Show Summary Details

Page of

 PRINTED FROM the OXFORD RESEARCH ENCYCLOPEDIA, LITERATURE ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 15 October 2018

Archipelagoes and Oceania in Asian American and Pacific Islander Literary Studies

Summary and Keywords

What is the difference between studying an archipelago and studying archipelagically? As research in literary critical studies has shown, the difference is significant and what results from each profoundly distinct and possibly at odds with each other. If one approaches the archipelago as an empirical entity—that is, as a chain of islands—there has been the tendency to regard it as smaller and more isolated than other geographic formations, which then determines its marginalization even when working with the advent of transnational and postcolonial rubrics. On the other hand, if the archipelago, following Édouard Glissant and others, is conceptualized as a mode of analysis, then studying different landscapes, histories, narratives, and cultures becomes an altogether different endeavor. Using such approaches to animate the relationship between Oceania and Asian American and Pacific Islander literary studies has been the focus of numerous critics working at the intersections of these and other fields. A controversy that received national media attention framed certain of the stakes involved in the effort to address Oceania, a moment of representational crisis that produced rich responses and galvanized efforts to deal rigorously with the field’s heterogeneity, hybridity, and multiplicity. The resulting epistemological pursuits seem to emphasize the need to study archipelagically, opening up new frameworks and problematics crucial for reimagining the place of Oceania in diverse fields.

Keywords: archipelago, Oceania, literary studies, cultural geography, space, postcolonial, diaspora, transnational, globalization, cultural theory

Wendt and Hau’ofa

In “Towards a New Oceania,” an illuminating essay published in 1976, the Samoan poet Albert Wendt decries the “sociologist and all the other ‘ologists who have plagued Oceania” with their emphasis on “mundane fact,” instead choosing to inscribe Oceania’s “shape, plumage, and pain” within the imagination.1 He calls for an “exorcising” of colonialism, a challenge made more difficult because the nations constituting Oceania are “mini in size.”2 Wendt argues that independence requires Oceania to “rediscover and reaffirm our faith in the vitality of our past, our cultures, our dead.”3 Wendt notes, however, that this engagement must also accept that “there is no state of cultural purity (or perfect state of cultural goodness) from which there is decline,” resisting a nostalgia for origins that exists only in the “insanely romantic literature and art by outsiders” as well as “in the fevered imaginations of our self-styled romantic revolutionaries.”4 In Wendt’s critical formulation, Oceania’s fate lies in the imagination, which can be obtained only by shedding the weight of the empirical and sociological, the colonial, and the nationalist, each of which restricts Oceania’s potential: “The present is all that we have and we should live it out as creatively as possible.”5 The essay, which includes several poems from other writers, takes a plural and collective vision in both form and content as it strives to address Oceania’s robust “cultural, political, social, and economic diversity.”6 Such diversity effectively imagines a cultural and historical expansiveness that counters empirical claims of Oceania’s size, scope, and scale.

Wendt’s concerns are regional insofar as they address Oceania from within Oceania—a geographic area encompassing Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, and, at times, Australasia—striving to establish a critical cultural itinerary that can generate a future for Oceania within the context of an emergent globalization, the newest framework for encounters with American, Asian, Australian, and European cultural, political, and economic interests. Such contexts necessarily situate Wendt’s work in a particular critical moment—one that places Oceania within specific spatial and temporal coordinates. In terms of its academic institutional contexts (at the time, Wendt was a professor at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji, and he has worked at several other institutions), it is important to note several things for the purposes of this article: first, postcolonial studies was only in its inception—Edward Said’s Orientalism would be published two years later; second, American studies was arguably only beginning to address questions of race and ethnicity in the aftermath of the 1960s social movements; finally and most pertinently, Asian American studies was less than a decade old at the time Wendt’s essay was published, and its early foundations focused on Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino narratives, as the consequences of the Hart-Celler Act and the Cold and Vietnam Wars had yet to impact the new field of study.7

These institutional contexts are noteworthy because of the significant growth and development of each field—and because of their increasing overlap and critical connections. When Epeli Hau’ofa’s landmark essay “Our Sea of Islands” was published in 1993, it could resonate among scholars reading Homi Bhabha’s work on postcolonial hybridity (The Location of Culture would be published in 1994) and Lisa Lowe’s work on transnational Asian American studies (her Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics would be published in 1996) in ways that Wendt’s essay could not.8 The questions Hau’ofa raised and the solutions he offered were critically entangled with postcolonial and Asian American studies in important ways, even if Oceania remained an absent presence in both fields. Its relative obscurity within these fields was not for lack of published work—indeed, the nationalist discourse offered by Haunani-Kay Trask’s work was already generating trenchant critiques of settler colonialism in Hawaii—but was perhaps the effect of Oceania being regarded, still, as distant and “mini in size.”9

Not unlike Wendt, Hau’ofa is concerned about a link between size and sociology; more specifically, he argues that “social scientists who have sincere concern for the welfare of Pacific peoples” inadvertently help to “propagate” and perpetuate neocolonial dependency by viewing Polynesia and Micronesia as “too small, too poor and too isolated to develop any meaningful degree of autonomy . . . [which] is an economistic and geographic deterministic view of a very narrow kind.”10 That attitude could lead to a “perpetual state of wardship” placing Oceania “at the mercy of the manipulators of the global economy and World Orders of one kind or another.”11 For Hau’ofa, the geographic question morphs into an ontological one:

Do people in most of Oceania live in tiny confined spaces? The answer is ‘yes’ if one believes in what certain social scientists are saying. But the idea of smallness is relative; it depends on what is included and excluded in any calculation of size. Thus, when those who hail from continents, or islands adjacent to continents—and the vast majority of human beings live in these regions—when they see a Polynesian or Micronesian island they naturally pronounce it small or tiny. Their calculation is based entirely on the extent of the land surfaces that they see.

