Tag Archives: Literary Criticism

Interview: The Contemporary Pacific editor Alexander Mawyer

Alexander Mawyer‘s passion for Pacific Island studies is contagious​, and has led him to a prolific career in Hawai`i and abroad​. As a graduate of the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa and the University of Chicago, he has conducted research with the Mangarevan community in the Gambier and Society Islands of French Polynesia. He has also served as coeditor of Varua Tupu: New Writing from French Polynesia and contributed a chapter for the UH Press volume At Home and in the Field: Ethnographic Encounters in Asia and the Pacific Islands. As an associate professor, he has worked on research involving the languages of Eastern Polynesia and sovereignty issues, and has served as co-director of the Biocultural Initiative of the Pacific in Oceania at UH Mānoa. With Mawyer now at the helm as editor upon its 30th anniversary, and with the launch of a new website for the journal, we asked him to share his approach to gleaning and organizing the content for The Contemporary Pacific

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What led you to become an editor in this field?

What a striking question! You make me think of Borges’s garden of forking paths, wherein stories ramify, intersect, cross over and back, and all paths turn out to have many beginnings and few, if any, evident ends . . . still a few thoughts come to mind. In the summer after college, I found myself in Honolulu and, among other things, volunteering as an editorial assistant for MĀNOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, which Frank Stewart and Robbie (Robert) Shapard had founded some years earlier.

Looking back, that was a serendipitous moment. Still in its first decade, I happened to be present while MĀNOA was coming into its own with growing national and international recognition. I got to know passionately committed local thinkers and writers such as Mahealani Dudoit, who founded ‘Oiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal in 1999 and who was very often in MĀNOA’s offices in those years. I was trained as an editorial assistant and later as assistant to the managing editor by the inimitable and formidable Pat Matsueda. Frank, Pat, Mahealani, and others on the staff and around at the time were inspiring for their commitment to the ethical imagination and the transformative potential of the inked page.

At some point during my first months with MĀNOA, Frank asked me to write a review of Vilsoni Hereniko’s then freshly published Woven Gods. Vili, a professor at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, had just edited an issue of MĀNOA dedicated to Oceanic and Pacific Islander writers and writing. At the time, this literary space was almost entirely out of view for those not themselves seizing the pen in home islands and communities. I suppose my review was not a complete disaster since Frank suggested that Vili would enjoy lunching and chatting about my review. As I discovered, Vili’s scholarly spirit expands to fill whatever space he’s in and, somehow, by the end of that lunch he had more or less talked me into doing an MA in Pacific Islands Studies.

A year later, after my MA, I moved to Chicago for my doctorate and did not imagine (and, I think, could not have imagined) that I would ever have the privilege of serving as the editor of The Contemporary Pacific. I am confident that any number of other more recent experiences could be identified as part of the story-garden for how I came to take on this editorship. But in retrospect, I’m struck by how early career experiences play out over years, by how unexpectedly paths cross and re-cross, and by how the kindness of intellectual and professional mentorship was a planting that continues to flower and bear fruit.

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The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 30 no. 1 (2018)

Artwork by Maika'i Tubbs, featured in this issue

Next Show in Fifteen Minutes, by Maika’i Tubbs, 2008. The Hawaiians (1970 book by authors Gavan Daws and Ed Sheehan and photographer Robert B Goodman), 15″ x 10″ x 8″. Photo courtesy of the artist. Next Show in Fifteen Minutes is a performance that looks at stereotypical depictions of Native Hawaiians and expectations sometimes placed on them to perform “on command.” In this performance, Tubbs picks up a book from a pedestal, opens it, and folds the pages into a circus tent while singing in Hawaiian. He then unfolds the pages, closes the book, and repeats the performance after fifteen minutes.

This issue of The Contemporary Pacific includes a scholarly resource from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Library for “Making Pacific Languages Discoverable;” political reviews covering Polynesia and Micronesia; the work of artist and UH Mānoa grad Maika’i Tubbs; and the following articles and media reviews:

Articles

Book and Media Reviews


Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE


00_30.1 cover_FINAL_RGBAbout the Journal

The Contemporary Pacific provides a publication venue for interdisciplinary work in Pacific studies with the aim of providing informed discussion of contemporary issues in the Pacific Islands region.

Subscriptions

Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.

Submissions

Submissions must be original works not previously published and not under consideration or scheduled for publication by another publisher. Manuscripts should be 8,000 to 10,000 words, or no more than 40 double-spaced pages, including references. Find submission guidelines here.

