Jeremy C.A. Smith
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Pacific imaginaries
Ontologies of connection, reconstruction of memory

The Pacific's past is polycentric and its forms of memory embrace connected centres, a continuous mythology (both temporally and spatially), particular historicities and an unusual mode of inter-cultural engagement. The Pacific has had migratory routes favoured by intertidal systems that created a rim of sorts. Migration has entailed interaction with seas and the ocean that became a model for interaction between peoples. It is indicative of a first Pacific imaginary. Pacific societies are characterised by a paradigm of organisation of material and moral life that empowered trade and exchange across greater distances and involving encounters of more clearly differentiated cultures. The confrontation of European and Pacific imaginaries that came with colonialism has brought contrasting civilisations into contact, conflict and dissonance of understanding. Traditions formed in colonial and then federated Australia has entailed the subjugation of indigenous memory.

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Debating civilisations

Interrogating civilisational analysis in a global age


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