Agora-SHS Ateliers gouvernance et recherche Appliquée
Nouméa, Sunday 19 May 2024

Sciences Sociales Nouvelle Calédonie Sciences Humaines


Tate LeFevre
PhD. Student and Teaching Assistant
NYU Department of Anthropology
25 Waverly Place, 1st. Floor
New York, New York 10003
T: +1-845-807-7112
F: +1-212-995-4014

Research Description

Debates about the nature, role, and ownership of "kastom" have provided an organizing framework for consideration of links between past, present and future, in much of the Pacific. In New Caledonia, descendents of indigenous Kanak people, along with free French settlers, former convicts, Polynesian and other immigrants and newcomers from metropolitan France all vie for political visibility and recognition. Each of these groups articulates different understandings of the types of futures both possible and desirable for the island archipelago they call home. Based in Noumea, my current dissertation research (fall 2009-fall 2010) examines the emergence of indigenous identities in cultural production among Kanak youth involved in associations de jeunesse and associations du quartier in the context of an upcoming referendum on the territorial sovereignty scheduled to take place sometime between 2014 and 2019. Focusing in particular on the ways in which young Kanak mobilize different concepts of culture and custom, my project explores how this new generation of cultural activists is configuring, contesting and sharing what it means be indigenous in the context of New Caledonia’s uncertain political future and an increasingly “global cultural ecumene.” By analyzing how indigenous identities are formulated and expressed within the unique context of a French settler colony and the particular exigencies of French cultural policy, this study contributes to theorizations of indigeneity, an increasingly important strategy of self-representation and resistance against existing forms of state dominance around the world.


2007 “Tourism and Indigenous Curation of Culture in Lifou, New Caledonia” in The Future of Indigenous Museums, Perspectives from the Southwest Pacific ed. Nicholas Stanley, New York: Berghahn Books.

2007 At the Center of it All?: The Centre Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Negotiations of Contemporary Kanak Culture in New Caledonia. M.A. Thesis. New York University.

Colloques AGORA Agora manifestations scientifiques

Accueil | Agora-SHS | Colloques | Actualités | Liens | Contact | Réalisation GD | AGORA-SHS © 2024