But if we look at the myths, legends and oral traditions, and the cosmologies of the peoples of Oceania, it will become evident that they did not conceive of their world in such microscopic proportions. Their universe comprised not only land surfaces, but the surrounding ocean as far as they could traverse and exploit it, the underworld with its fire-controlling and earth-shaking denizens, and the heavens above with their hierarchies of powerful gods and named stars and constellations that people could count on to guide their ways across the seas. Their world was anything but tiny. They thought big and recounted their deeds in epic proportions.12

Hau’ofa emphasizes the difference between understanding Oceania as “islands in a far sea”—the provenance of European and American explorers delivering “colonial boundaries that, for the first time, confined ocean peoples to tiny spaces”—and as “a sea of islands.”13 It was imperialism that led to the “view that our countries are small, poor and isolated.”14 “Oceania,” on the other hand, which he also distinguishes from the “prevailing” category of “Pacific Islands,” “formed a large exchange community in which wealth and people with their skills and arts circulated endlessly.”15 Though globalization has created economic dependency, it has also dismantled the national borders that “fenced in and quarantined” Oceania.16 Intriguingly, Hau’ofa claims that neocolonialism and globalization actually enable people from Oceania to reclaim a sense of Oceania’s expansiveness as “they have moved, by the tens of thousands, doing what their ancestors had done before them: enlarging their world as they go, but on a scale not possible before”—“as it was before the age of Western imperialism.”17

The essay formed the basis of a collection, A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands, which included a series of critical responses from diverse disciplinary vantage points. While many contributors recognized the essay’s significance in calling for a different onto-geographical sensibility in which Oceania was not regarded as small and thus unimportant, others decried Hau’ofa’s idealism, either for simply constructing an unproductive escapism from material realities or, more dangerously, using that idealism in order to romanticize the past and create a reductive and fictive nationalism. “Real power is radiated from metropolitan centres [that] won’t go away,” Sudesh Mishra writes, “and no matter how adaptable and mobile Oceanic peoples may be, it is too simplistic to say that we have more than a theoretical control over our destiny.”18 Eric Waddell opines that “in a world that is guided by realpolitik and by the exercise of crude power emanating from a few places, the Pacific islands are [effectively] small and inconsequential.”19 Vanessa Griffen applauds Hau’ofa’s vision but also warns against “romantici[zing] the movement of people, their efforts to survive, and their cheerful embracing sometimes, of their newly adopted countries.”20 Douglas Borer sees “no hope for Epeli’s Oceania,” finding his vision overly romantic and glossing over important differences among various islands and cultures in favor of a “unifying mental space”; Sitiveni Ratufa goes even further, suggesting that such “false consciousness” leads only to “naïve, nationalistic sentiments,” preferring instead to mobilize a political sense of smallness.21 Similarly, Randy Thaman bemoans Hau’ofa’s failure to address the “benefits of island smallness and isolation.”22 Nevertheless, the essay would go on to influence successive generations—generations that would take on the task of situating Oceania within new contexts that were themselves undergoing important and significant transformation, including Asian American studies.

Oceania as Asian American Object

Just a few years after A New Oceania was published, a controversy significant enough to garner media attention manifested at the 1998 Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) annual meeting.23 The issue surrounded the decision to give the Fiction Award to Lois-Ann Yamanaka for her novel Blu’s Hanging; the award elicited heated debate because, critics argued, the novel’s portrayal of a Filipino character as a “child molester and rapist” was a recurring figure in Yamanaka’s Hawaiian settings.24 Writing about the event, Candace Fujikane notes, “Filipino communities in Hawai’i have faced discrimination and racial profiling based on stereotypes of sexual violence, and the persistence of these stereotypes attests to continuing local Filipino subordination within a system of local Japanese and white structural power.”25 Members of the AAAS board would later revoke the award and resign from their posts.

The issue can be understood in a number of ways. On one hand, the question had to do with the lack of visibility of Filipino Americans in American culture; this “imperial amnesia” meant that the stakes of representing Filipino Americans was high, because any representation might be treated as precisely representative of the population, influencing both Filipino American and non–Filipino American audiences.26 On the other hand, the mainstream coverage of the controversy was equally a result of the increasing visibility of ethnic (including Filipino American and Asian American) and postcolonial studies. A few years earlier, when Oscar Campomanes asked, “Are U.S. Filipinos ‘Asian American’ or ‘postcolonial?” he could raise this question only because of the visibility that each category had attained within the academy.27 Both Campomanes’s question and the AAAS controversy have as a premise the relative success of both Asian American and postcolonial studies, such that an emergent Filipino American critique might be able to decide where it belonged. From the vantage point of AAAS, the controversy enabled the organization (the primary national institution for Asian American studies) and its members to revisit the problem of how to construct its interdisciplinary object of knowledge—what exactly is the coverage of Asian American studies?

The overhaul of the US immigration quota system in the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 (and the concomitant “brain drain” of skilled workers from different parts of Asia) and the settlement of Vietnamese, Hmong, and other refugees after the prolonged war in Southeast Asia had by the 1990s delivered a critical mass of Asian American cultural production that required different and revised scholarly frameworks attending to issues surrounding diaspora, transnationalism, and globalization, which dovetailed with the rise of postcolonial theory in the academy. Even as those categories would make their mark on the field in this decade, other Asian American studies sought analyses of Asian Americans “east of California,” especially toward the Midwest and South, that required redefining the parameters of the field.28 Numerous efforts during this period to rename the category—“Asian American” with a hyphen, space, or solidus—reflect the ongoing dialectic of at once needing to stabilize a field of knowledge while simultaneously destabilizing those centripetal forces in order to account for what Lisa Lowe has called heterogeneity, hybridity, and multiplicity.29

One of the principal theoretical factors serving as a context for these shifting and sometimes tumultuous dynamics in Asian American studies had to do with the spatial, in ways that would generate a more sustained and substantive engagement with Oceania. To begin with, the AAAS controversy was a matter of scale, at once local and national: critics resisted awarding Yamanaka’s novel a literary prize from a national organization because of its ramifications in a specific local setting; to complicate matters, the annual meeting during which three Filipino students accepted the award on Yamanaka’s behalf was held in Honolulu. Candace Fujikane, whose essay argues for the merits of revoking the award, writes that “the ideological means by which the narrative of [Yamanaka’s novel] enlists a broad base of public support in Hawai’i and on the continent . . . actually functions to maintain local Japanese and white political power in Hawai’i.”30 To what extent local concerns were related to national ones became an issue that the event asked critics to think through, especially because within national circuits, the promotion of an Asian American writer by an Asian American organization must itself be understood as a political move responding to the lack of visibility of Asian Americans in public life. Kandice Chuh asks, “How can we account for/analyze/recognize the important differences between, for example, the political and economic power achieved by Americans of Filipino descent versus those of Japanese descent inhabiting the islands and the continent, while at the same time recognizing ‘Asian American’/‘local’ participation in ‘settler colonialism’ both in Hawai’i and on the ‘mainland’?”31

