Dealing with the past in Oceania

- Narratives in the sea of time



"Dealing with the past in Oceania" offers, in the form of an academic anthology, for the first time an overview of how the past is positioned in the classroom in schools in various countries in Oceania. A special focus is put on different ways of dealing with the past. Thus, on the one hand, it is about approaches to the past as found in native cultures, but also, on the other hand, about Western historical learning as it has become widespread in the process of colonization. Since the teaching traditions in the different countries of Oceania are quite different, dealing with the past at school can occur as a distinct subject (“history”), as a conglomerate of various social sciences (e.g. the subject "social studies"), or even in integrative language teaching. However, specific variants are plausible as well, as for example in Hawai'i, where the subject "Hawaiian Studies" is taught, in which forms of cultural practice, historical insights and linguistic aspects are offered.


The anthology attempts to take a critical look at the way the past is dealt with in the 21th century in order to highlight the significance of the regional/national past. It asks what role Western forms of dealing with the past (western historical thinking) as well as forms of native knowledge and native forms of dealing with the past (e.g. in Hawai'i "mo'olelo") play in the school context. Tensions, presences and absences should be considered as well as cultural specificities.     


Editor Team:

Christoph Kühberger (University of Salzburg, Austria)

Derik Taira (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA)




Duration: 2023-2025