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indigenous and native studies | hawai‘i

Possessing Polynesians The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai‘i and Oceania

MAILE ARVIN From their earliest encounters with indigenous Pacific Islanders, white Europeans and Americans asserted an identification with the racial origins of Polynesians, declaring them to be, racially, almost white and speculating that they were of Mediterranean or Aryan descent. In Possessing Polynesians Maile Arvin analyzes this racializing history within the context of settler colonialism across Polynesia, especially in Hawai‘i. Arvin argues that a logic of possession through whiteness animates settler colonialism, through which both Polynesia (the place) and Polynesians (the people) become exotic, feminized belongings of whiteness. Seeing whiteness as indigenous to Polynesia provided white settlers with the justification needed to claim Polynesian lands and resources. Understood as possessions, Polynesians were and continue to be denied the privileges of whiteness. Yet Polynesians have long contested these classifications, claims, and cultural representations, and Arvin shows how their resistance to and refusal of white settler logic have regenerated Indigenous forms of recognition. Maile Arvin is Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies at the University of Utah.

November 320 pages, 19 illustrations paper, 978-1-4780-0633-6 $27.95/£21.99 cloth, 978-1-4780-0502-5 $104.95/£87.00

music | hawai‘i | indigenous and native studies

Listen but Don’t Ask Question Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar across the TransPacific

KEVIN FELLEZS Played on an acoustic steel-string guitar with open tunings and a finger-picking technique, Hawaiian slack key guitar music emerged in the mid-nineteenth century. Though played on a non-Hawaiian instrument and influenced by Mexican cowboy culture, it is widely considered to be a truly Hawaiian tradition grounded in Hawaiian aesthetics and cultural values. In Listen but Don’t Ask Question Kevin Fellezs examines Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) and non-Hawaiian slack key guitar in Hawai‘i, California, and Japan, tracing how notions of belonging and authenticity become contested depending on who plays the music and where. In Hawai‘i slack key guitar functions as a sign of Kanaka Maoli cultural renewal, resilience, and resistance in the face of appropriation and occupation, while in Japan it becomes the means through which to create a merged Japanese-Hawaiian artistic and cultural sensibility. For diasporic Hawaiians in California, it provides a way to claim Hawaiian identity. By demonstrating how slack key guitar is a site for the articulation of Hawaiian-ness, Fellezs illuminates how slack key guitarists are reconfiguring notions of Hawaiian belonging throughout the transpacific.

December 352 pages, 7 illustrations paper, 978-1-4780-0671-8 $28.95/£22.99 cloth, 978-1-4780-0599-5 $104.95/£87.00

Kevin Fellezs is Associate Professor of Music and African American Studies at Columbia University and author of Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion, also published by Duke University Press.

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Profile for Duke University Press

Duke University Press Fall and Winter 2019 Catalog  

The Fall & Winter 2019 catalog from Duke University Press.

Duke University Press Fall and Winter 2019 Catalog  

The Fall & Winter 2019 catalog from Duke University Press.