Stephanie Leclerc-Caffarel

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Smithsonian Inst., Washington, DC

Grant number

Gr. 9342

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Leclerc-Caffarel, Dr. Stephanie M.E., Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC - To aid research on 'An Early American Experience of Fiji: Connected Histories and Ethnographic Collections (1860s-70s)'

Preliminary abstract: American citizen impacted the history of the Fijian islands as early as the 1800s. Through exchanges with Fijian chiefs, they accessed natural resources and fertile lands in the archipelago, and integrated their harvests into international commercial networks. On important matters, they engaged the liability of their Fijian allies, sometime forcing them to look for protection from other countries, including England. Historical transformations in Fiji reflect the development and struggles of the young American nation, as well as its understanding of the world during the 19th century. These histories are materialized in museum collections, which also inform indigenous agencies frequently omitted in early Euro-American writings. The collection of Isaac M. Brower, cotton and sugar planter as well as US Consul in Fiji, helps with the broader rethinking of these intersecting histories. It sheds light on a key period of interactions between Fijian islanders and US citizens (1860s-70s). Through museum and archival research in Fiji, along with collection of memories and current knowledge on specific Fijian sites, the proposed research will enhance and complete resources available in the US for this case study.