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Katherine Higgins

outreach director, Center for Pacific Islands Studies; PhD Harvard University (1975)

(808) 956-2658     

Katherine Higgins joined the Center for Pacific Islands Studies as Outreach Director in 2012. She graduated with an MA in Pacific Islands studies and a graduate certificate in museum studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa in 2007 and received a PhD in art history from the University of Auckland (2012). She has worked with artists and arts organizations in Oceania, primarily in Hawai‘i, Fiji, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Sāmoa, and the Cook Islands.

Katherine’s research focuses on contemporary art and artistic and cultural exchange. Her PhD thesis chronicled the development of artist residency programs in Oceania from 1969 to 2010 and analyzed the role of residencies as alternatives or complements to institutional programming. She has a particular interest in the ways that residencies engage communities and grow creative industries locally and regionally.

Prior to her graduate studies, Katherine spent a year teaching English on Kaven in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. She has also worked in museum education, museum and exhibition design, and for grassroots and international art organizations in Boston, London, Honolulu, Suva, Christchurch, Auckland, and Poutasi, Sāmoa.

Selected publications

2012 Creative Starts: Workshop-style Programmes in Oceania. Scope (Art & Design) 7: 41-49.
2010 Dö wêyê i pa kau mâ: the art of Isabelle Staron-Tutugoro. In Dö wêyê i pa kau mâ, 17-30. Paris: Maison de la Nouvelle Calédonia. (also translated into French)
2009 Kamoan Mine (coauthored with Andy Leleisi‘uao). In The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place and Identity in the Pacific, edited by A. Marata Tamaira. Occasional Paper 44. Honolulu: Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
2009 The Red Wave Collective: The Process of Creating Art at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture. The Contemporary Pacific 21:35-70.
2008 Red Wave: Space, Process, and Creativity at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture. Suva, Fiji: Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific.






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