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 posh, violent historical past. It introduces the idea that of ‘American Pacificism’, a theoretical framework that attracts on modern theories of friendship, hospitality and tourism to refigure validated debates round ‘orientalism’ for an Oceanian context.
Paul Lyons explores American-Islander kinfolk and strains the ways that primary conceptions of Oceania were entwined within the American mind's eye. at the one hand, the Pacific islands are visible as financial and geopolitical ‘stepping stones’, instead of leads to themselves, while at the different they're considered as ends of the earth or ‘cultural limits’, unencumbered via notions of sin, antitheses to the economic worlds of financial and political modernity. notwithstanding, either conceptions vague not just Islander cultures, but additionally leading edge responses to incursion. The islands in its place emerge with regards to American nationwide id, as locations for clinical discovery, soul-saving and civilizing missions, manhood-testing event, nuclear trying out and eroticized furloughs among maritime paintings and warfare.
Ranging from first touch and the colonial archive via to postcolonialism and worldwide tourism, this thought-provoking quantity attracts upon a large, worthwhile choice of literary works, ancient and cultural scholarship, govt files and vacationer literature.
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Additional resources for American Pacificism Oceania in the U.S. Imagination (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures)
Both our interests and our ideas propel us westward across the Pacific, not as conquerors but as partners” (quoted in Drinnon 1980: 445). From the overthrow of Hawai‘i onward rhetoric such as that of senator Albert J. Beverage became normative: “The Pacific is the Ocean of the commerce of the future. Most future wars will be conflicts for commerce. The power that rules the Pacific, therefore, is the power that rules the world” (quoted in Fredman 1969: 36). These viewpoints ground Cold War paternalism, with its stated civilizing mission to bring “them,” however traumatically, along with “us” into civilized modernity, backing the ambition of military control.
3 According to rhetorical needs, Oceania is imagined as proximate (“The Pacific is our natural property,” wrote John La Farge, “our great coast borders it for a quarter of the world” [La Farge 1912: 278]) or distant (“strange, fantastic places over the rim of the world” [O’Brien 1922a: 7]). S. writer about Oceania. Whereas some authors make romantic comparisons, such as Emerson’s juxtaposition of the “thinking American” (who has lost aboriginal strength) and the hearty, “naked New Zealander” (Emerson 1982: 48), others write from overtly socially Darwinistic viewpoints, such as Jack London with his “Inevitable White Man” prevailing over hairy, “worse than naked” natives (London 1967).
Writer about Oceania. Whereas some authors make romantic comparisons, such as Emerson’s juxtaposition of the “thinking American” (who has lost aboriginal strength) and the hearty, “naked New Zealander” (Emerson 1982: 48), others write from overtly socially Darwinistic viewpoints, such as Jack London with his “Inevitable White Man” prevailing over hairy, “worse than naked” natives (London 1967). In “Salute du Monde,” Whitman more typically envisions Oceanians as among the “benighted” of the earth, but extends the hand of friendship to “you Feejeeman!