline or replacement of ‘women’s wealth’.

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

New Mana »

Transformations of a Classic Concept in Pacific Languages and Cultures

Publication date: April 2016
‘Mana’, a term denoting spiritual power, is found in many Pacific Islands languages. In recent decades, the term has been taken up in New Age movements and online fantasy gaming. In this book, 16 contributors examine mana through ethnographic, linguistic, and historical lenses to understand its transformations in past and present. The authors consider a range of contexts including Indigenous sovereignty movements, Christian missions and Bible translations, the commodification of cultural heritage, and the dynamics of diaspora. Their investigations move across diverse island groups—Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Hawai‘i, and French Polynesia—and into Australia, North America and even cyberspace. A key insight that the volume develops is that mana can be analysed most productively by paying close attention to its ethical and aesthetic dimensions. Since the late nineteenth century, mana has been an object of intense scholarly interest. Writers in many fields including anthropology, linguistics, history, religion, philosophy, and missiology have long debated how the term should best be understood. The authors in this volume review mana’s complex intellectual history but also describe the remarkable transformations going on in the present day as scholars, activists, church leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs take up mana in new ways.

Pacific Missionary George Brown 1835–1917 »

Wesleyan Methodist Church

Authored by: Margaret Reeson
Publication date: April 2013
George Brown (1835-1917) was many things during his long life; leader in the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Australasia, explorer, linguist, political activist, apologist for the missionary enterprise, amateur anthropologist, writer, constant traveller, collector of artefacts, photographer and stirrer. He saw himself, at heart, as a missionary. The islands of the Pacific Ocean were the scene of his endeavours, with extended periods lived in Samoa and the New Britain region of today’s Papua New Guinea, followed by repeated visits to Tonga, Fiji, the Milne Bay region of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. It could be argued that while he was a missionary in the Pacific region he was not a pacific missionary. Brown gained unwanted notoriety for involvement in a violent confrontation at one point in his career, and lived through conflict in many contexts but he also frequently worked as a peace maker. Policies he helped shape on issues such as church union, indigenous leadership, representation by lay people and a wider role for women continue to influence Uniting Church in Australia and churches in the Pacific region. His name is still remembered with honour in several parts of the Pacific. Brown’s marriage to Sarah Lydia Wallis, daughter of pioneer missionaries to New Zealand, was long and rich. Each strengthened the other and they stand side by side in this account.

Altered Ecologies »

Fire, climate and human influence on terrestrial landscapes

Edited by: S. Haberle, J. Stevenson, M. Prebble
Publication date: November 2010
Like a star chart this volume orientates the reader to the key issues and debates in Pacific and Australasian biogeography, palaeoecology and human ecology. A feature of this collection is the diversity of approaches ranging from interpretation of the biogeographic significance of plant and animal distributional patterns, pollen analysis from peats and lake sediments to discern Quaternary climate change, explanation of the patterns of faunal extinction events, the interplay of fire on landscape evolution, and models of the environmental consequences of human settlement patterns. The diversity of approaches, geographic scope and academic rigor are a fitting tribute to the enormous contributions of Geoff Hope. As made apparent in this volume, Hope pioneered multidisciplinary understanding of the history and impacts of human cultures in the Australia- Pacific region, arguably the globe’s premier model systems for understanding the consequences of human colonization on ecological systems. The distinguished scholars who have contributed to this volume also demonstrate Hope’s enduring contribution as an inspirational research leader, collaborator and mentor. Terra Australis leave no doubt that history matters, not only for land management, but more importantly, in alerting settler and indigenous societies alike to their past ecological impacts and future environmental trajectories.

Migration and Transnationalism »

Pacific Perspectives

Edited by: Helen Lee, Steve Tupai Francis
Publication date: August 2009
Pacific Islanders have engaged in transnational practices since their first settlement of the many islands in the region. As they moved beyond the Pacific and settled in nations such as New Zealand, the U.S. and Australia these practices intensified and over time have profoundly shaped both home and diasporic communities. This edited volume begins with a detailed account of this history and the key issues in Pacific migration and transnationalism today. The papers that follow present a range of case studies that maintain this focus on both historical and contemporary perspectives. Each of the contributors goes beyond a narrowly economic focus to present the human face of migration and transnationalism; exploring questions of cultural values and identity, transformations in kinship, intergenerational change and the impact on home communities. Pacific migration and transnationalism are addressed in this volume in the context of increasing globalisation and growing concerns about the future social, political and economic security of the Pacific region. As the case studies presented here show, the future of the Pacific depends in many ways on the ties diasporic Islanders maintain with their homelands.

Oceanic Encounters »

Exchange, Desire, Violence

Edited by: Margaret Jolly, Serge Tcherkézoff, Darrell Tryon
Publication date: July 2009
This volume, the result of ongoing collaborations between Australian and French anthropologists, historians and linguists, explores encounters between Pacific peoples and foreigners during the longue durée of European exploration, colonisation and settlement from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century. It deploys the concept of ‘encounter’ rather than the more common idea of ‘first contact’ for several reasons. Encounters with Europeans occurred in the context of extensive prior encounters and exchanges between Pacific peoples, manifest in the distribution of languages and objects and in patterns of human settlement and movement. The concept of encounter highlights the mutuality in such meetings of bodies and minds, whereby preconceptions from both sides were brought into confrontation, dialogue, mutual influence and ultimately mutual transformation. It stresses not so much prior visions of ‘strangers’ or ‘others’ but the contingencies in events of encounter and how senses other than vision were crucial in shaping reciprocal appraisals. But a stress on mutual meanings and interdependent agencies in such cross-cultural encounters should not occlude the tumultuous misunderstandings, political contests and extreme violence which also characterised Indigenous-European interactions over this period.