The matter may also be understood as spatial in terms of disrupting the geographic parameters of the object of Asian American studies; in Chuh’s framework, “these debates guide a theorization of a geographical sensibility that might potentially organize the spatial metaphorics of an Asian Americanist discourse informed by postcoloniality.”32 How expansive and flexible is the category “Asian American”? If it could include “postcolonial” Asian Americans such as Vietnamese and Filipino immigrants, and extend its frameworks to attend to South (and, to a much lesser degree, West) Asia, could it—and more important, should it—also address sites such as the Hawaiian archipelago and other island formations, populations, and narratives in Oceania? The presence of Asians and Asian Americans in Hawaii and other parts of Oceania underscored the need for such questions to be asked, and the field strived to respond. The proliferation of categories such as Asian Pacific American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Asian Pacific Islander, Asian Diasporic, and others reflect attempts to address the increasing heterogeneity of the field and its object.33 While the AAAS controversy primarily concerned the politics of representation between different settler groups (Filipinos and Japanese), the political claims about local knowledges coming out of the Hawaiian archipelago had everything to do with the question of Hawaii. Alongside Chuh’s quote, Fujikane mentions only in passing that “the absence in Blu’s Hanging of the predominantly Native Hawaiian population on the island of Moloka’i is ideological: the erasure of a Native Hawaiian presence in settler literature enacts a depopulation that renders Hawai’i an ‘emptied’ space open to settler claims of ‘belonging.’”34 But such critiques furthered the project of analyzing settler colonialism within Asian American studies and helped bring greater attention to Oceania within the field.

Indeed, two essays published in the wake of the AAAS controversy identify the conceptual problems that arise when Oceania is made to engage with Asian American studies. Amy Ku’leialoha Stillman uses maps to show the long history of travel, commerce, and colonialism between Oceania and Asia, arguing that “a history of Asian peoples in the Americas must simultaneously be a history of Asian peoples interacting with Pacific Islanders in the Pacific as well as in the Americas.”35 In doing so, she challenged any presumed telos of collaboration and solidarity under the aegis of navigating US imperialism, decentering an American context that might efface other narratives. Vicente Diaz offers even more pointed and direct commentary on efforts to bring the two fields together, and more specifically to treat Oceania as another cultural group constituting Asian American heterogeneity: “Under no circumstance should Pacific Islanders, or Pacific Islands Studies, be subsumed under the institutional framework of Asian American history and experiences . . . [which would] always raise the specter of unequal power relations.”36 The “always” in the sentence either damns the effort entirely or serves as a crucial reminder that “the specific socio-historical and institutional trajectories shaping the study of Asian American history in the United States will marginalize those aspects of Islander history that are ferociously local and Indigenously-ordered” in ways that must inform any attempt to generate engagement between Oceania and Asian America.37

As the AAAS controversy demonstrates, the institutional growth of the field created a visibility previously foreclosed to Asian American cultures, histories, and narratives, but in doing so it forced critics to contend with a more nuanced discourse of visibility, one that recognized how the visibility of one configuration of a community potentially marginalized others. Indeed, the 1996 publication of Lisa Lowe’s Immigrant Acts both responded to the masculinism and nationalism of an earlier generation of critical visibility and foreshadowed the challenges of negotiating a politics of difference and inclusion that would manifest in debates such as those surrounding the 1998 AAAS Fiction Award.38 To be more specific about the spatial and geographic effects of the controversy, in which both Philippines and Hawaiian archipelagoes landed, so to speak, on Asian America, we may look back to it as a decisive turning point in the move that brings island cultures, histories, and narratives out of a conceptual periphery to the foreground. The results of that turning point are inconclusive; it would be imprecise to suggest that Oceania has been assimilated and incorporated into Asian American studies, and such a claim would work against the very critical impulses of the engagement with Oceania—against the calls that Wendt, Trask, Hau’ofa, Stillman, Diaz, and others had already voiced, and that future generations of scholars would continue to insist on for reasons critical and political.

Archipelagic Frameworks

The spatial concerns that served as a critical context in the transformation of Asian American studies into Asian American and Pacific Islander studies (and other configurations) may be understood as part of a bigger spatial turn happening in the humanities and social sciences in the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century, providing the epistemological conditions for the arrival of archipelagic frameworks—frameworks that are not at all unrelated to the turn toward Oceania and on which critics have relied to generate critique. Several contexts are worth keeping in mind as helping to drive forward the momentum toward cultural geography: at the level of high theory, the arrival of structuralist and then poststructuralist theories asked critics to focus on the dynamics of substitution and displacement in the text, a formal spatial analysis that refused subordination to temporal and historical dimensions. At the historical level, the revolutionary promise that the 1960s held given the confluence of the antiwar movement, the US civil rights movement, decolonization movements around the world, student protests in both the United States and Europe, and the cultural upheaval brought on by popular culture had eroded by 1968; it would lead Marxist critics to rethink historical materialism through a politics of difference that was as geographic as it was cultural and historical.

Indeed, the emergence of both decolonization and globalization within and after the Cold War demanded attention to the spatial logics of power, capital, and identity. Edward Said’s work on Orientalism and the production of colonial epistemologies marked a significant breakthrough in addressing the relationship between colonial space and power.39 Likewise, Michel Foucault’s theories of disciplinary logics in the prison, clinic, and other sites pointed to the ways place is suffused with power, and Benedict Anderson’s analysis of nationalism highlighted how imaginary communities depended on the spatial logics of print culture and mapping.40 Anderson’s work overlaps with an earlier generation of Annales historians studying the longue durée of history, which was also an effort to address the role of place in historiography.41 As space and place garnered more attention in the academy, a generation of geographers including Michel de Certeau, David Harvey, Henri Lefebvre, Doreen Massey, and Edward Soja were crucial in developing new methods for theorizing the spatial and its relationship to the temporal, political, and aesthetic.42 The importance of third-wave feminism in work by critics such as Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak sought to bring attention to postcolonial difference within feminist praxis.43

It is within these diverse and abundant streams of critical energy focused on space and place that the archipelago manifests as a significant figure, in ways that would lead to its presence in Asian American and Pacific Islander literary studies. In his 1975 essay, “British History: A Plea for a New Subject,” J. G. A. Pocock provoked historians to de-Anglicize British historiography by turning not just to Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, but also to the British Isles or Atlantic archipelago. Strikingly, Pocock recognized that calling for such an opening foreshadows even moving “outside the zone of archipelagic-Atlantic expansion” such that British history “extends itself into oceanic, American, and global dimensions.”44 The Atlantic Archipelago arrived to displace a British critical discourse that retained a focus on English culture and Great Britain as the poles around which England’s global periphery—including Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Jamaica, South Africa, Canada, India, and the United States—orbited. Though Pocock and Wendt were calling for interventions in quite different and distinct fields, the British imperial history of Oceania suggests a need to understand Pocock and Wendt as contributing to a shared postcolonial archipelagic discourse within the same time frame—that is, within the same epistemological moment—that Said was publishing Orientalism, one of the most important and arguably inaugural texts in postcolonial studies. Little more than a decade later, Paul Gilroy would help usher in the study of the “Black Atlantic,” an exploration of the cultures of the African diaspora along the historically situated Atlantic rim, which challenged a British-centric black cultural nationalism and became a key text in transnational American studies.45

