American Pacificism Oceania in the U.S. Imagination by Paul Lyons

American Pacificism Oceania in the U.S. Imagination by Paul Lyons

By Paul Lyons

This provocative research and critique of yankee representations of Oceania and Oceanians from the 19th century to the current, argues that imperial fantasies have glossed over a fancy, violent background. It introduces the concept that of ‘American Pacificism’, a theoretical framework that pulls on modern theories of friendship, hospitality and tourism to refigure demonstrated debates round ‘orientalism’ for an Oceanian context.

Paul Lyons explores American-Islander family members and strains the ways that basic conceptions of Oceania were entwined within the American mind's eye. at the one hand, the Pacific islands are obvious as fiscal and geopolitical ‘stepping stones’, instead of results in themselves, when at the different they're seen as ends of the earth or ‘cultural limits’, unencumbered by means of notions of sin, antitheses to the commercial worlds of monetary and political modernity. in spite of the fact that, either conceptions vague not just Islander cultures, but additionally cutting edge responses to incursion. The islands as a substitute emerge when it comes to American nationwide id, as areas for medical discovery, soul-saving and civilizing missions, manhood-testing experience, nuclear checking out and eroticized furloughs among maritime paintings and warfare.

Ranging from first touch and the colonial archive via to postcolonialism and international tourism, this thought-provoking quantity attracts upon a large, worthwhile number of literary works, historic and cultural scholarship, govt records and vacationer literature.

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If for both sides fear portends, produces, and authorizes force, friendship potentially facilitates exchange. Within the rip-tide of colonialism, this can itself contribute to hegemony, or become a romanticized form of tourism. My concentration on friendship – if often as an abused, missed, or utopic moment – aims to function as a complex counterpart to that of fear semiotics (based on the putative endemic violence of the “cannibal”). S. 11 Kamakau gives a good sense of the range of ways in which Islanders and foreigners interacted: Many foreigners of different races, the red, the black, the white, came in the early days to Hawaii .

Cannibalism” as trope can be threatening or exotic according to the angle and desires of the perceiver. ” “Where is the boy who has not dreamed of cannibal isles,” wrote Frederick O’Brien in his bestselling White Shadows in the South Seas (1919), “where naked brown men move like shadows through unimagined jungles, and horrid feasts are celebrated” (O’Brien 1921a: 6–7), without suggesting why this should be so. In the mid-twentieth century, Robert Dean Frisbie, who struggled for decades in the islands with his ambition to write a great novel about Oceania, complained that from a market point of view it had long been virtually impossible to write outside of binaristic boundaries: In the South Pacific, from Easter Island to the Marshalls, are lands as dissimilar as Siberia and Panama; but in the books about them two notes prevail: first, that of lushness, sensuality, and security; second, that of disease, hardship, and danger.

Apparatus of rule that progressively incorporates the entire global realm within its open, expanding frontiers” (Hardt and Negri 2000: xii). S. 7 (In 1801, for instance, Edward Fanning describes entering a remote harbor in which he found “a small fleet of American sealers, being five ships and a schooner, from whom we learned there were upwards of thirty sail of American sealing vessels on this coast” [Fanning 1970: 306]). In actuality, the continental West was circled and linked to world markets in part by labor from Asia and Oceania.

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