we are pleased to announce a special issue of Pacific Geographies in collaboration with the Austrian South Pacific Society (OSPG), for which this volume is part of its “Pazifik Dossier” publication series.
The six contributions are based on papers presented and discussed in the frame of a young scholars’ session (“More than a cliché and the dream of the South Seas? Young research in and about the South Pacific“) at the Vienna Anthropology Days’ conference in autumn 2020, organized by OSPG members. They all deal with representations of “the Pacific”, since the transmission and the re-interpretation of clichés of the South Pacific region is a recurring theme in Pacific Studies.
The contributing authors made a great effort to point out the connections between their respective articles: Two scientific papers are based on doctoral research projects. Claudia Ledderucci’s paper discusses Pacific regionalism in the wake of climate change. Magdalena Kittelmann takes a historical approach to medical and missionary work in Papua New Guinea. The following research notes are authored by BA and MA students: Wolfgang Kiss explores if the Tapati Rapa Nui festival nowadays is an expression of constructed authenticity. Hannah Dittmer discusses the representation of Pacific Islanders in the Disney movie “Moana”. Rebekka Wörner’s contribution analyses images of Oceania in Ballantyne’s “The Coral Island”, whereas Julia Hazar analyses the historical photograph of Sir Bob Jones taken at the demonstrations against the 1981 Springbok rugby tour in New Zealand.
We hope that this (for most of the session’s participants) first publication will provide the readers with insights on topics that are relevant for aspiring scholars working on Pacific Island issues.
In addition, Britta Schmitz’ book review on “Beijing from Below – stories of marginal lives in the capital’s center” was not part of the conference session, but is a valuable contribution in making the voices of a highly marginalized community heard.
Please enjoy your readings and do not hesitate to give us feedback.
The editors of this special issue, Elisabeth Worliczek & Matthias Kowasch
The full content of this issue can be accessed here.