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Conflicted Flows: 21st Century Pacific Narratives Across Media.

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Title:Conflicted Flows: 21st Century Pacific Narratives Across Media.
Authors:Gin, Steven
Contributors:English (department)
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Conflicted Flows looks at what I call “medial conflicts”—where stories come up against
limit points in terms of medium—and their resolutions in indigenous Pacific Island literature
since the turn of the 21st Century. In the Pacific Island texts, films, recordings, and electronic
media that I examine, medial conflicts often present obstacles to expression, but I argue
ultimately open a productive dialogic space in which media refer to and imitate one another,
while bringing attention to and resisting power structures that undergird the region’s expressive
culture. Because of the historical proliferation of both traditional and introduced modes of
expression, I claim that medial conflicts are characteristic of Pacific expression, and they provide
an analytic category for understanding how media develop as a complex chain of responses to
cultural and political demands, in addition to technological advances. To tease out some of the
ways that Pacific Islanders wrestle with modes of expression, each of my four chapters treats a
different medial conflict: a novel centered around a frustrated mute narrator who suffers
imprisonment within the representational limits of writing while gesturing toward transcendence;
writers and filmmakers using their craft to support the practice of formal oratory in the
contemporary global mediascape; a network of poets and musicians that record their poetry on
CD, amplifying, remixing, and perpetuating the traditional roots of its stories in a contemporary
aural space; and the repurposing of contemporary electronic forms to reinvigorate ancient
traditions. My project counters the colonial myth of Pacific Islanders “living in the past,” and, in
fact, argues that their contemporary expressions offer ethical ways of approaching new media
that are rooted in a robust tradition of inventing, adapting, and contending with modes of
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - English

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