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Abstract: Based on a metanarrative analysis of the self-reflexive process I undertook during my research into the “solidarity encounter” between Indigenous women and White women in a contemporary Canadian context, I argue that self-reflexivity is a fraught mechanism for grappling with and dismantling structural privilege. I recount how, despite my best self-reflexive efforts and expectations to the contrary, I could not completely forestall some of the ways in which my subjectivity and hence power would infuse the research—specifically, in how the specter of the liberal subject would haunt it. This haunting, I contend, is indicative of the limits of self-reflexivity when it is underpinned by modernist/liberal ideologies of subjectivity. In short, I convey the perils and promises of self-reflexivity as a mechanism for revealing researcher impact on and for leveling power relations in social justice research (and beyond). Specifically, I identify in my own practice elements of the “validated reflexive strategies” critiqued by Wanda S. Pillow. I conclude that self-reflexivity is most valuable when approached as a window into structural oppression and privilege and not only into the power of researchers as individuals. Building on Sara Ahmed’s reflexive “double turn,” I argue that radical reflexivity is a better model for avoiding the vortex of a self-reflexivity performed by modernist/liberal subjects. I propose that radical reflexivity can assist researchers to identify the ways in which our structural positions overdetermine (though never absolutely or seamlessly) the contours of our scholarly and political commitments.

Abstract: The approximately 18,000 imperial troops who arrived in New Zealand with the British regiments between 1840 and 1870 as garrison and combat troops, did not do so by choice. However, for the more than 3,600 non-commissioned officers and rank and file soldiers who subsequently discharged from the army in New Zealand, and the unknown but significant number of officers who retired in the colony, it was their decision to stay and build civilian lives as soldier settlers in the colony. This thesis investigates three key themes in the histories of soldiers who became settlers: land, familial relationships, and livelihood. In doing so, the study develops an important area of settler colonialism in New Zealand history. Discussion covers the period from the first arrival of soldiers in the 1840s through to the early twentieth century – incorporating the span of the soldier settlers’ lifetimes. The study focuses on selected aspects of the history of nineteenth-century war and settlement.

Land is examined through analysis of government statutes and reports, reminiscences, letters, and newspapers, the thesis showing how and why soldier settlers were assisted on to confiscated and alienated Māori land under the Waste Lands and New Zealand Settlement Acts. Attention is also paid to documenting the soldier settlers’ experiences of this process and its problems. Further, it discusses some of the New Zealand settlements in which military land grants were concentrated. It also situates such military settlement practices in the context of the wider British Empire.

The place of women, children, and the regimental family in the soldier settlers’ New Zealand lives is also considered. This history is explored through journals, reminiscences, biography and newspapers, and contextualised via imperial and military histories. How and where men from the emphatically male sphere of the British Army met and married women during service in New Zealand is examined, as are the contexts in which they lived their married lives. Also discussed are the contrasting military and colonial policies towards women and marriage, and how these were experienced by soldier settlers and their families.

Lastly, the livelihood of soldier settlers is explored – the thesis investigating what sort of civilian lives soldier settlers experienced and how they made a living for themselves and their families. Utilising newspapers, reminiscences, biography, and government records the diversity of work army veterans undertook in the colony is uncovered. Notable trends include continued military-style roles and community leadership. The failed farming enterprise is also emphasised. Going further, it offers analysis of the later years of life and the different experiences of soldier settlers in their twilight years, particularly for those with and without family networks in the colony. The thesis challenges the separation between ‘war’ and ‘settlement’ by focusing on a group whose history spanned both sides of the nineteenth-century world of colony and empire.

Abstract: China’s three northeastern provinces (Fengtian, Heilongjiang, and Jilin) were transfigured by Japanese imperialism in the opening decades of the 20th century. South Manchuria and the Kwantung Leasehold on the Liaodong Peninsula in particular became the site of a railway imperialism that would, beginning in 1905, allow Japan to claim a sphere of influence in the northeast and profit from the export of soybeans, coal, lumber, and other raw materials from the region. The South Manchuria Railway Company (or “Mantetsu”), which held the dual mantle of joint stock-owning company and governmental national-policy company, was the central organ in Japan’s so-called management of Manchuria. The expansion of Mantetsu’s rail network (originally built by Czarist Russia in the late 1890s) in the post–World War I years allowed for greater extraction of resources and greater wealth for company stockholders, while giving rise to an upswell of protest from a burgeoning nationalist movement in mainland China as well as in the northeast itself. Throughout the preconquest period (pre-September 1931), bureaucrats, Mantetsu employees, doctors, teachers, and economic sojourners of every stripe made a home for themselves in Japanese Manchuria, parts of which were transformed to replicate the modern conveniences and amenities of the metropole’s urban centers.

The Manchurian Incident, which began on September 18, 1931, with a plot by renegade officers from the Kwantung Army (a division of the Japanese Imperial Army) to destroy Mantetsu track and blame it on Chinese brigands, led to the military takeover of the three northeastern provinces by January 1932. The establishment of the army-led state of Manchukuo in March 1932 gave way to a new kind of Japanese power and influence on the continent—one that operated independently from Tokyo and at the pleasure of the Kwantung Army. Despite repeated proclamations of pan-Asian unity and the harmony of the five races by the state’s propaganda agents, Manchukuo existed for the purpose of strengthening Japan’s war machine, as well as for planning a total renovation of the domestic Japanese state in line with army objectives.