This comment reflects on the contributions to this special section on print culture and mobility in the Pacific. It focuses on the ways in which changing attitudes toward ocean-going mobility and its mass commercialisation in the fi rst half of the twentieth century encouraged new textual and visual forms of appraisal and representation of the Pacific. This, in turn, facilitated the fashioning of new mobile subjectivities, which illuminate a range of gendered and racialized aspirations being projected into the Pacific region from the white settler states around its rim. Together, the articles suggest avenues for further research on the impact of shipboard and island port encounters on forms of Australian self-presentation and engagement in the region.
Comparable Practices, Contested Meanings
Ian Shapiro identifies three traditions of democratic thought: aggregative, deliberative, and minimalist. All three are apparent in the Pacific Islands despite most commentators and donors assuming that the meaning of democracy is fixed. The focus in development studies on institutions and their capacity to deliver pro-poor growth has generated a fourth tradition that revolves around the now pervasive governance concept. Rather than focusing on the general will of a sovereign people, this perspective is predominately concerned with the legitimate use of violence as a precursor to any development-orientated democratic state. Having reviewed the literature on democracy in the Pacific to parse out these four meanings, this article concludes that paying greater attention to this ideational equivocality would extend discussions about the suitability and transferability of this type of regime.
Australian Interwar Magazines and Middlebrow Orientalism in the Pacific
Victoria Kuttainen and Sarah Galletly
As travel began to massify in the aftermath of the Great War when passenger ships still regularly stopped at ports of call, and as Australia developed a sub-imperial relationship to its near Melanesian neighbors in Papua and New Guinea, the Pacific and its islands loomed large in Australians’ consciousness and print culture. This article employs Christina Klein’s concept of “middlebrow orientalism” to examine how Australia’s quality magazines, MAN and The BP Magazine, reflected an “expansive material and symbolic investment in Asia and the Pacific” (2003: 11) between the two world wars. While development of a consumerist, leisure relationship with the region is in evidence in these magazines that undoubtedly assume the superiority of White Australia, we argue they also promote diversity, inclusiveness, and an emerging maturity in outlook that conveyed the way in which Australians began to understand themselves as Pacific citizens wishing to “make friends of the nations.”
Print Culture, Mobility, and the Pacific, 1920–1950
Victoria Kuttainen and Susann Liebich
This special section considers the interconnections of print culture and mobility across the Pacific in the early twentieth century. The contributors explore how print culture was part of the practices, experiences, mediations, and representations of travel and mobility, and understand mobility in a number of ways: from the movement of people and texts across space and the mobility of ideas to the opportunities of social mobility through travel. The special section moves beyond studies of travel writing and the literary analysis of travel narratives by discussing a range of genres, by paying attention to readers and reception, and by focusing on actual mobility and its representation as well as the mediation between the two.
“Savagery” and “Civilization” in the Australian Interwar Imaginary
Australian travel writing of the interwar period expanded with the growth of tourism in the Pacific Islands and the development of publishing and literacy at home. This article focuses on how the Australian middlebrow imagination was shaped by the diverse travel accounts of Australian tourists, adventurers, executives, scientists, officials, and missionaries writing at this time. Many of their texts borrowed and blended multiple discourses, simultaneously promoting the islands as educational and exotic, and appealing to an Australian middlebrow readership. In this article I argue that not only was travel writing middlebrow in its content and style, but the islands themselves were a particularly middlebrow setting. This is evident in representations of the islander “savage” in the region of Melanesia, a prevalent theme in Australian travelogues. I argue that this middlebrow literature was characterized by ambivalent and often contradictory ideas about the civilized “self” and the savage “other.”
Compliance and Transformation in the Asia-Pacific Region
Capacity building in biomedical research ethics review has been a European priority since the early 2000s. Prompted by the increase in data originating in internationally sponsored trials in emerging economies, a range of capacity building initiatives were put in place in the field of ethical review to ensure the protection of human subjects participating in research. Drawing on fieldwork with the Forum for Ethical Review Committees in the Asian and Western Pacific Region, I explore two distinct forms taken by capacity building within that organization to support and train members of ethics review committees. The first, with an emphasis on standards and measurability, takes as its priority international accountability for clinical trial research. The second explores how the organization goes about persuading trainees to see and do ‘ethics’ differently. This distinction between forms of capacity allows me to explore what will count as ‘success’ in research ethics capacity building.
