Journal article

Whose Paradise? Encounter, Exchange, and Exploitation

Kalissa Alexeyeff, Siobhan McDonnell

CONTEMPORARY PACIFIC | UNIV HAWAII PRESS | Published : 2018

Abstract

This essay is a critical reexamination of the trope of paradise. This trope has a long global history encompassing colonial imaginings and missionary and travel narratives, and notions of “paradise” continue to influence contemporary narratives of place and landscape in the Pacific for Indigenous groups and others. While much has been written about the potency of the paradise trope in the West, it is often implicitly assumed that Indigenous engagement with the trope amounts to a simple rejection or dismissal of “paradise.” In contrast, we suggest that the dynamics of possession, dispossession, and repossession of paradise require further investigation. Paradise is both an imaginary that fram..

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