Moving Islands

Contemporary Performance and the Global Pacific
Diana Looser
A pathbreaking exploration of the international and intercultural connections within Oceanian performance


Moving Islands reveals the international and intercultural connections within contemporary performance from Oceania, focusing on theater, performance art, art installations, dance, film, and activist performance in sites throughout Oceania and in Australia, Asia, North America, and Europe. Diana Looser’s study moves beyond a predictable country-specific or island-specific focus to encompass an entire region defined by diversity and global exchange, showing how performance operates to frame social, artistic, and political relationships across widely dispersed locations. The study also demonstrates how Oceanian performance contributes to international debates about diaspora, indigeneity, urbanization, and environmental sustainability. The author considers the region’s unique cultural and geographic dynamics as she brings forth the paradigm of transpasifika to suggest a way of understanding these intercultural exchanges and connections, with the aim to “rework the cartographic and disciplinary priorities of transpacific studies to privilege the activities of Islander peoples.”

Diana Looser is Associate Professor of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. Her previous book, Remaking Pacific Pasts: History, Memory, and Identity in Contemporary Theater from Oceania, received the Rob Jordan Prize from the Australasian Association for Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies.

Praise / Awards

  • “A rare model of rigorous, original and highly accomplished scholarship. The book’s canvas is vast, in the number and variety of artistic works examined, in historical depth and, above all, in geographical reach. Looser has managed to extend our understanding of postcolonial and intercultural performance and at the same time shift current paradigms in how comparative, interdisciplinary analyses of embodied arts praxis might be executed across different scales.”
    – Helen Gilbert, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • “A volume of Oceanic scope and vision . . . Moving Islands is a rich and vibrant book, alive with the urgency and inventiveness of the artwork it examines. It puts the Pacific region on the map of Performance/Theatre Studies, demanding that the discipline reconceive how it understands the relationships between place, culture, people, and performance.”
     – Margaret Werry, University of Minnesota 
  • Finalist: Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) 2022 Outstanding Book Award
  • Finalist: American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) 2022 Barnard Hewitt Book Prize

Product Details

  • 358 pages.
  • 31 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2021
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-12860-0

  • EPUB: Adobe Digital Editions e-book (DRM Protected)

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  • $64.95 U.S.

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