I’m tired…but it’s a good tired.
I finished a multiple day marathon of work and now this post, if you don’t count needing to read 170 pages of Jacques Derrieda, is my last thing for the week. (I am playing mind tricks and telling myself that Derrida is next week. Don’t tell me next week starts tomorrow.)
Well without further ado, I will proceed with this post before I completely descend into the incomprehensible world of the rambling, incoherent, weary grad student.
Thigpen, Jennifer. Island Queens and Mission Wives: How Gender and Empire Remade Hawai’i’s Pacific World. 1 edition. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
In Island Queens and Mission Wives: How Gender and Empire Remade Hawai’i’s Pacific World, Jennifer Thigpen presents a well-researched study of the relationships between Hawaiian royal women and American missionary wives, centered on gift-giving and receiving. Thigpen argues that it is these female relationships which eventually proved pivotal to the mission’s success and vital for the establishment of American influence in Hawai’i’. It also helps illuminate the nature of American expansion around the world.
Island Queens and Mission Wives adds significant insight into the scholarship on Protestant women missionaries. By drawing out the relationship between the missionary wives and the Hawaiian women, Thigpen shows ways in which both groups negotiated difference and misunderstanding to find a place of mutual benefit. This work contributes to the ever-expanding research on the contributions of American women missionaries that challenge 19th century ideas of woman’s “proper place”. It also helps historians to rethink the role of American women in the process of American expansion and influence on the global stage.
Metcalf, Alida C. Go-Betweens and the Colonization of Brazil: 1500-1600. Annotated edition edition. University of Texas Press, 2013.
Metcalf’s Go-betweens and the Colonization of Brazil chronicles the interactions between Jesuit priests and the indigenous population of Brazil. Initial Jesuit contact shows a good deal of effort on the part of the priests to establish a more commensurate relationship. Instead of writing off the indigenous language as incapable of communicating Christian principles, instead they decided that, “Some things we must explain by roundabout means” (91). These initial decisions, however, gave way to more heirarchical determinations for dealing with native Brazilians in ensuing years.
Rafael, Vicente L. Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule. Durham: Duke University Press Books, 1993.
Vincente Rafael in Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule
points out the importance of indigenous language acquisition. He argues that it is the vernacular that forms the “intersection of the local with the global” and becomes the “site of new social formations and shifting power relations.”
Language acquisition, especially vernacular language acquisition, then becomes pivotal in establishing new ideas of social configuration, as well as projecting changing power dynamics and intimating cultural difference. It is also a key to understanding existing social and cultural paradigms and institutions. Individuals who are successful intermediaries must articulate ideas of change in ways that are meaningful “enough” to produce some kind of cross-cultural understanding.
Rafael, Vincente LContracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society Under Early Spanish Rule
, (Durham: Duke University Press Books, 1993), xv.