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The "Sea of Little Lands": Examining Micronesia's Place in "Our Sea of Islands"

The "Sea of Little Lands": Examining Micronesia's Place in "Our Sea of Islands" Paul Rainbird has written on the assumed absence of certain cultural practices that informed Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d&apos;Urville&apos;s identification of Micronesia as a definable and major area of the Pacific. What followed d&apos;Urville&apos;s misnaming was the ethnological reification of Micronesia as a coherent cultural entity. Colonialism, most recently and most particularly American colonialism, has contributed to the reification of this anthropological construct in politically significant and intellectually constraining ways. This essay reflects on a variety of linked histories—anthropological, colonial, and literary—that help explain the area&apos;s limited connections to the rest of contemporary Oceania and its related, more general circumscription from the field of Pacific studies. It also focuses on recent writings that destabilize the term <i>Micronesia</i> in favor of more localized histories, ethnographies, and literature—a process that is consistent with Hau&apos;ofa&apos;s vision of "our sea of islands." http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

The "Sea of Little Lands": Examining Micronesia&apos;s Place in "Our Sea of Islands"

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 21 (1) – Feb 11, 2009

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464

Abstract

Paul Rainbird has written on the assumed absence of certain cultural practices that informed Jules-Sébastien-César Dumont d&apos;Urville&apos;s identification of Micronesia as a definable and major area of the Pacific. What followed d&apos;Urville&apos;s misnaming was the ethnological reification of Micronesia as a coherent cultural entity. Colonialism, most recently and most particularly American colonialism, has contributed to the reification of this anthropological construct in politically significant and intellectually constraining ways. This essay reflects on a variety of linked histories—anthropological, colonial, and literary—that help explain the area&apos;s limited connections to the rest of contemporary Oceania and its related, more general circumscription from the field of Pacific studies. It also focuses on recent writings that destabilize the term <i>Micronesia</i> in favor of more localized histories, ethnographies, and literature—a process that is consistent with Hau&apos;ofa&apos;s vision of "our sea of islands."

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 11, 2009

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