Description : Camilla Fojas explores a broad range of popular culture media—film, television, journalism, advertisements, travel writing, and literature—with an eye toward how the United States as an empire imagined its own military and economic projects. Impressive in its scope, Islands of Empire looks to Cuba, Guam, Hawai'i, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, asking how popular narratives about these island outposts expressed the attitudes of the continent throughout the twentieth century. Through deep textual readings of Bataan, Victory at Sea, They Were Expendable, and Back to Bataan (Philippines); No Man Is an Island and Max Havoc: Curse of the Dragon (Guam); Cuba, Havana, and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (Cuba); Blue Hawaii, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, and Paradise, Hawaiian Style (Hawai'i); and West Side Story, Fame, and El Cantante (Puerto Rico), Fojas demonstrates how popular texts are inseparable from U.S. imperialist ideology. Drawing on an impressive array of archival evidence to provide historical context, Islands of Empire reveals the role of popular culture in creating and maintaining U.S. imperialism. Fojas's textual readings deftly move from location to location, exploring each island's relationship to the United States and its complementary role in popular culture. Tracing each outpost's varied and even contradictory political status, Fojas demonstrates that these works of popular culture mirror each location's shifting alignment to the U.S. empire, from coveted object to possession to enemy state.
Description : In Islands of Sovereignty, anthropologist and legal scholar Jeffrey S. Kahn offers a new interpretation of the transformation of US borders during the late twentieth century and its implications for our understanding of the nation-state as a legal and political form. Kahn takes us on a voyage into the immigration tribunals of South Florida, the Coast Guard vessels patrolling the northern Caribbean, and the camps of Guantánamo Bay—once the world’s largest US-operated migrant detention facility—to explore how litigation concerning the fate of Haitian asylum seekers gave birth to a novel paradigm of offshore oceanic migration policing. Combining ethnography—in Haiti, at Guantánamo, and alongside US migration patrols in the Caribbean—with in-depth archival research, Kahn expounds a nuanced theory of liberal empire’s dynamic tensions and its racialized geographies of securitization. An innovative historical anthropology of the modern legal imagination, Islands of Sovereignty forces us to reconsider the significance of the rise of the current US immigration border and its relation to broader shifts in the legal infrastructure of contemporary nation-states across the globe.
Description : Attending to the mid-Victorian boys’ adventure novel and its connections with missionary culture, Michelle Elleray investigates how empire was conveyed to Victorian children in popular forms, with a focus on the South Pacific as a key location of adventure tales and missionary efforts. The volume draws on an evangelical narrative about the formation of coral islands to demonstrate that missionary investments in the socially marginal (the young, the working class, the racial other) generated new forms of agency that are legible in the mid-Victorian boys’ adventure novel, even as that agency was subordinated to Christian values identified with the British middle class. Situating novels by Frederick Marryat, R. M. Ballantyne and W. H. G. Kingston in the periodical culture of the missionary enterprise, this volume newly historicizes British children’s textual interactions with the South Pacific and its peoples. Although the mid-Victorian authors examined here portray British presence in imperial spaces as a moral imperative, our understanding of the "adventurer" is transformed from the plucky explorer to the cynical mercenary through Robert Louis Stevenson, who provides a late-nineteenth-century critique of the imperial and missionary assumptions that subtended the mid-Victorian boys’ adventure novel of his youth.
Description : Little has been written about when, how and why the British Government changed its mind about giving independance to the Pacific Islands. Using recently opened archives, Winding Up the British Empire in the Pacific Islands gives the first detailed account of this event. As Britain began to dissolve the Empire in Asia in the aftermath of the Second World War, it announced that there were some countries that were so small, remote, and lacking in resources that they could never become independent states. However, between 1970 and 1980 there was a rapid about-turn. Accelerated decolonization suddenly became the order of the day. Here was the death warrant of the Empire, and hastily-arranged independence ceremonies were performed for six new states - Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Vanuatu. The rise of anti-imperialist pressures in the United Nations had a major role in this change in policy, as did the pioneering examples marked by the release of Western Samoa by New Zealand in 1962 and Nauru by Australia in 1968. The tenacity of Pacific Islanders in maintaining their cultures was in contrast to more strident Afro-Asia nationalisms. The closing of the Colonial Office, by merger with the Commonwealth Relations Office in 1966, followed by the joining of the Commonwealth and Foreign Offices in 1968, became a major turning point in Britain's relations with the Islands. In place of long-nurtured traditions of trusteeship for indigenous populations that had evolved in the Colonial Office, the new Foreign & Commonwealth Office concentrated on fostering British interests, which came to mean reducing distant commitments and focussing on the Atlantic world and Europe.
