A comment on the Pacific Circle Panel at the recent AAPS Conference

Hello Circle Readers,

Please see below for a statement from Dr. John Gascoigne regarding the Pacific Circle Panel at the recent AAPS conference.  Abstracts from this panel may be found in the ‘Past Conferences’ section of this site.

Pacific Circle Panel at the Australian Association for Pacific Studies [AAPS] Conference, University of Sydney, Thurs 24 April 2014

The panel entitled Pacific Circle Workshop: Pacific Knowledges and their Contexts which was organised by the current president (John Gascoigne) and chaired by the previous one (Roy MacLeod) covered a wide chronological and thematic range with papers ranging from the eighteenth to the twentieth first centuries. Abstracts of the five papers given will be placed on the Pacific Circle website but in summary they dealt with issues such as the character of knowledge encounters between European explorers and the peoples of the Pacific (John Gascoigne), the ways in which knowledge about the Pacific has been shaped by the cultures of particular metropolitan language communities (Grant McCall), the impact of tourism on perceptions of the Pacific (Wendy Shaw). More specifically contextual studies were devoted to the role of Sydney as a base for privateers acting against the Spanish (Chris Maxworthy) and the way in which contact with the Pacific complicated racial categorisation in the aftermath of the First World War.

The conference more generally provided a kaleidoscopic overview of the range of disciplines involved in understanding the Pacific with a strong emphasis on recent developments in that region. On the last day it culminated with performances at the Casula Powerhouse centre which demonstrated both the continuing vibrancy of Pacific cultures and the extent of the Pacific presence in Sydney. Thanks to Dr Jude Philp from the Macleay Museum and other members of the organising panel for bringing all this to pass.

Going forward most of the previous executive committee were re-elected for another term along with three new members. The current AAPS committee is:

Katerina Teaiwa (President)
Kalissa Alexeyeff (Vice President)
Anna-Karina Hermkens and Lanieta Tukana (co-secretaries)
Bale Sigabalavu (Treasurer)
Leo Tanoi and Jude Philp (Outreach)
Chris Ballard (Public Officer)
Ian Conrich (member)
Iva Ponton, Elisabeth Betz and George Carter (postgrad reps)
Guy Powles (legal advisor and auditor)


John Gascoigne