Losing Oceania to the Pacific and the World

Hanlon, David
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University of Hawai‘i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Pacific history has been rediscovered of late by those seeking to incorporate the region into more transnational, global, and world histories. There is much good to be derived from regional and comparative approaches that link Pacific pasts to larger historical processes and to the boundary-defying movement of peoples, goods, and ideas. Pacific history needs very much to be in conversation with historians and theorists from elsewhere. There is also the issue of recovery. Drawing inspiration from the works of Greg Dening, Vince Diaz, and others, I address the persisting need for the recovery of deeper Oceanic pasts that bear on our shared if unequal present—an effort made even more necessary by the generalizations and omissions that come with a globalizing approach to Islands’ pasts. In this effort at recovery, I look to imagination, discursive flourish, indigenous knowledge, and Deep Time as integral methodologies that offer the possibility of transcending the conventions of historical research in the Pacific on a voyage that is ultimately about liberation.
Pacific, history, Oceania, indigenous studies, historicities, ethnography
Hanlon, D. Losing Oceania to the Pacific and the World. The Contemporary Pacific 29 (2): 285-318.
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