Prof. Rick Bonus has just published an essay in the journal, positions: asia critique, “Navigating the Ocean in the School: Pacific Islanders in the Midst of Empire, Schooling, and Indigeneity.”

Submitted by Ellen Palms on
positions: asia critique, Volume 29, Issue 1

This article engages with practices of ethnographic storytelling to perform a structural critique of US schooling from the perspectives of Pacific Islander students attending a university far from their ancestral homelands. Deploying indigeneity to comprehend how their schooling is meaningfully connected to their histories of imperial colonization and their resistances to it, these students’ specific understandings of the ocean enable them to transform the very school that alienates them and causes them to fail. These students reveal in their stories their consideration of the ocean as a representation and a repository of Pacific Islander cultural practices—such as collective support, mentorship through partnership, and caring for the family and church—that enable them to navigate through the struggles they face as minorities in their school.

Read the full article here.