Australian Middlebrow Writers in the 1940s and the Mobility of Texts
The travel writer Frank Clune saw World War II as a turning point in Australia’s consciousness, turning its inhabitants’ attention to the Pacific region. Similarly, the writer Ernestine Hill was delighted to find new American markets for her Australian books in wartime as troops were mobilized across the Pacific theater. In America, as Janice Radway has shown, the sentimental mode of “middlebrow personalism” enabled writers to engage their readers in wider geopolitical affairs. Middlebrow intellectuals, texts, and institutions were crucial in educating Americans about their evolving midcentury relationships with Asia, just as writers such as Clune and Hill educated Australians about the Pacific: a coalition of American and Australian mobilities and imaginaries in middlebrow midcentury print culture. This article examines the multiple ways in which these books and their writers “made Australia” in terms of a regional imaginary that extended across the Pacific during this period.
Noa Noa, Manao Tupapau, and Gauguin’s Legacy in the Pacific
Paul Gauguin has earned his place as one of the most significant artists of the European avant-garde. His works have also traveled to the postmodern Pacific, taking on roles outside his original artistic project. As an index of the tourist fantasy of Tahiti, adorning postcards and advertisements for cruise ships, Gauguin's paintings in a popular context underscore the intertwined histories of colonialism and exoticism. As a powerful symbol of imposed identities, they have also become one site of many for politicized response through the production of creative works by indigenous scholars, artists, and activists. The critical discourse on the artist, therefore, needs to shift: while continued art historical analysis of the artist's work is still needed, scholars should also account for the various sociopolitical arenas that Gauguin's work inhabits in the twenty-first century. Considering Gauguin's relationship to a variety of nineteenth-century vernacular productions, both written and visual, as well as the current popular reproduction of his works and appropriation by indigenous artists and writers, the language of photography and its role as material culture provides a rich model through which to re-examine his work. This essay argues that Gauguin's work and legacy are both productions of travel, and objects that have traveled to the present.
Police Violence and Anti-Fracking Protests
Will Jackson, Helen Monk and Joanna Gilmore
This article considers the policing of protests against “fracking” at Barton Moss, Salford, Greater Manchester between November 2013 and April 2014. The article seeks to make sense of the policing response to the protest camp established at the Barton Moss site and to consider what the policing of anti-fracking protests reveals about state responses to resistance in the current era. The article begins by sketching out the background to fracking in the UK and to the specific protest at Barton Moss. It then provides some detail about the nature of policing experienced at the camp during its five-month operation before considering how the policing of anti-fracking protests—and protest policing more generally—need to be considered in relation to the general function of police. To do this we draw upon the concept of pacification to consider both the destructive and productive effects of the exercise of police power and suggest that this concept, and the reorientation of critical policing studies that it demands, are essential for understanding police and state violence in contemporary liberal democracies.
Imparting Ethno-aesthetic Knowledge in John Hawkesworth’s Report on Cook’s First Voyage to the South Pacific (1768–1771)
Artistic practices in ethnological knowledge transfer can be found in the wellknown account of James Cook’s first voyage (1768–1771) by John Hawkesworth (Account of the Voyages […] in the Southern Hemisphere, 1773), which shows that such travel accounts are not only vehicles of knowledge transfer but also means of knowledge (re)construction, and at times this process of remolding knowledge extends to a rewriting that includes elements of fiction. Hence, the article will draw on the material assembled by Cook and Joseph Banks in their Endeavour Journals to identify in Hawkesworth’s examples of (ethno-aesthetic) knowledge construction and “invention.” A comparison of the diff erent types of texts is rewarding not least because Hawkesworth’s account strove to present the new knowledge to a broader audience. An identification of Hawkesworth’s departures from his sources facilitates the reading of the act of knowledge transfer as a process of knowledge transformation.