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Australian travel writing and notions of savagery in Melanesia

Halter, Nicholas (2022) Australian travel writing and notions of savagery in Melanesia. In: Routledge Handbook on Tourism and Small Island States in the Pacific. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780429019968

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The types of tourists that have visited the Pacific Islands since the late nineteenth century have changed over time, yet these destinations have been portrayed as static and unchanging, imagined to be in a primordial and savage state. This chapter explores representations of savagery in the Melanesian region, with a particular focus on three Australian travellers: Beatrice Grimshaw, who visited Fiji in the 1900s; Jack McLaren, who visited the Solomon Islands in the 1920s; and Colin Simpson, who visited Vanuatu in the 1950s. It explores how representations of the Melanesian savage changed over time, from a figure employed in colonial narratives to encourage settlement and economic development, to a marketing tool for the tourism and publishing industries. Their accounts also show that tourists could not always reconcile the generalized stereotypes with the reality they encountered during their travels. It is argued that a historical approach to Pacific tourism is needed to understand the colonial roots of travel in the Pacific and the ways in which history continues to shape the contemporary tourism industry.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
Divisions: School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS)
Depositing User: Nicholas Halter
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2023 22:38
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 22:38

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