HAWAII’S ECOLOGICAL IMPERIALISM: POSTCOLONIAL ECOCRITICISM READING ON KIANA DAVENPORT’S SHARK DIALOGUES

Kristiawan Indriyanto

Abstract


Recent studies of postcolonialism have explored the interconnection between postcolonial and environmental/eco-criticism. Studies from Huggan (2004), Nixon (2005), Cilano and DeLoughrey (2007) counter the underlying assumption that these criticisms stand in opposition toward each other by pointing out the overlapping areas of interest between postcolonial and ecocriticism and the complementary aspect of these two criticisms (Buell, 2011). Postcolonial ecocriticism, as theorized by Huggan and Tiffin (2010) and DeLoughrey and Handley (2011) asserts the intertwined correlation between environmental degradation and the marginalization of the minority/indigenous ethic groups which inhabit a particular place. The underlying capitalist and mechanistic ideologies in which nature is perceived only of their intrinsic values and usefulness toward (Western) humans illustrates total disregard to the original owner of the colonized land, the indigenous people. This perspective is underlined by Serpil Oppermann’s (2007) concept of ecological imperialism to underline the anthropocentric perspective that legitimate Western domination toward the colonies’ natural resources. Although discussion of postcolonial ecocriticism has encompassed diverse regions such as Caribbean, Africa and Asia, scant attention has been given toward Pacific archipelago especially Hawai’i. Through reading on Kiana Davenport’s Shark Dialogues (1994), this paper explores how American colonialism results in ecological imperialism in this island chain. It is hoped that this analysis can contribute toward enriching the discussion on postcolonial ecocriticism.

DOI: 10.24071/ijhs.2019.020202


Keywords


Postcolonial ecocriticism; ecological imperialism ; Hawai’ian literature.

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References


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IJHS Journal Vol 1 No 2 publication date: 8 March 2018

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International Journal of Humanity Studies (IJHS) is a scientific journal in English published twice a year, namely in September and March, by Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.