The Pacific Islands Monograph—co-published by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the University of Hawaiʻi Press—has been awarded the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (ADSA) 2016 Rob Jordan Prize.
The award-winning book is Remaking Pacific Pasts: History, Memory and Identity in Contemporary Theater from Oceania, authored by Diana Looser. She is an assistant professor of theater and performance studies at Stanford University and honorary research fellow at the School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland.
Drawing together discussions in theater and performance studies, historiography, Pacific studies and postcolonial studies, Remaking Pacific Pasts offers the first full-length comparative study of this dynamic and expanding body of work. This study emphasizes the contribution of artistic production to social and political life in the contemporary Pacific, demonstrating how local play production has worked to facilitate processes of creative nation building and the construction of modern regional imaginaries.
The Rob Jordan Prize is awarded every two years for best book on a subject related to drama or theater studies by an ADSA member. In their citation, the judges wrote, “This is a sophisticated and ground-breaking study. Looser’s account of the ways in which postcolonial history is being remade through playwriting and theatre production across Oceania is both extensive in scope and exemplary in its attention to the contribution local cultural traditions and events have made to performance outcomes in each of her case study locations.”