The analytics developed by Pocock and Gilroy, which help constitute what might be understood as a differential cultural history of the Atlantic Ocean, also resonated strongly with the postcolonial criticism focused on the Caribbean. Analyses of postcolonial identity and culture from Frantz Fanon and C. L. R. James, along with Stuart Hall’s important work on diaspora, served as precursors to several generations of incisive commentary coming from writers and critics including Antonio Benítez-Rojo, Édouard Glissant, and Wilson Harris. Benítez-Rojo writes about the Caribbean’s “historiographic turbulence and its ethnological and linguistic clamor, within its generalized instability of vertigo and hurricane,” the “Chaos” of a “repeating island” and “meta-archipelago” that has “neither a boundary nor a center.”46 He draws on postmodern theorists such as Jean-François Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, and Félix Guattari to conceptualize the “Caribbean machine” as a “metamachine of differences whose poetic mechanism cannot be diagrammed in conventional dimensions, and whose user’s manual is found dispersed in a state of plasma within the chaos of its own network of codes and subcodes.”47 In The Womb of Space, Wilson Harris calls on readers to “reflect on the addiction to protest realism, complex philistinism, and the allurements of self-pity that fascinate the Caribbean mind even as we begin all over again the pursuit of enduring cross-cultural spirit in arts of dialogue with unsuspected and supportive myth,” insisting on a framework that is not bound by cultural nationalism but instead recognizes the spread of culture within the history of empire.48 Above all, Glissant is perhaps the preeminent figure inspiring and influencing archipelagic approaches in ways that have gained considerable traction across the humanities. Glissant offers that “the poetics of Relation remains forever conjectural and presupposes no ideological stability. It is against the comfortable assurances linked to the supposed excellence of a language. A poetics that is latent, open, multilingual in intention, direct in contact with everything possible.”49 The “unimaginable turbulence of Relation” orients him toward an archipelagic and postmodern thought.50 Lanny Thompson writes that Glissant’s “central concept—Relation—refers to the historical, geographical, and cultural reality of archipelagoes . . . in which languages, cultural practices, and identities all influence and change one another through spontaneous and unimaginable creation.”51

The recent emergence of archipelagic frameworks in transnational American studies—foreshadowed by the Atlantic archipelago, the Black Atlantic, the Caribbean archipelago, and Oceania—may best be understood as serving as a terminal for these diverse efforts. To be sure, the archipelagic turn in American studies complements the field’s efforts to approach American culture and history as always already decentered by its imperial and global capitalist foundations, which were already set into motion by its transnational turn; in this case, the archipelagic turn builds on and extends the transnational in critically specific ways. Riffing on Benítez-Rojo’s “meta-archipelago,” Brian Russell Roberts and Michelle Ann Stephens argue that they are “less concerned with geography (simply recovering a watery border) than we are with metageography, or interrogating the geographical assumptions that have made the borderwaters illegible not only among Americans generally (US and hemispheric) but even among American studies scholars who have been of the borders school.”52 In doing so, the editors of the Archipelagic American Studies anthology move away from empirical questions—as they write, “the simple act of writing about cultures and events on islands has not required archipelagic thought nor has it constituted archipelagic studies”—and more toward conceptualizing the archipelagic as a different framework and method.53 They assert that “the United States constructed an imperial archipelago that deformed—stretched, twisted, and finally fractured—its entity status to the point of a topological shift.”54 Lanny Thompson agrees, suggesting that “the social sciences have been premised upon notions of a spatially bounded unit” and that an archipelagic approach enables “a way of tracing complex relationships that transverse, crisscross, and entangle the supposedly unitary territories of states, areas, and islands and that make up the globalized world.”55

Emergent Trends

Early-21st-century discourses continue to work with certain of the terms set forth by Wendt’s and Hau’ofa’s influential essays, while engaging and intervening in emergent scholarship that looks toward Oceania and its archipelagos. It is important to note that consistently, literary and cultural studies critiques have been invoked in order to destabilize the dominant narratives that have situated Oceania as a marginal epistemological site. Both Wendt and Hau’ofa challenged empirical strategies premised on a socio-geographic diminishing of Oceania as place and politics, and both found value in poetic and imaginative sensibilities. The AAAS controversy was the result of literary critical arguments about representation, and the intersection of contemporary Asian American studies after Lisa Lowe’s work, and archipelagic studies through Atlantic, Caribbean, and American studies inform contemporary efforts to establish productive conceptual relations among diverse fields including Oceania. These endeavors together constitute a call for more rigorous interdisciplinary approaches—after all, these critics often aim at impacting material (sociological, political, and economic) issues, but each recognizes room for creative impulses and strategies to transform society. As Alice Te Punga Somerville writes, Oceania “not only produces a place different from ‘Pacific’ but also gestures towards the large and ever-expanding body of scholarly, cultural, activist, and educational work that engages Oceania as its key term—and thus frame—of reference.”56

If Wendt’s essay manifests within the early stages of globalization, Hau’ofa’s arrives in a different cultural political moment—part of a robust globalization made stronger by the demise of the Cold War, but also amid a rising interdisciplinarity and theoretical focus that generated momentum for postcolonial, Asian American, and American studies. Stillman and Diaz write not only after the AAAS controversy, but also after 9/11—a moment, perhaps, when the promises of liberal multiculturalism under globalization came under more intense scrutiny and in which their respective critiques may be said to participate. More than a decade later, many constants remain, including the problematic equation connecting size to marginalization; Te Punga Somerville notes that specialists on Oceania “try to frame ourselves as world, transnational, global literature scholars—anything but Pacific, because that is, and makes you, invisible. Illegible.”57 Yet these specialists are doing important work with new epistemological and political challenges—including encounters with global indigenous studies, oceanic studies, and Pacific Rim and transpacific studies—all of which better contextualizes an archipelagic relationship to Asian American and Pacific Islander literary studies.

The development of native and indigenous studies is generally contemporaneous with fields such as postcolonial, American, and Asian American studies, and its globalizing trajectories enable it to resonate for interdisciplinary research on Oceania. Chadwick Allen’s Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies attempts to conceptualize a reading practice that can analyze indigenous literatures across the world. The book works from a series of illuminating questions: “Which specific formats for purposeful Indigenous juxtapositions are productive within scholarship in the field of literary studies? How might the potential of specific juxtapositions to provoke readings across various categories enable interpretations of a broad range of texts and practices? And how might such juxtapositions contribute to calls not only for the intellectual and artistic sovereignty of specific nations but also for Indigenous intellectual and artist sovereignty in its global scope?”58 Along more explicitly political lines, Hōkūlani Aikau calls for a “trans-Indigenous and settler futurity that does not include living under or occupied by the United States or any other settler colonial state that uses global capital and military power to oppress.”59 Research focused on Oceania as a site of indigenous culture continues to proliferate across the humanities and social sciences and can help determine the contours and direction of a global indigenous studies.

