Currents of Migration: Writing and Representation in the Pacific Diaspora

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsInvited talkResearch


This keynote address identifies the current global trends in migration and diaspora throughout the Pacific, and examines a series of texts that engage with issues of homes, belonging, and the 'return' - Albert Wendt's Sons for the Return Home (1975), Sia Fiegiel, Where We Once Belonged (1996), John Pule's, The Shark that Ate the Sun (1992) and Oscar Kightley and Simon Small's play, Fresh off the Boat (2005). It argues that the yearning for return to the Pacific island homeland, that was found in the early generations who migrated from Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands to New Zealand, has now been replaced by a subculture of second generation migrants - children and grandchildren of migrants - who have never travelled to the ancestral island, but encounter images of the Pacific in the figures of new arrivals. Now the emphasis is more on old and new Pacific island stereotypes rather than essentialised identity constructions according to race, nation and gender.
Period6 Nov 2015
Event titlePacific Waves: Reverberations from Oceania
Event typeConference
LocationBrighton, United KingdomShow on map


  • Pacific island
  • Literary and visual representation
  • Aotearoa/New Zealand
  • Migration
  • Albert Wendt
  • John Pule
  • Sia Figiel
  • Oscar Kightely and Simon Small
  • Samoa
  • Niue