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 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)
Tobacco 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
Melanesia is one of the most culturally diverse and artistically fertile regions of the world. This book is an exploration of one of the richest collections of Melanesian art, that of the British Museum. It is the product of sustained dialogue with people from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, West Papua, and New Caledonia, who are authors or co-authors of many of its chapters. Melanesia: Art and Encounter, edited by Lissant Bolton, Nicholas Thomas, Elizabeth Bonshek, Julie Adams, and Ben Burt, is a companion to this outstanding collection.
“Melanesia: Art and Encounter charts the terms of engagement between Melanesians and their material traces in a major Western museum. The contributors harness the power of a remarkable collection of artefacts to unsettle and recreate cultural memory and to highlight cross-cultural connections between persons and things. Beautifully illustrated and carefully researched, this volume brilliantly demonstrates the Melanesian axiom that objects and images realise, animate, and sometimes disrupt relationships.” —Robert Foster, University of Rochester
ISBN 978-0-8248-3853-9 / $120.00 (CLOTH)
A Faraway, Familiar Place: An Anthropologist Returns to Papua New Guinea is for readers seeking an excursion deep into little-known terrain but allergic to the wide-eyed superficiality of ordinary travel literature. Author Michael French Smith savors the sometimes gritty romance of his travels to an island village far from roads, electricity, telephone service, and the Internet, but puts to rest the cliché of “Stone Age” Papua New Guinea. He also gives the lie to stereotypes of anthropologists as either machete-wielding swashbucklers or detached observers turning real people into abstractions. Smith uses his anthropological expertise subtly, to illuminate Papua New Guinean lives, to nudge readers to look more closely at ideas they take for granted, and to take a wry look at his own experiences as an anthropologist.
“Michael French Smith has written an engaging and accessible account of returning to the site of his longterm field research, Kragur Island in the Sepik area of Papua New Guinea. As he has done before in two earlier books (of which A Faraway Place is a worthy companion), Mike has spun a great yarn. He possesses the admirable ability to translate personal experiences meaningfully and explains complex social phenomena in ways that the anthropologically uninitiated will understand and appreciate. He relates experiences that most anthropologists have had, but that others—students, social developers, those curious about the region—need to hear about. . . . There is nothing quite like it on the market.” —Richard Scaglion, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh
July 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3686-3 / $52.00 (CLOTH)
The Pacific is the last major world region to be discovered by humans. Although small in total land area, its numerous islands and archipelagoes with their startlingly diverse habitats and biotas, extend across a third of the globe. This revised edition of the popular text The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society, edited by Moshe Rapaport, explores the diverse landforms, climates, and ecosystems of the Pacific island region. Multiple chapters, written by leading specialists, cover the environment, history, culture, population, and economy. The work includes new or completely revised chapters on gender, music, logging, development, education, urbanization, health, ocean resources, and tourism. Throughout two key issues are addressed: the exceptional environmental challenges and the demographic/economic/political challenges facing the region. Although modern technology and media and waves of continental tourists are fast eroding island cultures, the continuing resilience of Pacific island populations is apparent.
May 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3586-6 / $48.00 (PAPER)
Moving Images: John Layard, Fieldwork, and Photography on Malakula since 1914, by Haidy Geismar and Anita Herle, is the most recent recipient of the John Collier Jr., Award for Still Photography from the Society for Visual Anthropology. The award is made periodically for work that exemplifies the use of still photography, both historical and contemporary, for research and communication of anthropological knowledge, and for excellence in visual anthropology.
The Collier Committee members were impressed with the authors’ contribution:
“and in particular with the presentation of unpublished archival materials, John Layard’s story, and historical photos supplemented with his contextual field notes integrated in such an engaging format with contemporary visual research and literature, essays, text, and the reintroduction of historical and contemporary photos into the culture today.”
The official presentation of the award was made last week during the 2012 American Anthropology Association annual meeting in San Francisco.
Papua 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)
During 1917–1918, war ravaged the hill country north of New Caledonia’s main island, the Grande terre. Occurring sixty-four years after France’s 1853 annexation of New Caledonia and in the midst of the Great War of 1914–1918, the conflict was known by the mid-twentieth century as “the last of the kanak revolts.” It represented to many—until the “events” of the 1980s—the final pacification of Kanak (the indigenous people of New Caledonia). Specters of Violence in a Colonial Context: New Caledonia, 1917, by Adrian Muckle, is the first comprehensive history of the 1917–1918 war, which involved the French army, European settlers, and Kanak. In three parts, it addresses the events leading to the outbreak of war, how those involved explained their role in the fighting, and how the war has since been represented.
May 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3509-5 / $55.00 (CLOTH)
Corruption is a popular topic in the Pacific Islands. Politicians are accused of it and campaign against it. Fiji’s coup leaders vowed to clean it up. Several countries have “leadership codes” designed to reduce corruption, and others have created specialized anti-corruption agencies. But what counts as corruption in the Pacific and what causes it? How much is really going on? How can we measure it? What types are present? Are gifts really bribes? Is “culture” an excuse for corruption? Is politics—in particular, democracy—intrinsically corrupt? In clear and concise language, Interpreting Corruption: Culture and Politics in the Pacific Islands, by Peter Larmour, attempts to answer these questions.
“This book performs a hat trick (for those unfamiliar with upper-latitude sports, three goals by an ice hockey player is a hat trick) by explaining the meaning of corruption in the Pacific Islands, clarifying the central concepts in the study of public integrity, and deftly guiding the reader on a journey through coups, scams, and a plethora of ideas about an age old problem.” —Frank Anechiarico, Hamilton College
Topics in the Contemporary Pacific
March 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3514-9 / $49.00 (CLOTH)
UH Press authors Elfriede Hermann, Niko Besnier, Margeret Jolly, Susanne Kuehling, Glenn Petersen, Julianna Flinn, and Jan Rensel, among others, will be among the scholars presenting at this year’s ASAO (Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania) meeting in Portland, February 7–11. The Press will have on display about two dozen titles, order forms, book flyers, and a new PIMS (Pacific Islands Monograph Series) brochure.
Mahalo to Jan Rensel, shown here at last year’s meeting, for lending a hand at the book exhibit.