Pacific Postmodern

Rob Wilson taught at the University of Hawai?i at M?noa for many years, before moving to UC Santa Cruz. His other works include Reimagining the American Pacific: from South Pacific to Bamboo Ridge and Beyond (Duke UP, 2000) and Be Always Converting, Be Always Converted: An American Poetics (Harvard UP, 2009). Further interventions into Pacific, Asia, and US works and sites can be found at


Pacific Postmodern
By Rob Wilson • 2000 • [out of print]
Design by KC Mah

An essay that explores the place of Tinfish in the contemporary Pacific, as well as treating settler poetry from Australia, and tourism in Waikiki;. Far ranging, thoughtful, and formally innovative work from an important critic of the Pacific.

from “From the Sublime to the Devious: Writing the Experimental/Local Pacific in Hawai?i”:

Caught up in these pro-tourism, anti-local dilemmas, Hawai?i not only hosted the 1998 Miss Universe Pageant, in effect it became Miss Universe, saying to the global market (reached by telecast to 70 countries around the world), “Visit me, love me, gaze upon me, I am yours and waiting with open arms in the spectacular Pacific.” Like Bloody Mary in the cold war musical, South Pacific, Hawai?i was singing the seductress song of Bali Hai to the tourist gaze, “Come to me, I am your own special island.”

Pacific Postmodern is available online at Jacket #12.


Pacific Postmodern has been used as required reading at the University of Hawai?i at M?noa and University of California Santa Cruz.