The Kanak Awakening: The Rise of Nationalism in New Caledonia

In The Kanak Awakening, David Chappell examines the rise in New Caledonia of rival identity formations that became increasingly polarized in the 1970s. It explores in particular the emergence of activist discourses in favor of Kanak cultural nationalism and land reform, multiracial progressive sovereignty, or a combination of both aspirations. Most studies of modern New Caledonia focus on the violent 1980s uprising, which left deep scars on local memories and identities. Yet the genesis of that rebellion began with a handful of university students who painted graffiti on public buildings in 1969, and such activists discussed many of the same issues that face the country’s leadership today.

“This is a very valuable contribution to the literature on New Caledonia’s recent history and the search for Kanak identity in a world of decolonization. The author shows an excellent command of the literature, not only the discussions leading up to the ‘Melanesia 2000’ event but the long archaeological and anthropological record. It is a valuable synthesis of the ways in which the political and the cultural have connected to produce and interesting experiment of decolonization without independence.” —John Kim Munholland, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Minnesota

November 2013 | 352 pages | 7 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3818-8 | $60.00 | Cloth
Pacific Islands Monograph Series No. 27

Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom

Colonialism, Maasina RuleColonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom is a political history of the island of Malaita in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate from 1927, when the last violent resistance to colonial rule was crushed, to 1953 and the inauguration of the island’s first representative political body, the Malaita Council. At the book’s heart is a political movement known as Maasina Rule, which dominated political affairs in the southeastern Solomons for many years after World War II. The movement’s ideology, kastom, was grounded in the determination that only Malaitans themselves could properly chart their future through application of Malaitan sensibilities and methods, free from British interference.

Kastom promoted a radical transformation of Malaitan lives by sweeping social engineering projects and alternative governing and legal structures. When the government tried to suppress Maasina Rule through force, its followers brought colonial administration on the island to a halt for several years through a labor strike and massive civil resistance actions that overflowed government prison camps. David Akin draws on extensive archival and field research to present a practice-based analysis of colonial officers’ interactions with Malaitans in the years leading up to and during Maasina Rule.

2013, 552 pages, 21 illustrations, 3 maps
$59.00; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3814-0, Cloth
Pacific Islands Monograph Series  (No. 26)

Drinking Smoke: The Tobacco Syndemic in Oceania

Drinking Smoke: The Tobacco Syndemic in OceaniaTobacco kills 5 million people every year and that number is expected to double by the year 2020. Despite its enormous toll on human health, tobacco has been largely neglected by anthropologists. Drinking Smoke combines an exhaustive search of historical materials on the introduction and spread of tobacco in the Pacific with extensive anthropological accounts of the ways Islanders have incorporated this substance into their lives. In Drinking Smoke, the idea of a syndemic is applied to the current health crisis in the Pacific, where the number of deaths from coronary heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease continues to rise, and the case is made that smoking tobacco in the form of industrially manufactured cigarettes is the keystone of the contemporary syndemic in Oceania.

Drinking Smoke is the first book-length examination of the damaging tobacco syndemic in a specific world region. It is a must-read for scholars and students of anthropology, Pacific studies, history, and economic globalization, as well as for public health practitioners and those working in allied health fields. More broadly the book will appeal to anyone concerned with disease interaction, the social context of disease production, and the full health consequences of the global promotional efforts of Big Tobacco.

2013, 312 pages, 21 illustrations, 4 maps; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3685-6, Cloth $54.00

New Book Addresses Sovereignty Issues around the Globe

Sovereignty
Unparalleled in its breadth and scope, Sovereignty: Frontiers of Possibility, edited by Julie Evans, Ann Genovese, Alexander Reilly, and and Patrick Wolfe, brings together some of the freshest and most original writing on sovereignty being done today. Sovereignty’s many dimensions are approached from multiple perspectives and experiences. It is viewed globally as an international question; locally as an issue contested between Natives and settlers; and individually as survival in everyday life. Through all this diversity and across the many different national contexts from which the contributors write, the chapters in this collection address each other, staging a running conversation that truly internationalizes this most fundamental of political issues.

November 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3563-7 / $45.00 (CLOTH)

New in the Writing Past Colonialism Series

Sustainable CommunitiesPapua New Guinea is going through a crisis: A concentration on conventional approaches to development, including an unsustainable reliance on mining, forestry, and foreign aid, has contributed to the country’s slow decline since independence in 1975. Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea, by Paul James, Yaso Nadarajah, Karen Haive, and Victoria Stead, attempts to address problems and gaps in the literature on development and develop a new qualitative conception of community sustainability informed by substantial and innovative research in Papua New Guinea.

Sustainable Communities is an excellent work; remarkable. It manages to combine a sense of the complexity of its subject while remaining highly readable. I found it deeply probing, sustaining a sense of complexity across a multitude of terrains. Importantly, the book displays a belief in the possibilities of the village and displaced communities while retaining a sense of relevant problems.” —Dr. Nonie Sharo, author of Stars of Tagai: The Torres Strait Islanders

Writing Past Colonialism
July 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3640-5 / $27.00 (PAPER)