Sweat and Saltwater
On 21 March 2017, Associate Professor Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa passed away at the age of forty-eight. News of Teaiwa’s death precipitated an extraordinary outpouring of grief unmatched in the Pacific studies community since Epeli Hau‘ofa’s passing in 2009. Mourners referenced Teaiwa’s nurturing interactions with numerous students and colleagues, her innovative program building at Victoria University of Wellington, her inspiring presence at numerous conferences around the globe, her feminist and political activism, her poetry, her Banaban/I-Kiribati/Fiji Islander and African American heritage, and her extraordinary ability to connect and communicate with people of all backgrounds.
This volume features a selection of Teaiwa’s scholarly and creative contributions captured in print over a professional career cut short at the height of her productivity. The collection honors her legacy in various scholarly fields, including Pacific studies, Indigenous studies, literary studies, security studies, and gender studies, and on topics ranging from militarism and tourism to politics and pedagogy. It also includes examples of Teaiwa’s poems. Many of these contributions have had significant and lasting impacts. Teaiwa’s “bikinis and other s/pacific notions,” published in The Contemporary Pacific in 1995, could be regarded as her breakthrough piece, attracting considerable attention at the time and still cited regularly
today. With its innovative two-column format and reflective commentary, “Lo(o)sing the Edge,” part of a special issue of
The Contemporary Pacific in 2001, had similar impact. Teaiwa’s writings about what she dubbed “militourism,” and more recent work on militarization and gender, continue to be very influential. Perhaps her most significant contribution was to Pacific studies itself, an emerging interdisciplinary field of study with distinctive goals and characteristics. In several important journal articles and book chapters reproduced here, Teaiwa helped define the essential elements of Pacific studies and proposed teaching and learning strategies appropriate for the field.
Sweat and Salt Water includes fifteen of Teaiwa’s most influential pieces and four poems organized into three categories:
Pacific Studies, Militarism and Gender, and Native Reflections. A foreword by Sean Mallon, Teaiwa’s spouse, is followed by a short introduction by the volume’s editors. A comprehensive bibliography of Teaiwa’s published work is also included.