World Heritage and National Development in Fiji: Levuka as a World Heritage Site

dc.contributor.advisor Tengan, Ty
dc.contributor.advisor White, Geoffrey Young, Nanise
dc.contributor.department Anthropology 2020-07-07T19:05:42Z 2020-07-07T19:05:42Z 2020 Ph.D.
dc.subject Cultural anthropology
dc.title World Heritage and National Development in Fiji: Levuka as a World Heritage Site
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract Levuka, Fiji’s first capital, was successfully inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, after a nomination process that took more than 20 years, during a time period characterized by post-colonial, political instability. Selection of the site was based on its value as an outstanding representation of European colonial maritime heritage. In Fiji, the Indigenous iTaukei make up the majority of the population, but despite state efforts at Indigenous inclusivity, iTaukei heritage remains peripheral to the chosen site. This dissertation explores how different stakeholders in Fiji make sense of and engage with Levuka’s inscription as a World Heritage site, in order to understand how the meanings and practices of “heritage” transform as they move between local, state, and global contexts. I found that for many iTaukei, “heritage” was a different way of interacting with the past that did not neatly align with vanua, or the “ways of the land.” World Heritage is fundamentally a neoliberal endeavor based on ethnocentric notions of development, defined by UN global development goals that have had little success in Fiji and other Pacific Island countries. In Levuka, the returns to heritage inscription are limited – both for multicultural residents of the town, and for iTaukei living in the town’s surrounding villages. World Heritage inscription in Levuka fell short of its stated goal to stimulate heritage tourism and thereby provide an economic alternative to the uncertain position of the PAFCO tuna cannery in the local economy. Moreover, the Levuka case reveals that familiar oppositions of rural/urban, local/global, and native/non-native themselves contain oppositions based on geography and gender. Utilizing the Vanua Research Framework, I seek to understand the accompanying variations in experience and perception by grounding this project in vanua and carasala, or “opening the way,” for returning the research and researcher to the lands and communities that have shared their knowledge. Finally, I consider how Indigenous research approaches can provide alternative models for heritage, development, and anthropological practice.
dcterms.extent 169 pages
dcterms.language eng
dcterms.publisher University of Hawai'i at Manoa
dcterms.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.
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