The increased attention to environmental and ecological studies has created new opportunities for work on Oceania to contribute to and intervene in a field acting with a sense of urgency. Recent environmental and ecological work has focused on oceans, and the new oceanic studies led by scholars such as Elizabeth DeLoughrey has generated considerable momentum as it engages with theoretical innovations such as those offered by the Anthropocene.60 Teresa Shewry examines literature from Oceania within the “dark ecology” of Timothy Morton’s Anthropocenic framework to articulate a particular kind of political and ecological hope, accessing “an unsettling relationship with the ocean, putting words to its loss and damage as well as to the marginalized struggles and dreams that might take it in still-promising directions.”61 Scholars writing about Oceania insist on the need to attend to the cultural political specificity of the Pacific Ocean. Paul Lyons and Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, for instance, write that “the new Oceanic studies may be well-intended attempts to transcend historical differences in the name of a common threat to humanity, but when not articulated with Native Pacific studies can have the effect of erasing struggles in and around the islands for sovereignty and stewardship of resources.”62 Alice Te Punga Somerville ponders “whether Ocean Studies might be better understood as if it were itself an ocean: without a singular starting point or origin; endlessly circulating.” The so-called Oceanic turn fails to acknowledge that there are analyses “from the perspective of those who have not needed a ‘turn to the sea’ because we were already there.”63

Finally, the shift away from Cold War binaries dividing American and area studies has delivered sophisticated work taking on the Pacific Rim. While they retain their own disciplinary and field-specific focuses, scholars working on transnational Asian American studies and Pacific Rim studies are increasingly in conversation with one another. Work by Rey Chow, Denise Cruz, Arif Dirlik, Adam Lifshey, Lisa Lowe, Martin Manalansan, Aihwa Ong, and others has galvanized a transpacific discourse that is as robust as trans-Atlantic studies as they attend to histories of empire and contemporary globalization.64 Work from Australia is also engaging with related questions from another site of “Pacific-ing,” to use Amy Ku’leialoha Stillman’s phrase.65 As Greg Dvorak puts it, “in every sense that we can critically outline the contours of an American Pacific, there is also a Japanese Pacific, a British Pacific, a French Pacific, a German Pacific, a Chinese Pacific, and so forth.”66

It is worth noting recent transpacific historiographies that challenge the premises governing conventional historiography—in terms of not only nation-based purviews, but also land-based. David Igler’s The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush takes the Pacific Ocean as the center of its historiography, charting archives of different travels, expeditions, and encounters.67 Matt Matsuda’s Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures produces similar work with an even more pointed critical emphasis. Matsuda engages with the “Oceanian” archives that revise the terms of Pacific modes of inquiry.68 He strives to resist the parochialism of prevailing disciplinary logics such as “Asian studies experts who did not necessarily share perspectives with researchers in Oceanian and Pacific Studies, who in turn might be unconcerned with the work of Americanists or distant from the world-system approaches of many global historians.”69 Other work revisits imperial histories from the vantage point of indigenous travelers. David Chang’s The World and All the Things upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration and Coll Thrush’s Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire examine histories of indigenous travel over centuries.70 Chang writes that “Hawaiian studies, Pacific Islander studies, American Indian studies, and American studies can usefully investigate the global effects of different indigenous people to see differences and likenesses that lay between them.”71

Within transpacific studies, research on Oceania makes important inroads, ensuring that Wendt’s concerns about size and scale inform how knowledge from and about Pacific islands and archipelagoes circulates. “Transpacific,” that is, may have different significance when situated within and from analyses focused on Oceania. Lyons and Tengan argue that there are “strong philosophical, epistemological, and ethical senses in which Oceanian and Pacific Islander thought stands conceptually between ‘transpacific’ versions of the future developing on various sides of the ocean.”72 Reminiscent of the postmodern archipelagic studies coming from the Caribbean through Édouard Glissant and Antonio Benítez-Rojo, Rob Wilson’s work in Reimagining the American Pacific: From South Pacific to Bamboo Ridge and Beyond is perhaps singular in this regard, but he is not alone.73 Through what he names as a “terripelago,” Craig Santos Perez blurs the distinction between “land and sea, islands and continents” to articulate “transterritorial solidarities.”74 In Imperial Archipelago: Representation and Rule in the Insular Territories under U.S. Dominion after 1898, Lanny Thompson works with archipelagic discourse to address the islands that composed US empire.75 By focusing on Hawaii, which came under direct US rule unlike many other territories in Oceania, it draws Hawaii into another grouping—Hawaii thus serves as a pivot to other political and historical constellations. In a way, Hawaii is not only part of the archipelagic chain of islands constituting Oceania, it is part of another archipelagic chain—of empire. In this way, too, while Hawaii participates with other indigenous groups from Oceania under the rubric of global indigenous studies, it also has direct connections to indigenous studies situated in the United States.

Discussion of the Literature

In a way, the AAAS controversy was prescient: Hawaii presents a sort of litmus test for bridging Oceania and Asian America, and all the attendant questions of sameness and difference. On one hand, J. Kēhaulani Kauanui negotiates its relationship to other indigenous American studies carefully, “tending to the deep paradox of Hawaiians’ inclusion within the category of ‘Native American,’” while “hop[ing] that our peoples will continue to learn about our respective histories and legal genealogies in order to build new and support ongoing alliances across our differences.”76 On the other hand, Hawaii is also tasked with negotiating its relationship to Oceania. As Lisa Kahaleole Hall points out, “Hawaiians have consistently been used to stand in for Pacific Islanders as a whole, to the detriment of both Hawaiians and non-Hawaiian Pacific Islanders whose specificities go unmarked and unaddressed.”77 Such challenges serve as one example of the new contexts within which discourses about Oceania strive to articulate their contours and their goals, given the different histories of each community—and not at all dissimilar to the challenges faced within Asian American and Pacific Islander literary studies.

