Re-visioning Pacific research method/ologies in the new issue of Waka Kuaka (Journal of the Polynesian Society)
The Journal of the Polynesian Society has renewed its branding with the addition of its new name, Waka Kuaka. In the second issue, and first special issue under its new title, co-editors Dr Marcia Leenen-Young and Dr Lisa Uperesa of the University of Auckland gathered doctoral candidates and early career Pacific scholars from across Aotearoa, Te Waipounamu and Australia under the theme Re-Visioning Pacific Research Method/ologies. Three of our Te Tumu whānau were involved in the project. Dr Emma Powell and PhD candidate, Wanda Ieremia-Allan were both authors in the issue with their respective articles, “Tei te Akau Roa: An Ocean of Metaphor in Pacific Research Methodologies” and “Feiloa‘iga ma Talanoaga ma ‘āiga: Talanoa with Family in the Archives”. Professor Michael Reilly, a long-time member and supporter of the journal and society, also generously gave his feedback on Leenen-Young and Uperesa’s introduction.
In the words of the co-editors, the issue marks an “…historic shift in research practice and approaches for and by Pacific peoples and is intended to contribute new knowledge about how Pacific research methodologies and methods are being used (alone and in conjunction with other research approaches and methods). The contributions in [the] special issue help to illuminate the mutually constitutive relationship between theory and practice by sharing critical reflections and practical adaptations by early-career researchers who are raising considerations appropriate for the contemporary moment. In building on current knowledge, some deepen our understanding while others elaborate new approaches” (12).
The issue provided an opportunity for early career Pacific scholars to publish in an iconic journal of anthropology and related scholarly fields dedicated to Polynesia and the wider Pacific region. As a part of the issue’s production, the editors facilitated an innovative development and peer review process that was fully funded. The development of the special issue involved an online writing retreat, weekly 2.5 hour online writing sessions prior to draft submission, and a 1.5-day compulsory, in-person closed symposium for a double peer-review process. This was held at the Fale Pasifika in Auckland as was the launch of the issue which was held on 12 June 2023.