LaBriola, Monica C.

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Monica LaBriola is an assistant professor of history at UH West Oʻahu, where she teaches courses in Pacific Islands, World, and US history. She completed her PhD in History and MA in Pacific Islands Studies at UH Manoa. Before coming to Hawaiʻi for graduate work, Dr. LaBriola spent three years in the Marshall Islands where she developed a passion for Pacific Islands history and culture. She is currently completing a manuscript on land and power on Likiep Atoll, Marshall Islands.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
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    Planting Islands: Marshall Islanders Shaping Land, Power, and History
    (Taylor and Francis, 2019-03-26) Labriola, Monica C.
    This paper reframes encounters between ri-aelōñ-kein (Marshall Islanders) and ri-pālle (outsiders) between the 16th and 19th centuries through a ri-aelōñ-kein cultural lens. It applies a deep ethnographic approach and frameworks of cross-cultural exchange and mutual possession to re-present ri-aelōñ-kein engagements across the beach as purposeful attempts to ‘plant’ ri-pālle on land and within genealogies. It argues that, in addition to violence, ri-aelōñ-kein used ‘gifts’ of land and other exchanges to ‘plant’ ri-pālle within their realms and, in turn, augment their social status. While deployed most often by irooj (chiefs), kajoor (commoner) men and women used similar tactics with some success. Throughout, ri-aelōñ-kein made history by deploying aspects of culture to advance local ambitions through engagements with ri-pālle.
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    Micronesia in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
    (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2017) LaBriola, Monica C. ; Bevacqua, Michael Lujan ; Mulalap, Clement Yow ; Kotaro, Landisang L.
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    Volume 1 of Teaching Oceania Series, Militarism and Nuclear Testing in the Pacific
    (Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 2016) LaBriola, Monica C. ; Genz, Joseph H. ; Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, Noelani ; Mawyer, Alexander ; Morei, Elicita N. ; Rosa, John P.
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    Likiep Kapin Iep : land, power, and history on a Marshallese atoll
    (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 2013) LaBriola, Monica C.
    This history of Likiep Atoll in the northern Ratak region of the Marshall Islands explores the cultural, epistemological, and historical context of Paramount Chief Jorto¯ka¯'s sale of Likiep to A. Capelle & Co. employee and partner Jose´ Anton deBrum of Portugal in 1877 and deBrum's transfer of ownership to his employer ten months later. The investigation applies an eclectic ethnographic approach to reveal historical and cultural dynamics not reflected in surviving documents but that likely played a key role in the momentous transaction. Factors considered include the physical condition of the land; chiefly rivalries and the prevalence of land sales and leases as an alliance building strategy; the pervasiveness of violence and epidemic disease; genealogies and genealogical connections; and the flexible application of indigenous philosophies to land use and tenure practices. Also featured are counternarratives employed following the sale by particular sectors of Likiep society as part of a strategy to maintain their place within the atoll's cultural, historical, and genealogical landscape by calling the sale into question and challenging the truth of history in the process. The dissertation's focused methodology and use of diverse cultural and historical resources demonstrates the important contributions ethnography can make not just to local interpretations of history, but also to ongoing academic discussions of translocal themes such as colonialism and imperialism, islander agency, accommodation and resistance, Christian conversions, indigenous knowledge and epistemology, land and sovereignty, and the practice and construction of history itself. The narrative in turn challenges the effectiveness of sweeping regional histories that, while significant for the larger trends they elucidate, do not capture the multiplicity of situated events, experiences, and interpretations that make Oceania so diverse for its many pasts, presents, and futures. Throughout, the project demonstrates that localized histories and historiographies are key to understanding the vast and expanding region of Oceania and to the ongoing dehegemonization of the discipline of Pacific History and Pacific studies more generally.
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    Micronesia in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015
    (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2016) LaBriola, Monica C. ; Bevacqua, Michael ; Mulalap, Clement Yow ; Taitano, Tyrone J.