China Review International Vol. 22 No. 3&4 (2015)

This double-issue issue of China Review International arrives with two features and more than 20 reviews of scholarly literature in Chinese studies, including seven reviews of University of Hawai`i Press books.

FEATURES

REVIEWS

…plus 10 more.


Find the full text of the issue at Project MUSE


CRI_22-3&4_cover_RGBAbout the Journal

Every quarter, China Review International presents timely, English-language reviews of recently published China-related books and monographs. Its multidisciplinary scope and international coverage make it an indispensable tool for all those interested in Chinese culture and civilization, and enable the sinologist to keep abreast of cutting-edge scholarship in Chinese studies.

Subscriptions

Individual and institutional subscriptions available through UH Press.

Submissions

China Review International publishes reviews of recent scholarly literature and “state-of-the-art” articles in all fields of Chinese studies. Reviews are generally published by invitation only; however, unsolicited reviews will be considered for publication based on merit and guidelines can be found here.

Early Release Articles: Philosophy East and West, September 2017

University of Hawai’i Press is proud to present the early release of the following articles from Philosophy East and West: A Quarterly of Comparative Philosophy through a partnership with Project MUSE.

EARLY RELEASE ARTICLES

Browse all abstracts and HTML versions of Philosophy East and West early release articles online here.

Please note: Early release manuscripts have gone through a rigorous peer-review process and will appear in a future issue of the journal. However, articles have not yet been through the full production process and therefore appear in their original manuscript form, which may contain errors. These articles will be removed from the early release page once they are published as part of an issue.

Stay tuned for more early release articles from UH Press journals in 2017.

The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 29 no. 2 (2017)

Featured art in the new issue of The Contemporary Pacific by Selwyn Muru: On 9 June 2017, 135 years after government troops invaded and violently decimated the Māori settlement of Parihaka (and at the time this issue of the journal was about to go to press), a Crown apology was finally offered to the people of Parihaka. The gesture is more than symbolic: an additional deed of reconciliation, legacy statement, ongoing relationship agreements with local and national government, a development fund, and legislation are being put in place to ensure that the Crown’s commitment is legally binding. Parihaka Papakainga Trust Chair Puna Wano-Bryant’s declaration of a “new dawn” echoed sentiments expressed at the time of Parihaka’s founding. The cover image depicts two important prophets, peacemakers, and leaders of nonviolent resistance in this story: Te Whiti o Rongomai, who helped establish Parihaka with Tohu Kakahi, and their colleague Riwha Titokowaru, who was blind in one eye, and who was arguably “the best general New Zealand has ever produced” (James Belich, in Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand).

This issue of The Contemporary Pacific features a dialogue, “Losing Oceania to the Pacific and the World,” political reviews, the work of artist Selwyn Muru, book and media reviews, and the following articles:

  • Climate Change and the Imagining of Migration: Emerging Discourses on Kiribati’s Land Purchase in Fiji by Elfriede Hermann and Wolfgang Kempf
  • Charting Pacific (Studies) Waters: Evidence of Teaching and Learning by Teresia K. Teaiwa

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China Review International, vol. 22, no. 2 (2015)

This issue of China Review International: A Journal of Reviews of Scholarly Literature in Chinese Studies opens with one feature and includes 15 reviews.

FEATURE

Herself an Autobiographer: Writing Women’s Self-Representation in the Qing (Reviewing Binbin Yang, Heroines of the Qing: Exemplary Women Tell Their Stories) Reviewed by Xu Ma

REVIEWS

Sarah Allan, The Heir and the Sage: Dynastic Legend in Early China, reviewed by Paul R. Goldin

Paul Bevan, A Modern Miscellany: Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle, and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926–1938, reviewed by Hal Swindall

Susanne Bregnbæk, Fragile Elite: The Dilemmas of China’s Top University Students, reviewed by Chongmin Yang Continue reading

Early Release Articles: Philosophy East and West, July 2017

University of Hawai’i Press is proud to present the early release of the following articles from Philosophy East and West: A Quarterly of Comparative Philosophy through a partnership with Project MUSE.

EARLY RELEASE ARTICLES

Browse all abstracts and HTML versions of Philosophy East and West early release articles online here.

Please note: Early release manuscripts have gone through a rigorous peer-review process and will appear in a future issue of the journal. However, articles have not yet been through the full production process and therefore appear in their original manuscript form, which may contain errors. These articles will be removed from the early release page once they are published as part of an issue.

Stay tuned for more early release articles from UH Press journals in 2017.