Katerina Teaiwa, BS (Santa Clara), MA (Hawaii), PhD (ANU)
School of Culture, History & Language
See also: ANU Researchers profile
Katerina is Co-Convener of Pacific Studies in the School of Culture, History and Language with Dr. Matthew Allen, Former Head of the Pacific unit in CHL, and Academic Leader of the Pasifika Australia Outreach Program. She was born and raised in Fiji and is of Banaban, I-Kiribati and African American descent. Her research focuses on cultural policy and cultural industries in the independent Pacific; cultural approaches to Pacific regionalism; the Pacific diaspora; and phosphate mining history and culture on Banaba in Kiribati, Rabi Island, in Fiji and historically in Australia and New Zealand through the work of the British Phosphate Commissioners. You can read more about here research at the ANU Reporter. She has been a consultant with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and UNESCO on cultural policy, intercultural dialogue and sustainable development, and Austraining International and ANU Enterprises doing cross cultural and development training for the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program. She also has a background in contemporary Pacific dance and was a founding member of the Oceania Dance Theatre at the Oceania Center for Arts and Culture, University of the South Pacific in Fiji. You can read some essays on dance Katerina has written at Dances of Life and an opinion piece on representations of Fiji and the Pacific in the media at ABC The Drum Unleashed and the Canberra Times. In 2012 Katerina was elected President of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies. She delivered the Keynote address at ABC International's annual conference at the National Gallery of Victoria, and was selected as a participant and Rapporteur for the Australian Academy of Science Theo Murphy Think Tank on "Australia's Population: shaping a vision for our future."
Katerina has a background in Anthropology and Pacific Islands Studies. Her research looks at the histories of phosphate mining in the central Pacific. She focuses on the movement of Banaban rock and the complex relations created by the mining, shipping, production and consumption of superphosphate and ensuing commodities. She also studies the ways in which indigenous Banabans make sense of this history in their new home of Rabi Island in Fiji. She is currently completing this research as a monograph titled Consuming Ocean Island: a multi-sited historical ethnography of Banaban phosphate. Her Banaba work has inspired a permanent exhibition at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which tells the story of phosphate mining in the Pacific through Banaban dance. Renowned New Zealand sculptor Brett Graham also transformed Katerina’s research into a multi-media installation, Kainga Tahi, Kainga Rua, exhibited at the Adam Art Gallery in Wellington in 2003 and Moving Image Centre in Auckland in 2007.
Katerina also writes on and has taught courses on popular culture and consumption, globalization, women's studies, contemporary Pacific dance, Pacific diasporas, visual ethnography, and theory and method for Pacific Studies. She is interested in the cultural, economic and political relations within and between island regions and from 2003-07 was a member of the Islands of Globalization project team in Honolulu which connected the Pacific and the Caribbean through popular, policy and pedagogy projects. She is currently working on cultural policy and cultural industries in the Pacific charting projects developed through the Human Development Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and those shaped by UNESCO frameworks and conventions.
- 2011 “Choreographing Oceania,” Islands as Crossroads: Sustaining Cultural Diversity in Small Island Developing States, Tim Curtis, ed. Paris: UNESCO Publications, 138-151.
- 2011 “Recovering Ocean Island” in Life Writing Vol. 8:1: 91-104.
- 2011 Pacific Cultural Mapping, Planning and Policy Toolkit and workshop report, co-authored with Colin Mercer, New Caledonia and Suva: Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Human Development Programme.
- 2010 “Challenges to Dance! Choreographing History in Oceania,” the Annual Greg Dening Memorial Lecture 2010, Melbourne Historical Journal, Vol. 38: 19-36.
- 2008 "Salt Water Feet: the flow of dance in Oceania," in Deep Blue: reflections on nature, religion and water, Andrew Francis and Slyvie Shaw eds., London, Equinox Publishing Ltd.
- 2007 Editor, Indigenous Encounters: reflections on relations between people in the Pacific, Centre for Pacific Islands Studies Occasional Paper Series, University of Hawai'i, No. 43.
- 2007 Co-Editor, "Margins and Migrations in South Asian Diasporas", with Monisha Das Gupta and Charu Gupta, Cultural Dynamics, 19 (2).
- 2007 “South Asia Down Under: Popular Kinship in Oceania,” Cultural Dynamics, 19 (2): 193-232.
- 2007 “Islands of Globalization: Pacific and Caribbean Perspectives”, with Esther Figueroa, Gerard Finin, Scott Kroeker and Terence Wesley-Smith, in Social and Economic Studies, Vol. 56, Nos 1 and 2, March/ June 32-40.
- 2005 “Our Sea of Phosphate: the diaspora of Ocean Island,” in Indigenous Diasporas and Dislocations: Unsettling Western Fixations, Graham Harvey and Charles D. Thompson Jr, eds., London: Ashgate Press.
- 2004 “Multi-Sited Methodologies: homework between Fiji, Australia and Kiribati,” in Anthropologists in the Field, Jane Mulcock and Lynne Hume, eds. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Visiting Scholar, Anthropology and Visual Cultural Studies, University of Rochester, 2011.
- Outstanding Community Award from the New South Wales Council for Pacific Communities for the Pasifika Australia Program, 2009.
- Research Scholar, Macmillan Brown Center for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, 2006.
- Assistant Professor, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, 2003-2006.