Pacific Islands Monograph Series (PIMS) panel and book launch on March 6

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Katherine C Higgins, (808) 956-2658
Center for Pacific Island Studies
Posted: Mar 4, 2014

The UH Mānoa Center for Pacific Islands Studies, Department of History, Department of Anthropology, UH Press, and Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center present Pacific Islands Monograph Series (PIMS) panel and book launch: “Anticolonial Resistance in Melanesia” on Thursday, March 6, from 3-5 p.m. in East-West Center’s John Burns Hall 3121/3125.

The event will feature David Akin, independent scholar, and David Chappell, UHM Department of History, and is chaired by Tarcisius Kabutaulaka, UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies.

Maasina Rule beyond Recognition: A Short History of Scholarly Distortion by David Akin

While researching his recent book, Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom, about the postwar Maasina Rule movement in the Solomon Islands, David Akin was struck by the astonishing amount of misinformation that historians, anthropologists, and others have published about the movement over the past sixty-plus years. His presentation will highlight key themes in this history of errors and trace their origins to archival obstruction, purposeful misrepresentation, and theoretical muddles.

Akin is an anthropologist (UHM Anthropology, PhD 1993) and independent scholar living in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is Managing Editor of the journal Comparative Studies in Society and History and teaches at the University of Michigan.  He has just published Colonialism, Maasina Rule, and the Origins of Malaitan Kastom (2013) and is writing another book about changing women’s taboos in Kwaio.

The Kanak Awakening: The Syncretic Anticolonialism of New Caledonia’s Red Scarves by David Chappell

France annexed New Caledonia in 1853. A century later Paris granted autonomy to the territory, but then began to withdraw self-governing powers in order to keep control of local mining. That political regression, plus massive new immigration because of a nickel boom, led local students who had studied in France to form a multiethnic independence movement in 1969 called the Foulards Rouges (Red Scarves), which grew into a Kanak nationalist uprising by the 1980’s. This talk will examine the syncretism between indigenous cultural nationalism and leftist anticolonialism. 

Chappell is Associate Professor of Pacific Islands History at UH Mānoa and has just published The Kanak Awakening: The Rise of Nationalism in New Caledonia (2013).

For additional information and disability access, please contact Katherine Higgins at 956-2658 or

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