Affect, Agency, and Ambiguous Praxis: French expeditions in the Pacific Islands, 1827-50

Bronwen Douglas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article considers the praxis and representation of military actions by French naval forces in the Pacific, exemplified in the interplay of agency and affect during three precolonial expeditions before 1850. I problematize the timing, motivations and goals of violent imperial retaliation to perceived Indigenous transgressions and disentangle the varied ontologies of justice, morality or efficacy that stimulated protagonists. Refusing simplistic binaries (us-them, European-Indigenous, White-Black, aggressor-victim, resistance-collaboration), I probe the multi-strandedness of encounters, the ambivalent emotions involved, and the situational effectiveness or vulnerability of imperial and Indigenous actions, expectations and alignments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17pp.
    JournalJournal of Colonialism and Colonial History
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Cite this