Artistic Responses to a Changing Planet: Creativity, Climate Change, and Colonial Cultures in Oceania


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


This dissertation focuses on artistic production that interrogates the intersection between United States imperialism in Oceania (the Pacific Islands and their U.S. diasporas) and the current climate crisis. The United States has been embedded in the region since the 19th century through settler colonial projects, resource extraction, and military occupation. The artists in this dissertation engage with this history and the way it continues to have devastating impacts on Indigenous lands, seas, and bodies. The analysis focuses on the aesthetic, material, and curatorial strategies Indigenous and diasporic artists are mobilizing in order to intervene in climate change discourse and in American art history, which rarely engage with a critical understanding of U.S. imperialism in the Pacific Ocean.