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The Gift of the Pacific: Place and Perspective in Pacific history - Call for Panel Proposals - by Jan 31 2018

When Dec 02, 2018 09:00 AM to
Dec 05, 2018 05:00 PM
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23rd Pacific History Association Biennial Conference 2018
To be held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the University of Cambridge, England,


The Pacific ‘is a gift’, said the late Teresia Teaiwa, in a Victoria University of Wellington podcast. If she was primarily evoking the gift and the fragile inheritance of a extraordinary Oceanic environment – a theatre of life, performance and struggle – the Pacific has figured as ‘a gift’ in manifold senses. Above all, for Islanders who have made their lives, and negotiated colonial modernity and globalization across the region. But also for the Europeans who have famously or notoriously ‘imagined’ the Pacific and sought to intervene in it. And for those scholars, and historians in particular, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, for whom the Pacific has offered a realm of comparative inquiry and storytelling.


Pacific history has assumed increasingly diverse identities, ranging from ethnographic, reflective, local and postcolonial styles through those adopting the frames of the longue durée and world history to those animated by art and material culture, exemplified in the Royal Academy’s ‘Oceania’ exhibition, with which this conference coincides. Pacific historians have engaged place and space on many scales, from the beaches and localities of encounter to the vast ocean and its ‘rim’. The Pacific History Association’s 2018 conference will offer a wealth of inquiry and debate, considering how these diverse narratives and perspectives respond to the gift of the Pacific.

The conference coincides with the 'Oceania' exhibition at the Royal Academy, the largest exhibition to date responding to art, history and contemporary identity across the region as a whole. The convenors invite artistic interventions that will contribute to a wider dialogue between academia and contemporary practice, and also cross-disciplinary contributions which may range across anthropology, archaeology, art history, development studies, political studies, geography, history, linguistics, and related fields.

Keynotes: Bronwen Douglas, Anne Perez Hattori, Maia Nuku, Damon Salesa.

All proposals must be submitted by January 31st 2018 to

Proposals must consist of:

– a panel title
– the name/s and email address/es of panel convenor/s
– an abstract of no more than 300 words – please include your affiliation and note that contributions are limited to one per speaker