This essay introduces the special issue by setting the concept and specific practice of the "punitive expedition" in Oceania in historical, linguistic and etymological contexts. In the process, we seek to classify punitive expeditions as a historically particular category of event in one global zone, with identifiable qualities, precursors and recursions. A brief consideration of sixteenth-century Spanish violence against Pacific Islanders suggests a differentiation of fleeting retaliatory shore raids from antecedent, but generically colonial punitive expeditions. This deep background, an overview of the colonial encompassment of Oceania, and consideration of the varieties of punitive violence deployed in colonially fragmented New Guinea, set the scene historically for the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century focus of the essays in the collection.
|Journal||Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|