Applied Anthropology and Interwar Internationalism: Felix and Marie Keesing and the (White) Future of the 'Native' Pan-Pacific
This paper concerns transnational and international debate about the function of education as a progressive force in modernising colonial and race relations. It focuses on aspects of the published work and careers of New Zealanders Felix and Marie Keesing in the interwar and early post-war years in order to investigate the role these debates played in imagining new processes of adaptation and cohabitation in the settler/colonial Pacific. The paper argues that transnational networks were crucial to that project: as internationally recognised anthropologists, during the interwar years the Keesings were involved in the Institute of Pacific Relations and the Pan-Pacific Women's Association, operating out of Honolulu. Through these communities of expertise, the couple sought to promote and ultimately popularise the contemporary idea that ‘applied anthropology’ would be essential to modernising the norms of governance between ‘native peoples’ and Western citizen-subjects.
Journal of Pacific History
Historical Studies not elsewhere classified