The Pacific is a constantly shifting domain of cultures, encounters, and natural phenomena. As such, histories of the Pacifi c are marked by transits, circuits, and displacements, both intentional and unintentional. By sketching out examples from the sailing voyages of the open-ocean canoe Hokule‘a, to the enslavement of a South Asian woman transported on the Spanish galleons, to the Australian government’s contested policy for dealing with seaborne refugees, to the challenges posed to low-lying islands by rising sea levels, we see how peoples in motion underscore so much of global history.
Mobilities and Mobilizations in the Pacific
Acting Faith and Nostalgia in New Caledonia
Matt K. Matsuda
As developed since the seventeenth century, the concept and experience of nostalgia has been linked to individuals or groups displaced from, and longing for, a distant site they consider to be “home.” Colonial historians have also noted that indigenous peoples, such as Australian Aborigines or the Kanak in New Caledonia, may suffer from “solastalgia,” that is, homesickness while “still at home” because they have been subjects with restricted rights on what was once their own territory. The thoughts and writings of Kanak seminarian and anticolonial activist Jean-Marie Tjibaou are analyzed to demonstrate the ways that Kanak communities have shaped locally rooted identities through traditions of genealogy to assert continuities in their own history. Special focus is given here to Tjibaou's seminary training and his appropriation of Biblical stories and teachings to make points about suffering, charity, nobility, and challenges to authority, both in staged passion plays and in Kanak versions of the Christian Word.
The Ambiguities of Colonial and Post-Colonial Sentiment
Matt Matsuda and Alice Bullard
A collection of essays dedicated to the history of sentiment and emotions in the constitution of imperial and colonial projects. Subjects range from eighteenth-century marriage and military careers, to ethnically mixed couples during the Great War, to contemporary "arranged marriage" television programs in Madagascar. The collection also traces constructions of nineteenth and twentieth-century female slavery in Morocco, and meditations on family rooted and professional contexts in Laos and New Caledonia, complicating links between personal experience and historiographic knowledge. A closing essay draws together many of the themes with a detailed reading of key texts in colonial and postcolonial psychiatry.