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Remaking Pacific PastsHistory, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Theater from Oceania$
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Diana Looser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839765

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839765.001.0001

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Remembering Captain Cook

Remembering Captain Cook

Restaging Early Cross-Cultural Encounters

(p.65) Chapter 2 Remembering Captain Cook
Remaking Pacific Pasts

Diana Looser

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter begins with early colonial history, investigating the divergent legacies of the British explorer James Cook’s encounters with Pacific peoples in Hawai‘i, New Caledonia, and New Zealand. After explaining how the story of Cook’s encounters has been reproduced repeatedly in multiple forms of colonial discourse, the discussion turns to three collaborations by Pacific playwrights who have attempted to reconfigure the myths surrounding Cook and his fraught posthumous legacies as they have borne out under American, British, and French colonialism. This comparative discussion registers how the rewriting of national histories contributes to the complexities of regional cross-cultural genealogies, offers a critical assessment of the ways that myths of discovery continue to impact different contemporary contexts, and surveys the varied and often unexpected ways in which the symbolic figure of Cook has been deployed by Pacific writers and performers.

Keywords:   James Cook, scenario of discovery, Aotearoa/New Zealand, Hawai‘i, New Caledonia, Dennis Carroll, Tammy Haili‘opua Baker, Pierre Gope, Nicolas Kurtovitch, John Psathas, Robert Sullivan

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