Year

1997

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Communication and Cultural Studies

Abstract

The thesis examines the genealogy of Austrahan coloniahsm in the Pacific by examining the production of 'the Pacific' as an object of knowledge in a variety of texts, disciplines, and practices. In arguing for an Austrahan colonial discourse I propose a distinct Australian formation of colonialism, informed by particular systems of knowledges, concepts, and institutions, which function in agi"eement with discourses of nation. The primary areas of research for this thesis are adventure narratives, tourism, and academic study. The discursive production of the Pacific is validated by the Romantic concept of 'imagination,' which positions the west as able to intervene, and represent by 'imagining,' Pacific Islander cultures and terrains. Imagination is used in discourses of Pacific history to justify the constmction of Pacific Islanders past by western academic discourses. I examine the institutional network in which Pacific history and anthropology are articulated by discussing the first school of Pacific history at the Australian National University. The historical context of the stereotypes of the cannibal Pacific Islander man and sexualised woman, particularly the compUcity of the university in reproducing these stereotypes, is discussed. Finally, I turn to the tourist industry to examine Austrahan colonialism as a discursive practice. The economies and administration of colonialism can be introduced by regulating the activities, sights, and relationships with Pacific Islanders of the Australian tourist. Importantly, I argue that Australian colonial discourse is a contemporaiy discourse which is currentiy active in areas such as tourism and academic research.

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