The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea

Anthropologists and world historians make strange bedfellows. Although the latter frequently employ anthropological methods in their descriptions of cross-cultural exchanges, the former have raised substantial reservations about global approaches to history. Fearing loss of specificity, anthropologists object to the effacing qualities of techniques employed by world historians—this despite the fact that anthropology itself was a global, comparative enterprise in the nineteenth century. Anthropology’s Global Histories: The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870–1935, by Rainer F. Buschmann, seeks to recover some of anthropology’s global flavor by viewing its history in Oceania through the notion of the ethnographic frontier—the furthermost limits of the anthropologically known regions of the Pacific. The colony of German New Guinea (1884–1914) presents an ideal example of just such a contact zone.

October 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3184-4 / $55.00 (CLOTH)

Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents

Islands—as well as entire continents—are reputed to have disappeared in many parts of the world. Yet there is little information on this subject concerning its largest ocean, the Pacific. Over the years, geologists have amassed data that point to the undeniable fact of islands having disappeared in the Pacific, a phenomenon that the oral traditions of many groups of Pacific Islanders also highlight. There are even a few instances where fragments of Pacific continents have disappeared, becoming hidden from view rather than being submerged. In Vanished Islands and Hidden Continents of the Pacific, a scientifically rigorous yet readily comprehensible account of a fascinating subject, Patrick D. Nunn ranges far and wide, from explanations of the region’s ancient history to the meanings of island myths. Using both original and up-to-date information, he shows that there is real value in bringing together myths and the geological understanding of land movements.

October 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3219-3 / $50.00 (CLOTH)

An Intellectual Biography of Jean-Marie Tjibaou

Jean-Marie Tjibaou is arguably the most important post–World War II Oceanic leader. His intellectual abilities, acute understanding of both Melanesian and European civilizations, stature as a statesman, commitment to nonviolence, and vision for Melanesia’s potential contributions to the global community have all contributed to the creation of a remarkable and enduring legacy. Until now, no substantial English-language study has existed of Tjibaou, who was assassinated in 1989. This biography, by Eric Waddell, takes an essentially chronological approach to the Kanak (New Caledonia) leader—from his beginnings in the mountains of northern New Caledonia and his studies at the Sorbonne to his leadership of the independence movement in the Territory. The work focuses on the spiritual, cultural, and intellectual sources of Tjibaou’s ideas and actions as well as on those who were a source of inspiration to him.

Pacific Islands Monograph Series, No. 23
Published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i
September 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3314-5 / $25.00 (PAPER)

Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific

What is globalization? How is it gendered? How does it work in Asia and the Pacific? The authors of the sixteen original and innovative essays presented in Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific: Method, Practice, Theory, edited by Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco, take fresh stock of globalization’s complexities. They pursue critical feminist inquiry about women, gender, and sexualities and produce original insights into changing life patterns in Asian and Pacific Island societies. Each essay puts the lives and struggles of women at the center of its examination while weaving examples of global circuits in Asian and Pacific societies into a world frame of analysis. The work is generated from within Asian and Pacific spaces, bringing to the fore local voices and claims to knowledge.

August 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3241-4 / $35.00 (PAPER)

Ways of Being and Place in Vanuatu

The Other Side: Ways of Being and Place in Vanuatu, by John Patrick Taylor, is the first major ethnographic and historical study of the Sia Raga people of north Pentecost Island, a region that was home to the late Father Walter Lini, Vanuatu’s first prime minister. Exploring Raga social, spatial, and historical consciousness, this richly poetic account provides important theoretical contributions to ongoing debates in Pacific anthropology about the relation between structure and history, and place and time. It reveals important insights into the convergence of indigenous and exogenous cosmologies and hegemonies historically, and shows how these are implicated in contemporary social, ritual, and material cultural expressions. These analyses engage with broader concerns relating to colonial and postcolonial identities, political economy, and globalization in island Melanesia.

Pacific Islands Monograph Series, No. 22
July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3302-2 / $52.00 (CLOTH)
Published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands, University of Hawai‘i

Making Sense of AIDS in Melanesia

In Melanesia, rates of HIV infection are among the highest in the Pacific and increasing rapidly, with grave humanitarian, development, and political implications. There is a great need for social research on HIV/AIDS in the region to provide better insights into the sensitive issues surrounding HIV transmission. Making Sense of AIDS: Culture, Sexuality, and Power in Melanesia, edited by Leslie Butt and Richard Eves, is the first book on HIV and AIDS in the Pacific region. It gathers together stunning and original accounts of the often surprising ways that people make sense of the AIDS epidemic in various parts of Melanesia. The volume addresses substantive issues concerning AIDS and contemporary sexualities, relations of power, and moralities—themes that provide a powerful backdrop for twenty-first century understandings of the tensions between sexuality, religion, and politics in many parts of the world.

