By Paul Lyons
This provocative research and critique of yank representations of Oceania and Oceanians from the 19th century to the current, argues that imperial fantasies have glossed over a fancy, violent historical past. It introduces the concept that of ‘American Pacificism’, a theoretical framework that attracts on modern theories of friendship, hospitality and tourism to refigure confirmed debates round ‘orientalism’ for an Oceanian context.
Paul Lyons explores American-Islander family members and lines the ways that primary conceptions of Oceania were entwined within the American mind's eye. at the one hand, the Pacific islands are obvious as fiscal and geopolitical ‘stepping stones’, instead of results in themselves, when at the different they're considered as ends of the earth or ‘cultural limits’, unencumbered by way of notions of sin, antitheses to the commercial worlds of financial and political modernity. in spite of the fact that, either conceptions imprecise not just Islander cultures, but additionally leading edge responses to incursion. The islands in its place emerge when it comes to American nationwide identification, as locations for medical discovery, soul-saving and civilizing missions, manhood-testing experience, nuclear checking out and eroticized furloughs among maritime paintings and warfare.
Ranging from first touch and the colonial archive via to postcolonialism and worldwide tourism, this thought-provoking quantity attracts upon a large, profitable number of literary works, historic and cultural scholarship, executive files and vacationer literature.
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Extra info for American Pacificism Oceania in the U.S. Imagination (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures)
Both our interests and our ideas propel us westward across the Pacific, not as conquerors but as partners” (quoted in Drinnon 1980: 445). From the overthrow of Hawai‘i onward rhetoric such as that of senator Albert J. Beverage became normative: “The Pacific is the Ocean of the commerce of the future. Most future wars will be conflicts for commerce. The power that rules the Pacific, therefore, is the power that rules the world” (quoted in Fredman 1969: 36). These viewpoints ground Cold War paternalism, with its stated civilizing mission to bring “them,” however traumatically, along with “us” into civilized modernity, backing the ambition of military control.
Others tried to enrich themselves, were proud, and trod the Hawaiians under their feet. (Kamakau 1992: 245) Before colonialism, much of the initial forming of relations worked through formalized friendship rituals, such as name exchange, which were at once real, manipulated, and mythologized in the Euroamerican archive, such that the important compiler of Hawaiian lore Abraham Fournander claimed that name exchange was “esteemed” among “all the islanders of the Pacific Ocean” as “the strongest pledge of friendship” (Fournander 1969: 183–4).
S. S. racial stereotypes to Oceanians. S. S. S. classes were themselves anxiously working out their “Americanness” (as ways-of-being apart from “Europeanness”) during the nineteenth century. S. institutions and principles, at once democratic and providential, contributed to the creation of a “new” political subject, one mobile and individuated while committed to a larger national mission. S. racial formations as they articulated with other social institutions and ideological processes, which identified spiritual identity and national expansion with individual subject formation.