This essay considers my role as a ‘Pacific Islander who does literary criticism’, as opposed to a ‘literary critic who happens to be a Pacific Islander’. It examines the negotiation between Pacific Island research paradigms and aims, and standard practices of literary criticism. The former requires tangible service that enhances both the literal and figurative Pacific ‘body’. It considers the relationship between literary criticism and social justice for Pacific peoples and concludes by examining practices that impact the study of Pacific literature and the communities which produce it.

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