The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 13, no. 2 (2001): Native Pacific Cultural Studies

SPECIAL ISSUE: Native Pacific Cultural Studies on the Edge
guest-edited by Vicente M Diaz and J Kehaulani Kauanui


Native Pacific Cultural Studies on the Edge, p. 315
Vicente M Diaz and J Kehaulani Kauanui

This special issue features work by Native and nonnative Pacific scholars that seeks to triangulate the arenas of “native studies,” “Pacific studies,” and “cultural studies.” … These invited works were presented at a two-day symposium, “Native Pacific Cultural Studies on the Edge,” held on 11–12 February 2000 at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The event was sponsored by the university’s Center for Cultural Studies with funding support from a University of California Pacific Rim Research Grant. As joint organizers and conveners of the symposium, we each presented papers as well. One final participant, Donna Matahaere of Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand, unfortunately could not attend. In addition to the papers presented here, the symposium included critical respondents and roundtable participants: Christopher Connery, April Henderson, Adria Lyn Imada, Glen Masato Mimura, Michael Perez, Joakim Peter, John Chock Rosa, and Dana Takagi (see a line-up of the program in the appendix). The event also featured an art installation by Angelina Naidu and Teresia Teaiwa—”Postcards from the Edge”—and an exhibit by Jewel Castro, “Daughters of Salamasina.”

The symposium sought to explore notions of Pacific indigeneity as they circulate through geographical, cultural, political, and historical flows of people(s), things, knowledge, power—between islands and continents. We asked participants to discuss alternative grounds on which to stake native Pacific cultural studies for the twenty-first century. Our guiding question was What happens when the grounds of indigeneity (of Pacific Islanderness) get too fixed or move too far? What we wanted to feature most of all was what we wish to call native productions of indigeneity. We wanted to feature the edges of what is normally taken to be traditional native territory; in the face of diaspora and globalization, but without relinquishing the groundedness of indigenous identity, politics, theory, method, and aesthetics.

Lo(o)sing the Edge, p. 343
Teresia K Teaiwa

In this paper, I reflect on the evolution of Native Pacific Cultural Studies with a partial professional history of Pacific conferences over the last ten years. I ask what constitutes the edge for each of the components of Native, Pacific, Cultural Studies and whether such an aggregate is viable. There are unresolved tensions and conflicts between each of the components—Native and Pacific studies, Native and Cultural studies, Pacific and Cultural studies—which are highlighted in the paper. I situate my own work in this history and in these tensions, and discuss the changes in direction in my intellectual and theoretical approach to the Pacific.
Keywords: cultural studies, Pacific history, Pacific studies, representation

“What Kine Hawaiian Are You?” A Mo‘olelo about Nationhood, Race, History, and the Contemporary Sovereignty Movement in Hawai‘i, p. 359
Jonathan Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio

In the summer of 1887 a small group of conspirators representing about five hundred mostly Caucasian residents and citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom forced King David Kalâkaua to sign a new constitution of their own design that explicitly humiliated him and the largely Native Hawaiian electorate. In the political rallies that followed, Natives who supported the new constitution and who exhorted Hawaiians to rally around it were ridiculed by opponents, who nevertheless were often divided over whether to boycott the coming elections or to try and take over the government through the vote and remove the most egregious clauses from the constitution. As the recent reconciliation hearings in Hawai‘i have demonstrated, the tension between participating in practical politics and nurturing a defiant national spirit persists today and continues to afflict and enliven the issues of nationhood and identity.
Keywords: cultural studies, decolonization, Hawaiian history, Hawaiian sovereignty, Pacific studies

Disappearing Worlds: Anthropology and Cultural Studies in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, p. 381
Geoffrey M White and Ty Kawika Tengan

In this paper we look at relations between anthropology, cultural studies, and native studies on the basis of their practice in the Pacific, focusing particularly on the history of anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i. We draw attention to the absence of Pacific Islanders and, specifically, of Hawaiians as authors, agents, and practitioners of anthropology. Having noted these absences, we probe disciplinary practices that (re)produce boundaries of inside-out, native-other, representer-represented in Pacific scholarship. In particular, we examine ways in which fieldwork as both ideology and practice enforces separation between anthropology and native studies. Another development calling attention to the boundaries of anthropological discourse is the emergence of significant numbers of native authors and activists concerned with issues of culture, history, and politics. In contrast to the relative absence of indigenous practitioners of anthropology in the Pacific, recent years have seen a virtual renaissance of fiction writing and video production by Pacific Islanders, creating new forms of cultural criticism akin to interdisciplinary cultural studies in other parts of the world. As anthropology reconceptualizes the objects of its research, devises new approaches to fieldwork, and otherwise engages in dialogue with a range of interlocutors, the discipline is being redefined with as yet indeterminate results.
Keywords: anthropology, cultural studies, fieldwork, Hawai‘i, representation

