A Pacific Intellectual History: Modern Imperialism, Indigeneity and Ecological Justice
Conventionally divided in colonial terms into Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia, Pacific islands now hold a central place in global politics. The growing concern about climate crisis, ocean governance and sustainable development upraises the importance of political voices and warnings issued from this suffering thalassic region. Despite such significance, the region’s histories, cultures, modes of government, political ideas as well as indigenous struggles in and over the islands have eluded general scholarly attention. In what ways have these geographically-small islands been conceptualized in modern times? How have such conceptions of the isles shifted according to changes in the global order? What political discourse has been responsible for these global framings? What counter-narratives have been constructed in the wake of successive independence movements in the Pacific region? How have such narratives reconfigured the extant visions of islands and created new ideational entities like ‘Oceania’?
These global framings and counter-island arguments concern not only the lives of humans, but also non-humans. In the shadow of ecological imperialism, such Pacific indigenous intellectuals as Albert Wendt, Epeli Hau‘ofa and Teresia Teaiwa, to name only a few, have flagged up a key role played by ancestral nature—including landscapes, seascapes, floras and faunas—in establishing a decolonized sovereignty. By bringing these entanglements together, the conference offers an opportunity to rethink the global historical location of this distinctive contact zone and to create a new Pacific intellectual history.
This conference offers an opportunity to rethink the global historical location of this distinctive contact zone and to create a new Pacific intellectual history.
Time: 1:00 – 6:00pm (Japan Standard Time)
Location: Hybrid event. In-person: The University of Tokyo, Japan.
Please find more information about the conference here.
To attend this event please register here.