Albert Wendt's Critical and Creative Legacy in Oceania: An Introduction

Date
2010
Authors
Teaiwa, Teresia
Marsh, Selina Tusitala
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University of Hawai‘i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
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Abstract
This special issue of The Contemporary Pacific features a selection of artists and academics who have emerged in the wake of Albert Wendt’s pioneering (and occasionally polarizing) career as the Pacific’s most prominent poet, novelist, essayist, academic, and painter. The contributors conscientiously grapple with both the possibilities and the problematics that his work has opened up for them. Taken as a whole, this special issue marks out the space of a contemporary Oceanic imaginary and politics that our contributors have been able to discover, revisit, claim, contest, expand, and depart from—all as a direct consequence of Wendt’s having traveled there first. This introduction delineates the significance of Wendt’s critical and creative legacy in Oceania by providing a brief précis of Wendt’s literary, institutional, cultural, and political achievements. It articulates the vision of this collection: that our generation of artists and scholars, and subsequent generations of Pacific public intellectuals must begin or purposefully continue to (a) draw on both scholarship and art as equally valid sources of critical and creative perception for the consolidation and invigoration of social and political analysis in Oceania, and (b) foster a sense of intellectual history to successfully navigate the ongoing challenges of representation by and for the Pacific.
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Albert Wendt, legacy, Pacific arts, Pacific literature, Pacific studies
Citation
Teaiwa, T., and Marsh, S. T. 2010. Albert Wendt's Critical and Creative Legacy in Oceania: An Introduction. The Contemporary Pacific 22 (2): 233-248.
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16 pages
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