Revisiting the predicament of Asian American studies two decades prior, Colleen Lye argues that Lisa Lowe’s “intervention may well be that it marked not the beginning of the heterogenization of Asian American identity but one of the last compelling occasions of its conceptual salvage.”78 While Lye’s essay works to complicate the politicization of literature given some of the essentialist (even while deconstructive) premises of the category Asian American, it is also possible to recognize that the shift from Lowe’s use of “strategic essentialism” to Lye’s emphasis on formalism is partly the result of heterogeneity taken to its formal limit as occasioned by Oceania and other archipelagic impulses. Writing about novels by Ha Jin and Maxine Hong Kingston to theorize an Asian American biopolitics, Belinda Kong calls on critics to “spectralize the hyphen” of the category Asian American as a “hermeneutical practice and also a flexible strategy,” which also speaks to recent efforts to ground Asian America in a differential site that results at least in part from the increasing if persistently understated role that Oceania plays in the field.79 She writes that “we now need to develop a reading practice that is receptive to the flexible and plural strategic essentialisms of Asian-American texts that, by turns, claim America and Asian-America, Asia and diaspora.”80

In this sense, the archipelagic may serve as a formal figure that animates a political purchase in different directions: the affiliations between Oceania and indigenous studies, between Oceania and oceanic studies, between Oceania and transpacific studies—and between Oceania and an Asian American and Pacific Islander literary studies that must now engage more rigorously with these and other epistemological strategies. Such an approach may resonate with the series of questions Lye asks about Asian American literary studies, especially the final one: “What has been [the role of Asian American literature] in the historical question of race and ethnicity? How has the Asian American text interacted with other texts in the racialization of the Asian American? How does that interaction require that we reconceive what is an Asian American text? What is the difference and relationship between literature and other kinds of discourses, institutions, and material forces in effecting this process?”81 We might understand Oceania’s archipelagic presence as delivering both centrifugal and centripetal forces to fields of study such as Asian American and Pacific Islander literary studies. In other words, on one hand Oceania reorganizes in important ways how we approach areas of study, geographically and epistemologically, insofar as insights are obtained through seemingly unlikely convergences; on the other hand, such groupings also create the need for critical dispersals that open up questions to such a degree that the resulting object of knowledge is recognized not only as interdisciplinary but overlapping with other interdisciplinary formations and fields. For starters, the field may seek to construct itself from the vantage point of the archipelago: instead of locating Oceania within Asian America, that is, so that “Pacific Islander” becomes another addition to incorporate into an expanding category, what results from locating Asian America within Oceania? Such an archipelagic trajectory and pivoting for the field—not just fulfilling its transnationalism but engaging with a negative image of the transnational that privileges the islands, archipelagos, and oceans instead of the continents—may bring critics to new, potent, and differential horizons.

Further Reading

Allen, Chadwick. Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.Find this resource:

    Benítez-Rojo, Antonio. The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective. Translated by James Maraniss. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996.Find this resource:

      Camacho, Keith. “Transoceanic Flows: Pacific Islander Interventions across the American Empire.” Amerasia Journal 37, no. 3 (2011): ix–xxxiv.Find this resource:

        Diaz, Vicente. “‘To “P” or Not to “P”?’: Marking the Territory between Pacific Islander and Asian American Studies.” Journal of Asian American Studies 7, no. 3 (October 2004): 183–208.Find this resource:

          Diaz, Vicente, and J. Kēhaulani Kauanui. “Native Pacific Cultural Studies on the Edge.” Contemporary Pacific 13, no. 2 (2001): 315–342.Find this resource:

            Fujikane, Candace. “Sweeping Racism under the Rug of ‘Censorship’: The Controversy over Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Blu’s Hanging.” Amerasia Journal 26, no. 2 (2000): 158–194.Find this resource:

              Glissant, Édouard. The Poetics of Relation. Translated by Betsy Wing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.Find this resource:

                Hall, Lisa Kahaleole. “Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other: Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders Are Not Asian Americans, and All Pacific Islanders Are Not Hawaiian.” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015): 727–747.Find this resource:

                  Kēhaulani Kauanui, J. “Asian American Studies and the ‘Pacific Question.” in American Studies after Critical Mass, edited by Kent Ono, 123–143. New York: Blackwell, 2004.Find this resource:

                    Lowe, Lisa. The Intimacies of Four Continents. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015.Find this resource:

                      Lyons, Paul, and Ty P. Kāwika Tengan. “Introduction: Pacific Currents.” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015): 545–574.Find this resource:

                        Parikh, Crystal. “Blue Hawaii: Asian Hawaiian Cultural Production and Racial Melancholia.” Journal of Asian American Studies 5, no. 3 (October 2002): 199–216.Find this resource:

                          Roberts, Brian Russell, and Michelle Ann Stephens, eds. Archipelagic American Studies. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.Find this resource:

                            Shewry, Teresa. Hope at Sea: Possible Ecologies in Oceanic Literatures. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015.Find this resource:

                              Te Punga Somerville, Alice. Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections with Oceania. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.Find this resource:

                                Teaiwa, Teresia. “On Analogies: Rethinking the Pacific in a Global Context.” Contemporary Pacific 18, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 71–87.Find this resource:

                                  Thompson, Lanny. Imperial Archipelago: Representation and Rule in the Insular Territories under U.S. Dominion after 1898. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2010.Find this resource:

                                    Waddell, Eric, Vijay Naidu, and Epeli Hau’ofa, eds. A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands. Suva: University of the South Pacific, 1993.Find this resource:

                                      Wendt, Albert. “Towards a New Oceania.” Mana Review 1, no. 1 (1976): 49–60.Find this resource:

                                        Wilson, Rob. Reimagining the American Pacific: From South Pacific to Bamboo Ridge and Beyond. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000.Find this resource:


                                          (1.) Albert Wendt, “Towards a New Oceania,” Mana Review 1, no. 1 (1976): 49.

                                          (2.) Wendt, “Towards a New Oceania,” 51.

                                          (3.) Wendt, “Towards a New Oceania,” 51.

                                          (4.) Wendt, “Towards a New Oceania,” 53.

                                          (5.) Wendt, “Towards a New Oceania,” 53.

                                          (6.) Wendt, “Towards a New Oceania,” 57.

                                          (7.) See Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers, ed. Frank Chin, Jeffery Paul Chan, Lawson Fusao Inada, and Shawn Wong (Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1981). It is worth noting that in contrast to the Aiiieeeee! anthology, David Hsin-Fu Wand included Samoan poetry in his Asian-American Heritage: An Anthology of Poetry and Prose (New York: Washington Square Books, 1974).

                                          (8.) Both Bhabha and Lowe had already published seminal essays leading up to these highly influential monographs.

                                          (9.) Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 1993).

                                          (10.) Epeli Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” in A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands, eds. Eric Waddell, Vijay Naidu, and Epeli Hau’ofa (Suva: University of the South Pacific, 1993), 6.

                                          (11.) Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” 6.

                                          (12.) Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” 7.

                                          (13.) Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” 7.

                                          (14.) Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” 9.

                                          (15.) Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” 9.

                                          (16.) Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” 9.

                                          (17.) Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands,” 10, 11.