On the Edge? Deserts, Oceans, Islands, p. 417
Margaret Jolly

This paper starts with a playful interrogation of being “on the edge” of California from the perspective of a millennial experience “in the center” of Australia—partly to suggest my own location, but also to suggest how imagined geographies of edges and centers, of peripheries and interiors are geopolitical mirages. It then moves to a consideration of how representations of deep time, in being “on the edge” or inhabiting “a sea of islands” relate to the contemporary politics of indigeneity and diaspora in the Pacific. While acknowledging the differences between Islanders of different regions and countries, the co-presence of the values of “roots” and “routes” is stressed. The varied relation of indigeneity and diaspora is explored through visual arts displayed in museums and cultural festivals in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Australia.
Keywords: anthropology, cultural studies, culture, history, Pacific studies, representation, visual arts


Indigenous Articulations, p. 468
James Clifford

Cultural Rupture and Indigeneity: The Challenge of (Re)visioning”Place” in the Pacific, p. 491
David Welchman Gegeo


The Region in Review: International Issues and Events, 2000, p. 510
Karin von Strokirch

Melanesia in Review: Issues and Events, 2000, p. 529
David A Chappell, John Moffat Fugui, Anita Jowitt, Sandra Tarte


Reflections on Violence in Melanesia, edited by Sinclair Dinnen and Allison Ley, p. 566
Reviewed by Lisette Josephides

Chiefs Today: Traditional Pacific Leadership and the Postcolonial State, edited by Geoffrey M White and Lamont Lindstrom
Leadership in the Pacific Islands: Tradition and the Future, edited by Don Shuster, Peter Larmour, and Karin von Strokirch, p. 569
Reviewed by Ton Otto

Colonizing Hawai‘i: The Cultural Power of Law, by Sally Engle Merry, p. 574
Reviewed by Jon Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio

Pacific Answers to Western Hegemony: Cultural Practices of Identity Construction, edited by Jürg Wassmann, p. 577
Reviewed by Edvard Hviding

Money and Modernity: State and Local Currencies in Melanesia, edited by David Akin and Joel Robbins, p. 580
Reviewed by Michael O’Hanlon

Confronting Fiji Futures, edited by A Haroon Akram-Lodhi, p. 582
Reviewed by Roderic Alley

Social Change in Melanesia: Development and History, by Paul Sillitoe, p. 585
Reviewed by Lamont Lindstrom

National Security and Self-Determination: United States Policy in Micronesia (1961-1972), by Howard P Willens and Deanne C Siemer, p. 587
Reviewed by Robert C Kiste

The French Speaking Pacific: Population, Environment and Development Issues, edited by Christian Jost, p. 590
Reviewed by Donna Winslow

En Pays Kanak: Ethnologie, Linguistique, Archéologie, Histoire de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, edited by Alban Bensa and Isabelle Leblic, p. 592
Reviewed by David Chappell

Radio Happy Isles: Media and Politics at Play in the Pacific, by Robert Seward, p. 594
Reviewed by Adria L Imada

Representing the South Pacific: Colonial Discourse from Cook to Gauguin, by Rod Edmond;
Storied Landscapes: Hawaiian Literature & Place, by Dennis Kawaharada, p. 597
Reviewed by Rob Wilson

Art and Performance in Oceania, edited by Barry Craig, Bernie Kernot, and Christopher Anderson, p. 600
Reviewed by Jacob L Simet

The Value of Indigenous Music in the Life and Ministry of the Church: The United Church in the Duke of York Islands, by Andrew Midian, p. 604
Reviewed by Vida Chenoweth

Navigating Islands and Continents: Conversations and Contestations in and around the Pacific, edited by Cynthia Franklin, Ruth Hsu, and Suzanne Kosanke, p. 605
Reviewed by John O’Carroll

Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics, and Identity in the New Pacific, edited by Vilsoni Hereniko and Rob Wilson, p. 607
Reviewed by Christopher L Connery

Cracks in the Mask, p. 610
Reviewed by Martin Nakata

Since the Company Came, p. 612
Reviewed by John Roughan

Heirs of Lata: A Renewal of Polynesian Voyaging;
Vaka Taumako: The First Voyage,
p. 614
Reviewed by Richard Feinberg

At Home in Vanuatu: Tradition in the Western Pacific. Photograph exhibit by David Becker, p. 617
Reviewed by Lamont Lindstrom