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 heritage. It introduces the idea that of ‘American Pacificism’, a theoretical framework that pulls on modern theories of friendship, hospitality and tourism to refigure verified debates round ‘orientalism’ for an Oceanian context.
Paul Lyons explores American-Islander relatives 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 obvious as monetary and geopolitical ‘stepping stones’, instead of results in themselves, while at the different they're seen as ends of the earth or ‘cultural limits’, unencumbered via notions of sin, antitheses to the economic worlds of monetary and political modernity. besides the fact that, either conceptions vague not just Islander cultures, but additionally cutting edge responses to incursion. The islands as a substitute emerge relating to American nationwide id, as areas for medical discovery, soul-saving and civilizing missions, manhood-testing event, 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, profitable selection of literary works, ancient and cultural scholarship, executive records and vacationer literature.
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Additional info for American Pacificism Oceania in the U.S. Imagination (Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures)
Schoolchildren studied McGuffey readers packed with moral lessons derived from the experiences of white men in exotic places. In Euroamerican ethnological texts Polynesians, who generally stand in for the South Seas, are relatively high up on the “Aesthetic Tree of the Human Race” and “Morphological Tree of the Human Race” (McClintock 1995: 38). The “Punaluan marriage,” which Friedrich Engels develops based on information from Hawai‘i, is seen as a middling stage of human family development toward modern capitalism, as indigenous “feudalism” was often presented as midway along the route from hunter-gatherer to industrialism.
S new role as superpower, culminating in J. F. S. imagination, Olson argues, “The Pacific is . . the Plains repeated, a 20th century Great West. Melville understood the relation of the two geographies”; he understood that “America completes her West only on the coast of Asia” (Olson 1947: 13, 114, 117). ” Through such reading, Melville’s Tommo and Toby, lost in the Marquesas, become “‘pioneers,’ who hack their way through a forest of cane (as if Nukuheva were Kentucky), and encounter Niagras of waterfalls” (Fussell 1965: 236).
S. “West” was settled from the “East” and the ideological foundations that would lead to the seizure of the West are connate with the ambition for transnational commercial development in and across Oceania. S. writers drew parallels between the opening of Oceania and the settling of the West. Herman Melville most famously echoed this connection in Moby-Dick (1851), drawing analogies between the ocean and fields of wheat, while referencing Native Americans. S. S. commercial extension as ideologically distinct from European colonialisms.