As Australians, the Pacific is our closest neighbour, yet very few of us have much understanding of this region or the deep connections between Australia and the Pacific. In this talk, Emma shares her journey to becoming a Pacific historian and and why every Australian should know at least a little bit of Pacific History. Her work traces the lives and ideas of West Papuan activists who sought independence and human rights at the United Nations in the 1960s. Emma emphasises the perspectives of peoples who have often been excluded from traditional narratives of international history, exploring the connections West Papua formed across the world as they sought out allies from Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.
She invites us to think about how our understanding of history shapes the way we see ourselves and our communities, and how we might understand ourselves as part of the Pacific.
Emma Kluge is a historian of decolonisation, international organisations, and the Pacific. Sherecently completed her PhD at the University of Sydney and has just finished up as a Senior Research Fellow with Anglican Deaconess Ministries. Emma will soon be starting a postdoc at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. She recently completed her PhD thesis ‘Decolonisation Interrupted: the West Papuan campaign for independence and the United Nations, 1961-69’, and last year published an article with the International History Review ‘West Papua and the International History of Decolonisation, 1961-69’.
Our Pacific History Reading List
Alice Te Punga Somerville, 250 Ways to Start an Essay about Captain Cook (BWB, 2020).
Shorter article version: https://e-tangata.co.nz/history/not-quite-250-ways-to-start-an-essay-about-captain-cook/
Kate Fullagar, The Warrior, the Voyager and the Artist: Three Lives in the Age of Empire (Yale University Press, 2020).
Vincent O’Malley, The Meeting Place: Māori and Pākehā Encoutners, 1642-1840 (Auckland Univeristy Press, 2012).
John Maynard and Victoria Haskins, Living with the Locals: Early Europeans experience of Indigenous Life (New South, 2016). https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/living-locals/
Article summary of the book with animations of different stories: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-06/living-with-the-locals-stories-of-first-contact-survival/9613098
Pacific Indentured Labourers
Tracey Banivanua Mar, Violence and Colonial Dialogue: The Australian-Pacific Indentured Labor Trade (University of Hawaii Press, 2006). https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/title/violence-and-colonial-dialogue-the-australian-pacific-indentured-labor-trade/
ABC Article on Blackbirding in the Pacific: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-17/blackbirding-australias-history-of-kidnapping-pacific-islanders/8860754
Australian Colonialism in PNG
Nick Ferns, ‘PNG marks 40 years of independence, still feeling the effects of Australian colonialism’, The Conversation, 15 September 2015, https://theconversation.com/png-marks-40-years-of-independence-still-feeling-the-effects-of-australian-colonialism-47258
Sean Dorney, ‘Australia’s ignorance about Papua New Guinea is a loss for both nations’, The Guardian, 19 February 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/20/australias-ignorance-about-papua-new-guinea-is-a-loss-for-both-nations
Colonialism and mining
Katerina Teaiwa, Consuming Ocean Island: Stories of People and Phosphate from Banaba (Indiana University Press, 2014). https://iupress.org/9780253014528/consuming-ocean-island/
Article on her book and exhibition: https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/banaba-island-katerina-teaiwa-lays-bare-the-tragedy-20171119-gzodtj.html
Cait Storr, International Status in the Shadow of Empire: Nauru and the histories of international law (Cambridge University Press, 2020). https://www.booktopia.com.au/international-status-in-the-shadow-of-empire-cait-storr/book/9781108498500.html
Civil Rights Movement
Fact sheet: ‘Aboriginal Tent Embassy’, The National Museum of Australia, https://www.nma.gov.au/defining-moments/resources/aboriginal-tent-embassy
Richard Broome, Fighting Hard: The Victorian Aborigines Advancement League, (Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, 2015). https://www.historyvictoria.org.au/product/fighting-hard-the-victorian-aborigines-advancement-league-by-richard-broome/
Ann Curthoys, Freedom Ride: A freedom rider remembers (Allen & Unwin, 2002). https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/general-books/history/Freedom-Ride-Ann-Curthoys-9781864489224
Bain Attwood and Andrew Markus, The 1967 Referendum: Race, Power and the Australian Constitution (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2007). https://www.historyvictoria.org.au/product/the-1967-referendum-race-power-and-the-australian-constitution-by-bain-attwood-andrew-markus/
Tracey Banivnua Mar, Decolonisation and the Pacific: Indigenous Globalisation and the Ends of Empire (Cambirdge University Press, 2016). https://www.cambridge.org/it/academic/subjects/history/twentieth-century-regional-history/decolonisation-and-pacific-indigenous-globalisation-and-ends-empire?format=PB
This event is PEACEtalks: a quarterly event (held on a Thursday or Saturday evening) hosted by Paddington Anglican Church aimed at serving the community by promoting and cultivating deep conversations about life, the world and everything. ‘PEACE’ stands for ‘political, ethical, artistic & cultural engagement’. Also on iTunes / Apple Podcasts by searching for PEACEtalks.