Description : Through a detailed unpacking of the castaway genre’s appeal in English literature, Empire Islands forwards our understanding of the sociopsychology of British Empire. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower argues convincingly that by helping generations of readers to make sense of—and perhaps feel better about—imperial aggression, the castaway story in effect enabled the expansion and maintenance of European empire. Empire Islands asks why so many colonial authors chose islands as the setting for their stories of imperial adventure and why so many postcolonial writers “write back” to those island castaway narratives. Drawing on insightful readings of works from Thomas More’s Utopia to Caribbean novels like George Lamming’s Water with Berries, from canonical works such as Robinson Crusoe and The Tempest to the lesser-known A Narrative of the Life and Astonishing Adventures of John Daniel by Ralph Morris, Weaver-Hightower examines themes of cannibalism, piracy, monstrosity, imperial aggression, and the concept of going native. Ending with analysis of contemporary film and the role of the United States in global neoimperialism, Weaver-Hightower exposes how island narratives continue not only to describe but to justify colonialism. Rebecca Weaver-Hightower is assistant professor of English and postcolonial studies at the University of North Dakota.
Description : In Hubs of Empire, Matthew Mulcahy argues that it is useful to view Barbados, Jamaica, and the British Leeward Islands, along with the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, as a single region. Separated by thousands of miles of ocean but united by shared history and economic interest, these territories formed the Greater Caribbean. Although the Greater Caribbean does not loom large in the historical imaginations of many Americans, it was the wealthy center of Britain’s Atlantic economy. Large-scale plantation slavery first emerged in Barbados, then spread throughout the sugar islands and the southeastern mainland colonies, allowing planters to acquire fortunes and influence unmatched elsewhere—including the tobacco colonies of Maryland and Virginia. Hubs of Empire begins in the sixteenth century by providing readers with a broad overview of Native American life in the region and early pirate and privateer incursions. Mulcahy examines the development of settler colonies during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, explores diverse groups of European colonists, and surveys political, economic, and military issues in the decades before the Seven Years War. The plantation system achieved its fullest and harshest manifestation in the Greater Caribbean. The number of slaves and the scale of the slave trade meant that enslaved Africans outnumbered Europeans in all of the affiliated colonies, often by enormous ratios. This enabled Africans to maintain more of their traditions, practices, and languages than in other parts of British America, resulting in distinct, creole cultures. This volume is an ideal introduction to the complex and fascinating history of colonies too often neglected in standard textbook accounts. -- David Barry Gaspar
Description : Born in Scotland in 1818, John Webster came to New Zealand via Australia in 1841 (after a violent encounter in the outback which he just escaped unscathed) and spent most of the rest of his life in Hokianga. At the Margin of Empire charts his colourful experiences carving out a fortune as the region's leading timber trader and cultivating connections with the leading figures of the day, Maori and Pakeha. Webster fought alongside Tamati Waka Nene in the Northern War, married one of Nene's relatives and built up his kauri timber business through trade with local chiefs (though at one point awoke to find a plundering party had arrived on his front lawn). He was also friends with Frederick Maning, and visited by George Grey, Richard Seddon and other luminaries of the day.
Description : Since its founding, the United States' declared principles of liberty and democracy have often clashed with aggressive policies of imperial expansion. In this sweeping narrative history, acclaimed scholar Walter Nugent explores this fundamental American contradiction by recounting the story of American land acquisition since 1782 and shows how this steady addition of territory instilled in the American people a habit of empire-building. From America's early expansions into Transappalachia and the Louisiana Purchase through later additions of Alaska and island protectorates in the Caribbean and Pacific, Nugent demonstrates that the history of American empire is a tale of shifting motives, as the early desire to annex land for a growing population gave way to securing strategic outposts for America's global economic and military interests. Thorough, enlightening, and well-sourced, this book explains the deep roots of American imperialism as no other has done. From the Trade Paperback edition.