This study examines pan-Oceanic identity envisioned by Epeli Hau'ofa at The Oceania Center of Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies and the changes it has undergone over time. Drawing on the re-territorialization of culture, I ask why this movement emerged, what kinds of tensions have arisen, and how Hau'ofa's vision has changed over time. Through interviews and participant observation at OCACPS, I discovered three areas of tension- ethnicity, marketing/tourism and changing spatial relations. Instead of a community that represents all of Oceania, OCACPS has a strong Fijian presence. The new desire for marketing/tourism directly contradicts Hau'ofa's original vision of keeping tourism away from OCACPS. Finally, OCACPS has moved from a space where all worked and created under one roof to a space that has been physically divided and negotiated by the people daily. The original vision set forth by Hau'ofa may no longer be the guiding force of OCACPS, as the current artists and academics are engaged in an ongoing process of redefining the meaning of pan-Oceanic identity.


McConnell, David


Sociology and Anthropology


Social and Cultural Anthropology


pan-oceanic, identity

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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