                                          (18.) Sudesh Mishra, “Om,” in A New Oceania, 22.

                                          (19.) Eric Waddell, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” in A New Oceania, 34.

                                          (20.) Vanessa Griffen, “Putting Our Minds to Alternatives,” in A New Oceania, 62.

                                          (21.) Douglas Borer, “Truth or Dare,” in A New Oceania, 87, 84; and Sitiveni Ratufa, “David and Goliath,” in A New Oceania, 95.

                                          (22.) Randy Thaman, “Moana Nui, Vanua and Wantoks,” in A New Oceania, 38.

                                          (23.) See, for instance, Somini Sengupta, “An Author Who Gathers Prizes and Protests,” New York Times, February 8, 1999; Jamie James, “This Hawaii Is Not for Tourists,” Atlantic Monthly 283, no. 2 (February 1999): 90–94; and Diane Seo, “Authentic Characters or Racist Stereotypes,” Los Angeles Times, July 23, 1998.

                                          (24.) Candace Fujikane, “Sweeping Racism under the Rug of ‘Censorship’: The Controversy over Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Blu’s Hanging,” Amerasia Journal 26, no. 2 (2000): 169.

                                          (25.) Fujikane, “Sweeping Racism under the Rug of ‘Censorship,’” 159–160.

                                          (26.) Amy Kaplan, “Left Alone with America,” in Cultures of United States Imperialism, eds. Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993), 3–21.

                                          (27.) Oscar Campomanes, “The New Empire’s Forgetful and Forgotten Citizens: Unrepresentability and Unassimilability in Filipino-American Postcolonialities,” Critical Mass: A Journal of Asian American Criticism 2, no. 2 (Spring 1995): 164.

                                          (28.) Stephen Sumida, “East of California: Points of Origin in Asian American Studies,” Journal of Asian American Studies 1, no. 1 (February 1998): 83–97.

                                          (29.) For examples of how the hyphen was problematized, see, for instance, David Palumbo-Liu, Asian/American: Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999); and Kent Ono, “Re/signing ‘Asian American’: Rhetorical Problematics of Nation,” Amerasia Journal 21, no. 1 (1995): 67–78; See Lisa Lowe, “Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Marking Asian American Differences,” Diaspora (Spring 1991): 24–43.

                                          (30.) Fujikane, “Sweeping Racism under the Rug of ‘Censorship,’” 163.

                                          (31.) Kandice Chuh, Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004), 138. For other analyses of Blu’s Hanging and the AAAS controversy, see Mark Chiang, “Autonomy and Representation: Aesthetics and the Crisis of a Cultural Politics in the Controversy over Blu’s Hanging,” in Literary Gestures: The Aesthetic in Asian American Writing, ed. Rocio Davis and Sue-Im Lee (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005), 17–34; Viet Thanh Nguyen, “Conclusion: Model Minorities and Bad Subjects,” Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 144–171; Crystal Parikh, “Blue Hawaii: Asian Hawaiian Cultural Production and Racial Melancholia,” Journal of Asian American Studies (October 2002): 199–216; Darlene Rodrigues, “Imagining Ourselves: Reflections on the Controversy over Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Blu’s Hanging,” Amerasia 26, no. 2 (2000): 195–207; Erin Suzuki, “Consuming Desires: Melancholia and Consumption in Blu’s Hanging,” MELUS 31, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 35–52; Cynthia Wu, “Revisiting Blu’s Hanging: A Critique of Queer Transgression in the Lois-Ann Yamanaka Controversy,” Meridians 10, no. 1 (2010): 32–53; and Elda Tsou, “Catachresis: Blu’s Hanging and the Epistemology of the Given,” Journal of Asian American Studies (June 2011): 283–303.

                                          (32.) Chuh, Imagine Otherwise, 140.

                                          (33.) Amy Ku’leialoha Stillman notes that in 2003–2004, the Association for Asian American Studies officially proposed to change the name “by adding ‘Pacific’ or ‘Pacific Islander’ between ‘Asian’ and ‘American,’” while Vicente Diaz suggests renaming “AAAS ‘Oceanic Studies,’ and perhaps do so in order to better equip ourselves to supplement the ‘Atlantic Studies’ initiatives that seem, at least to me, to be radically reimagining the space of American Studies through their own racial and cultural rereadings.” Stillman, “Pacific-ing Asian American Studies,” Journal of Asian American Studies 7, no. 3 (October 2004): 241; and Vicente Diaz, “‘To “P” or Not to “P”?’: Marking the Territory between Pacific Islander and Asian American Studies,” Journal of Asian American Studies (October 2004): 186.

                                          (34.) Fujikane, “Sweeping Racism under the Rug of ‘Censorship,’” 164.

                                          (35.) Stillman, “Pacific-ing Asian American Studies,” 243.

                                          (36.) Diaz, “‘To “P” or Not to “P”?’” 184.

                                          (37.) Diaz, “‘To “P” or Not to “P”?’” 193.

                                          (38.) See Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996). Lowe’s work spurred a new generation of Asian American scholarship across the humanities and social sciences, including Chuh, Imagine Otherwise; Anne Anlin Cheng, The Melancholy of Race: Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden Grief (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001); David Eng, Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001); Laura Hyun Yi Kang, Compositional Subjects: Enfiguring Asian/American Women (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002); Martin Manalansan, Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003); and David Eng and Alice Hom, eds., Q&A: Queer in Asian America (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998).

                                          (39.) See Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1979).

                                          (40.) See Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage, 1995); Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception (New York: Vintage, 1994); and Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 2016).

                                          (41.) See, for instance, Fernand Braudel, The Structures of Everyday Life: Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, vol. 1 (New York: Harper and Row, 1982); and Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, vol. 1 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

                                          (42.) See Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984); David Harvey, Social Justice and the City (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2009); Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990); Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992); Doreen Massey, Space, Place, and Gender (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994); Massey, For Space (London: SAGE, 2005); and Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theories (London: Verso, 1989).

                                          (43.) See Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003); and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).

                                          (44.) J. G. A. Pocock, “British History: A Plea for a New Subject,” Journal of Modern History 47, no. 4 (December 1975): 618; and Pocock, “The Limits and Divisions of British History: In Search of the Unknown Subject,” American Historical Review 87, no. 2 (April 1982): 318.

                                          (45.) Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).

