Document Type

Book Chapter


This article treats the ability emotions have to point up the relevance of past events and so structure consciousness of history. It shows how knowledge of the past is embodied via the agency of emotions. The case study looks at how history is given emotional expression among the Banabans, a group stemming from Banaba Island in central Oceania and later resettled in Fiji. Under the hegemony of Western "regimes of historicity", the Banabans created a new specific consciousness of history, transforming in the process themselves and their relationships with others. By analyzing several of the channels (oral, artistic, performative) via which Banabans vent their history, the article shows how they articulate knowledge of the past - underscored as relevant by emotions - with awareness of their ethnicity in the past and present. It is argued that emotions are involved in forming historicity, a process that is marked, not least, by reciprocity.