Non-CAS Event
Friday, November 13 at 12 noon
ZOOM link

This talk focuses on artistic and literary activist work emerging from and constituting Indigenous protest movements in the Pacific. Activism constructs and depends on narratives—on stories. Specifically, I present the case of West Papua, using the poems from a special issue of Hawai‘i Review, Wansolwara: Voices for West Papua, to bring a literary lens to contemporary expressions of Papuan protest by West Papuans and by other Indigenous authors for West Papua. These poems articulate material and embodied acts of story-making as critical for mapping the Pacific as Indigenous space. Such acts of storied activism are not only responses to colonialism but part of creating coalitions that assert interconnected Indigenous presences and persistence in the Pacific. They theorize frameworks for transoceanic decolonial futures that emphasize the Pacific’s multiplicity of stories while also making visible relationships beyond the forced connections of empire.

Bonnie Etherington is the Environmental Futures Postdoctoral Fellow at CU Boulder. She earned her PhD in English from Northwestern University, and she is at work on a book manuscript entitled One Salt Water: Writing the Pacific Ocean in Contemporary Indigenous Protest Literatures. Her scholarly work is forthcoming in The Contemporary Pacific, and recently published in New Oceania: Modernisms and Modernities in the Pacific (Routledge, 2019). Her first novel, The Earth Cries Out (Vintage NZ, 2017), was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing and long-listed for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.  Bonnie was born in Aotearoa New Zealand and raised in West Papua.