Remaking Pacific Pasts: History, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Theater from Oceania, by Diana Looser, is the latest volume (number 28) in the Pacific Islands Monograph Series, published by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the University of Hawai'i Press. It offers the first full-length comparative study of drama by Pacific playwrights, with an overview of significant works produced throughout the region over the past fifty years. Detailed case studies focus on how Pacific dramatists, actors, and directors have used theatrical performance to critically engage the Pacific's colonial and postcolonial histories in Hawai'i, Aotearoa/New Zealand, New Caledonia/Kanaky, and Fiji.
The Kanak Awakening: The Rise of Nationalism in New Caledonia, by David Chappell, is number 27 in the center's Pacific Islands Monograph Series. Most studies of modern New Caledonia focus on the violent 1980s uprising, but the genesis of that rebellion began with a handful of university students who painted graffiti on public buildings in 1969, and such activists discussed many of the same issues that face the country's leadership today. After examining the background of that movement, this work traces the rise of a nationalist movement that ultimately restored self-government and legalized indigenous aspirations for sovereignty in a local citizenship with its own symbols.
Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom, by David Akin, is number 26 in the center's Pacific Islands Monograph Series. This book is a political history of the island of Malaita in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate from 1927, when the last violent resistance to colonial rule was crushed, to 1953 and the inauguration of the island's first representative political body, the Malaita Council. At the book's heart is a political movement known as Maasina Rule, which dominated political affairs in the southeastern Solomons for many years after World War II. The movement's ideology, kastom, was grounded in the determination that only Malaitans themselves could properly chart their future through application of Malaitan sensibilities and methods, free from British interference.
The latest issue of The Contemporary Pacific (26:2, 2014) is a special issue, Global Sport in the Pacific, guest-edited by Fa'anofo Lisaclaire (Lisa) Uperesa and Tom Mountjoy. In addition to an introduction, seven articles, and an epilogue, it includes an essay on resources for researching the topic. The photography of artist Greg Semu is featured. Reviews of issues and events in Melanesia and the region as a whole, along with numerous book and media reviews, round out the issue.
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