“This is a powerful and courageous anthology. One of its great strengths is the powerful ethnography of sexuality contained in many of these essays, making it extremely timely. It shows that anthropology is alive, that the work of culture in confronting the myriad terrors of an incurable disease is daunting and fearful but part of the human condition that needs reporting in these societies. The essays are original and in some cases truly unique. Making Sense of AIDS contains extremely valuable, interesting, and important contributions.” —Gilbert Herdt, Center for Human Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University

May 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3249-0 / $27.00 (PAPER)

Myths and Music of Futuna, Vanuatu

Nokonofo Kitea (We Keep on Living This Way): Myths and Music of Futuna, Vanuatu, by Janet Dixon Keller and Takaronga Kuautonga, is centered on stories and songs from the Polynesian outlier West Futuna, Vanuatu. It aims to accomplish three goals: found a secular literature, celebrate and interpret the verbal arts, and connect ancestral discourses with the complex fabric of present-day lives. In the narratives islanders past and present enunciate personal and social struggles, articulate power dynamics, and proclaim the cultural geography and cosmology that promote community. History emerges through their perspectives. Gender, marriage, residence, exchange, and alliance are interrogated; gluttony and conservation juxtaposed.

“This volume is a superb example of the kind of quality that a collaborative project, between expatriate academics and Pacific Islanders, can produce. The collaborative strategy has major implications for the discipline of anthropology in general.” —Kirk Huffman, honorary curator, Vanuatu Cultural Center

February 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3113-4 / $50.00 (CLOTH)

Selected Works by Epeli Hauofa

We Are Ocean, is a collection of essays, fiction, and poetry by Epeli Hau‘ofa, whose writing over the past three decades has consistently challenged prevailing notions about Oceania and prescriptions for its development. He highlights major problems confronted by the region and suggests alternative perspectives and ways in which its people might reorganize to relate effectively to the changing world.

Hau‘ofa’s essays criss-cross Oceania, creating a navigator’s star chart of discussion and debate. Spurning the arcana of the intellectual establishments where he was schooled, Hau‘ofa has crafted a distinctive—often lyrical, at times angry—voice that speaks directly to the people of the region and the general reader. He conveys his thoughts from diverse standpoints: university-based analyst, essayist, satirist and humorist, and practical catalyst for creativity. According to Hau‘ofa, only through creative originality in all fields of endeavor can the people of Oceania hope to strengthen their capacity to engage the forces of globalization.

January 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3173-8 / $22.00 (PAPER)

The Growth and Collapse of Pacific Island Societies Now in Paperback

The Growth and Collapse of Pacific Island Societies: Archaeological and Demographic Perspectives, edited by Patrick V. Kirch and Jean-Louis Rallu, is now available in paperback.

“This collection is a seminal contribution to the longstanding concern with demographic levels and change before and following European contacts with Pacific Island societies. . . . The essays represent exemplary interdisciplinary meshings and, in developing a new level of technique for this research, remind readers of the excellence of the earlier work as well. . . . Undoubtably, this will be a basic reference in Pacific Islands scholarship. Highly recommended.” —Choice

January 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3148-6 / $35.00 (PAPER)

Interview with Philip Culbertson

Dr. Philip Culbertson (shown with co-authors Dr. Margaret Agee, left, and Cabrini ‘Ofa Makasiale, right) spoke with Mike Havoc of the University of Auckland’s 95bFM this month. Listen to the radio interview here.

Penina Uliuli: Contemporary Challenges in Mental Health for Pacific Peoples, written by Culbertson, Agee, and Makasiale, was published in September 2007 by University of Hawai‘i Press.

Micronesians in the Pacific War

Micronesians often liken the Pacific War to a typhoon, one that swept away their former lives and brought dramatic changes to their understandings of the world and their places in it. Those who survived the war years know that their peoples passed through a major historical transformation. Yet Pacific War histories scarcely mention the Islanders across whose lands and seas the fighting waged. Memories of War: Micronesians in the Pacific War, by Suzanne Falgout, Lin Poyer, and Laurence M. Carucci, sets out the fill that historical gap by presenting the missing voices of Micronesians and by viewing those years from their perspectives.

November 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3130-1 / $25.00 (PAPER)