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Panel 23: The Pacific lost and found: Old and new archival environments and the structuring of Pacific worlds


Rainer F. Buschmann, Marc Tabani

Session presentation

Increasingly researchers have relied on audiovisual, iconographic and written archival sources and records as a safeguard to the practice of fieldwork. Rather than regarding the archive as a mere depository for historical sources, researchers now pay close attention to the archive as an environment that informs and structures perceptions about the Pacific. Also, the more recent establishment of archives by independent countries in Oceania reveals cultural and national histories and identities. The panel invites anthropologists, archeologists, linguists, and historians who have performed archival research in numerous European and Pacific institutions or who have themselves contribute to the creation of personal archives and specialized databases. We seek presenters who will illustrate how archival holdings reflect disparate views both outside and within the oceanic realm. Special attention will be paid to archives in different social, cultural and historical contexts: competing views and diverging archival contents; social and technical inequalities inherent in archival institutions or systems; policy restrictions and political importance of archival sources and records; colonial and postcolonial archives, and the writing of national or ethno-cultural histories.

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