Informal Session: Strategic Articulations in Pacific & Samoan Studies
Organizer: Jess Marinaccio
From a linguistic perspective, articulation refers to the act of speaking, with the implication that the speaker is a skilled orator. From a Cultural Studies perspective, articulation underscores how all seemingly natural and unchanging socio-cultural institutions are, in fact, the product of processes in which elements new and old, foreign and indigenous are coupled, de-coupled, and re-coupled in a continual cycle of change. Pacific and Samoan Studies share a common interest in the languages and cultures of the Pacific region, as well as how these languages and cultures have moved or travelled, entrenched/re-entrenched themselves, been appropriated by others, or appropriated other elements into themselves. Consequently, articulation, specifically the strategic manner in which speech is uttered and in which societies/cultures consistently re-shape existing institutions and concepts, provides a multi-layered theoretical and methodological approach through which we re-think, challenge, and enrich research in Pacific and Samoan Studies. Given this, in this informal session, we discuss how, from the vantage points of both language and culture, we have adopted strategic articulation(s) in our work and the pathways this has provided for expanding understandings of our fields.
In this informal session, we seek to consider both sites typically viewed as part of the Pacific region, including Samoa, Hawai‘i, the Cook Islands, Fiji, and Tuvalu, and sites that are integrally connected to the Pacific but of more contested status, including New Zealand, the United States, and Taiwan. Specifically, we contemplate linguistic articulations in Samoan language studies, how indigenous Pacific concepts might be articulated to institutionalized pedagogy, how national identities in the contemporary Pacific are constructed through articulations of historical and cultural elements, and articulated values evident in the Western consumption of “Pacific” products. The goal of this panel is not only to discuss the utility of articulation as a theoretical and practical tool in Pacific and Samoan Studies research but also to outline more specific definitions for articulation and its applications, determine what is unique about articulation from the perspective of Pacific and Samoan Studies, and increase interest in and knowledge of this analytical tool.
We invite anyone interested in this informal session to contact the panel organizer and join us at the ASAO Meeting!
List of Participants:
Jess Marinaccio, Victoria University of Wellington <Jess.Marinaccio@vuw.ac.nz>