The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 30 no. 2 (2018): Repossessing Paradise

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“Repossessing Paradise,” the new special issue from The Contemporary Pacific, opens with an introduction from guest editors Kalissa Alexeyeff and Siobhan McDonnell, “Whose Paradise? Encounter, Exchange, and Exploitation.” They write:

This collection arose from thinking about how Pacific Islanders utilize the trope of paradise to describe their lives and the places they call home. Like the many studies that precede this, our work demonstrates how paradise has come to define the Pacific through certain kinds of generic, infinitely reoccurring, and highly substitutable images: beautiful beaches, verdant foliage, and exotic peoples and customs. We show how these images enable possession (from early exploration, through colonial settlement, and including contemporary tourism) and how this is twinned with the dispossession of land, Indigenous peoples, and their epistemologies. What distinguishes this collection from most previous literature is that we combine analyses of contemporary possession with repossession in our exploration of the ways in which Indigenous people reimagine or repurpose paradise for their own needs and desires. Continue reading “The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 30 no. 2 (2018): Repossessing Paradise”