                                          (46.) Antonio Benítez-Rojo, The Repeating Island: The Caribbean and the Postmodern Perspective, trans. James Maraniss (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), 3, 4. Also see Benítez-Rojo, “The New Atlantis: The Ultimate Caribbean Archipelago,” in Displacements and Transformations in Caribbean Cultures, ed. Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert and Ivette Romero-Cesareo (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008), 215–224. Derek Walcott’s work deserves mention among this group of writers and critics. See, for instance, Lara Cahill-Booth, “Walcott’s Sea and Caribbean Geomythography,” Journal of Postcolonial Writing 49, no. 3 (2013): 347–358; Joanny Moulin, “Creole Baroque in Derek Walcott’s Archipelagic Imagery,” Commonwealth Essays and Studies 28, no. 2 (2006): 73–80; and Bill Ashcroft, “Archipelago of Dreams: Utopianism in Caribbean Literature,” Textual Practice 30, no. 1 (2016): 89–112.

                                          (47.) Benítez-Rojo, The Repeating Island, 18.

                                          (48.) Wilson Harris, The Womb of Space; The Cross-Cultural Imagination (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983), xx.

                                          (49.) Édouard Glissant, The Poetics of Relation, trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), 32.

                                          (50.) Glissant, The Poetics of Relation, 138.

                                          (51.) Lanny Thompson, “Heuristic Geographies: Territories and Areas, Islands and Archipelagoes,” in Archipelagic American Studies, ed. Brian Russell Roberts and Michelle Ann Stephens (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017), 63. Also see Ottmar Ette, “Worldwide: Living in Transarchipelagic Worlds,” in Worldwide: Archipels de la mondialisation, archipiélagos de la globalization, eds. Ottmar Ette and Gesine Müller (Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2012), 21–59; Ashcroft, “Archipelago of Dreams”; Nanne Timmer, “The Island and the Madhouse: Rethinking the Subject and the Archipelago in Recent Caribbean Literature,” Discourse 36, no. 1 (Winter 2014): 54–70; and Beatriz Llenín-Figueroa, “‘I Believe in the Future of “Small Countries”’: Édouard Glissant’s Archipelagic Scale in Dialogue with Other Caribbean Writers,” Discourse 36, no. 1 (Winter 2014): 87–111.

                                          (52.) Brian Russell Roberts and Michelle Ann Stephens, “Archipelagic American Studies: Decontinentalizing the Study of American Culture,” in Archipelagic American Studies, eds. Roberts and Stephens (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017), 9.

                                          (53.) Roberts and Stephens, Archipelagic American Studies, 10.

                                          (54.) Roberts and Stephens, Archipelagic American Studies, 11.

                                          (55.) Thompson, “Heuristic Geographies,” 57.

                                          (56.) Alice Te Punga Somerville, “Where Oceans Come From,” Comparative Literature 69, no. 1 (2017): 26.

                                          (57.) Te Punga Somerville, “Where Oceans Come From,” 28.

                                          (58.) Chadwick Allen, Trans-Indigenous: Methodologies for Global Native Literary Studies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012), xviii.

                                          (59.) Hōkūlani Aikau, “Following the Alaloa Kīpapa of Our Ancestors: A Trans-Indigenous Future without the State (United States or Otherwise),” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015): 659.

                                          (60.) See Elizabeth DeLoughrey, “Submarine Futures of the Anthropocene,” Comparative Literature 69, no. 1 (2017): 32–44; Meg Samuelson, “Coastal Form: Amphibian Positions, Wider Worlds, and Planetary Horizons on the African Indian Ocean Littoral,” Comparative Literature 69, no. 1 (2017): 16–24; and other essays in the Comparative Literature special issue. Also see Hester Blum, “The Prospect of Oceanic Studies,” PMLA 125, no. 3 (2010): 670–678; and other essays in the issue’s “Theories and Methodologies” section.

                                          (61.) Teresa Shewry, Hope at Sea: Possible Ecologies in Oceanic Literatures (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015), 179. Also see Timothy Morton, The Ecological Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).

                                          (62.) Paul Lyons and Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, “Introduction: Pacific Currents,” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015): 562.

                                          (63.) Te Punga Somerville, “Where Oceans Come From,” 28.

                                          (64.) See, for instance: Rey Chow, Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); Denise Cruz, Transpacific Femininities: The Making of the Modern Filipina (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); Arif Dirlik, The Postcolonial Aura: Third World Criticism in the Age of Global Capitalism (New York: Routledge, 1998); Adam Lifshey, Subversions of the American Century: Filipino Literature in Spanish and the Transpacific Transformation of the United States (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2016); Lowe, The Intimacies of Four Continents (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015); Manalansan, Global Divas; and Aihwa Ong, Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationalism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999).

                                          (65.) See, for instance, Peter Minter’s “Archipelagos of Sense: Thinking about a Decolonised Australian Poetics,” Southerly 73, no. 1 (2013): 155–169.

                                          (66.) Greg Dvorak, “Oceanizing American Studies,” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015): 615.

                                          (67.) David Igler, The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).

                                          (68.) Matt Matsuda, Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 5.

                                          (69.) Matt Matsuda, “Afterword: Pacific Cross-Currents,” in Pacific Histories: Ocean, Land, People, ed. David Armitage and Alison Bashford (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 326–327, quoted in Paul Lyons and Ty P. Kāwika Tengan, “Introduction: Pacific Currents,” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015), 570n32.

                                          (70.) David Chang, The World and All the Things upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2016); and Coll Thrush, Indigenous London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016).

                                          (71.) David Chang, “‘We Will Be Comparable to the Indian Peoples’: Recognizing Likeness between Native Hawaiians and American Indians, 1834–1923,” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015): 864.

                                          (72.) Lyons and Tengan, “Introduction: Pacific Currents,” 549.

                                          (73.) Rob Wilson, Reimagining the American Pacific: From South Pacific to Bamboo Ridge and Beyond (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000).

                                          (74.) Craig Santos Perez, “Transterritorial Currents and the Imperial Terripelago,” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (2015): 620, 623.

                                          (75.) Lanny Thompson, Imperial Archipelago: Representation and Rule in the Insular Territories under U.S. Dominion after 1898 (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2010).

                                          (76.) J. Kēhaulani Kauanui, “Contradictions and Celebrations: A Hawaiian Reflection on the Opening of the NMAI,” American Indian Quarterly 29, no. 3–4 (Summer and Fall 2005): 503.

                                          (77.) Lisa Kahaleole Hall, “Which of These Things Is Not Like the Other: Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders Are Not Asian Americans, and All Pacific Islanders Are Not Hawaiian,” American Quarterly 67, no. 3 (September 2015): 728.

                                          (78.) Colleen Lye, “Racial Form,” Representations 104, no. 1 (2008): 94.

                                          (79.) Belinda Kong, “Theorizing the Hyphen’s Afterlife in Post-Tiananmen Asian-America,” Modern Fiction Studies 56, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 143.

                                          (80.) Kong, “Theorizing the Hyphen’s Afterlife in Post-Tiananmen Asian-America,” 147.

                                          (81.) Lye, “Racial Form,” 95.