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To know more of what it is and what it is not: Pacific research on the move

Kabini Sanga, Martyn Reynolds

2017 Pasifika

To name something is to stake a claim, an action which, while having a moment of origin, requires dynamic attention to context and development. This article discusses the naming of Pacific research. It offers a brief but timely reminder of the genealogy of the field before approaching a number of issues of contemporary concern. These include the need for placing new work within existing patterns and models of research; the importance of balancing enthusiasm with careful locative work; the value of respectful critique and ongoing re-framing; insightful discernment as a counter to the hegemonic tendencies of colonialism and assimilation; and the creative tension of connection and separation within a Pacific paradigm. Ultimately, research and researchers must pay heed to those who follow, avoiding clutter and preparing a useful space for future generations.

Pacific research, naming, genealogy, Moana theory, legacy