Towards an Anti-Heroic History of Fiji Women Soldiers

Teresia Teaiwa

September 21, 2015

Campus Center, Room 2545, UMass Boston

Fiji women have been enlisting in modern military forces since at least 1961; they first served in a colonial context with the British Army, and subsequently were admitted to the Fiji Military Forces in 1988. To date they have served in international operations in Sinai, Timor Leste, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. While Fiji women still constitute a very small minority in both the Fiji and British forces, Teresia Teaiwa’s research with them points to both the possibility and necessity of developing an anti-heroic account of their histories and experiences.

Teresia Teaiwa teaches in the Pacific Studies Programme in Va'aomanū Pasifika, at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). She completed her PhD in History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2001 on the topic of "Militarism, Tourism and the Native: Articulations in Oceania,"  Her research interests include militarization and gender in the Pacific Islands, history and politics of Fiji, Pacific women's history and activism, and theory and pedagogy in Pacific Studies. She is also a published poet and spoken word artist. Teresia is currently working on a book manuscript on Fiji women soldiers, based on research that was supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand's Marsden Fund and the VUW Research and Study Leave Committee.

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Event Cosponsors: Anthropology Department, History Department, Women's and Gender Studies Department, the Human Rights Minor in the College of Liberal Arts and the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences

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