Bearing Witness

Bearing Witness

Essays in honour of Brij V. Lal

Edited by: Doug Munro orcid, Jack Corbett

Please read Conditions of use before downloading the formats.

Download/view free formats
PDF (3.0MB)PDF chaptersRead online (HTML)EPUB (2.0MB)MOBI (2.0MB)


"Brij V. Lal is a singular scholar. His work has spanned disciplines—from history to politics—and genres—from conventional monograph history, to participant history, political commentary, encyclopaedia, biography and faction. Brij is without doubt the most eminent scholar Fiji has ever produced. He also remains the most significant public intellectual of his country, despite having been banned from entering it in 2009. He is also one of the leading Pacific historians of his generation, and an internationally recognised authority on the Indian diaspora. This Festschrift volume celebrates, reflects upon and extends the life and work of this colourful scholar. The essays, whose contributors are drawn from across the globe, do more than review Brij’s work; they also probe his contribution to both scholarly and political life. This book will therefore serve as an invaluable guide for readers from all walks of life seeking to better situate and understand the impact of Brij’s scholarly activism on Fiji and beyond."
— Clive Moore, University of Queensland

"It is a pleasure to commend this collection of very different essays that celebrate, reflect upon and extend the life and work of a remarkable scholar. Although I have had, at times, a close association with Brij Lal’s life and work, I have learned much from reading this book. It provokes further thought about the course of democracy in Fiji, and the very sorry state and future of Pacific history and the humanities in academia. Here is a timely assertion of the significance and major contribution that courageous scholars such as Brij have made to the study and public awareness of these areas of concern."
— Jacqueline Leckie, University of Otago


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jul 2017
ANU Press
State, Society and Governance in Melanesia
Arts & Humanities: Cultural Studies, History; Social Sciences: Politics & International Studies
Pacific: Fiji

PDF Chapters

Bearing Witness »

Please read Conditions of use before downloading the formats.

If your web browser doesn't automatically open these files, please download a PDF reader application such as the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

To copy a chapter DOI link, right-click (on a PC) or control+click (on a Mac) and then select ‘Copy link location’.

In His Own Words

  1. Indenture and Contemporary Fiji (PDF, 0.1MB)Doug Munro doi
  2. From the Sidelines (PDF, 0.1MB)Vilsoni Hereniko doi
  3. Curtain Call (PDF, 0.1MB)Jack Corbett doi


  1. Brij V. Lal: Rooting for History (PDF, 0.2MB)Goolam Vahed doi
  2. Girmitiyas  and my Discovery of India (PDF, 0.2MB)Clem Seecharan doi
  3. Reflections on Brij Lal’s Girmityas: The Origins of the Fiji Indians (PDF, 0.2MB)Ralph Shlomowitz and Lance Brennan doi

Fiji Politics

  1. A Political Paradox: The Common Franchise Question and Ethnic Conflict in Fiji’s Decolonisation (PDF, 0.2MB)Robert Norton doi
  2. Constituting Common Futures: Reflecting from Singapore about Decolonisation in Fiji (PDF, 0.2MB)Martha Kaplan and John D. Kelly doi
  3. Ethnicity, Politics and Constitutions in Fiji (PDF, 0.2MB)Yash Pal Ghai doi
  4. The Fiji Election of 2014: Rights, Representation and Legitimacy in Fiji Politics (PDF, 0.2MB)Stewart Firth doi

Family Album (PDF, 1.6MB)


  1. Unfettering the Mind: Imagination, Creative Writing and the Art of the Historian (PDF, 0.1MB)Tessa Morris-Suzuki doi
  2. Autobiography and Faction (PDF, 0.2MB)Doug Munro doi


  1. Aloha e Brij (PDF, 0.1MB)David Hanlon doi
  2. In the Shadow of the Master Carver (PDF, 0.1MB)Kate Fortune doi
  3. Meetings with the Three Lals: That’s Brij Lal, Professor Lal and Brij V. Lal (PDF, 0.1MB)Jack Corbett doi
  4. The Boy from Labasa (PDF, 0.1MB)Nicholas Halter doi
  5. My Fijian Wantok (PDF, 0.2MB)Sam Alasia doi


‘Doug Munro and Jack Corbett have assembled a fine collection of articles celebrating the academic life of the Fijian historian, political commentator, and creative writer, Brij Lal.’
—Robbie Robertson, Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol 64(1), 2018.
The full review can be read on the Wiley Online Library

Lal did not simply want to bear witness, but to play ‘an active role in shaping his nation’s history and bringing to the fore voices previously unheard or ignored’ (p. 298). The 17 essays in Bearing Witness show indeed that Lal has played that role.
—Max Quanchi, The Journal of Pacific History, Vol 53(4), 2018
The full review can been read on the Taylor and Francis website

Bearing Witness is pleasingly different, personalized, satisfying, and serving up contributions that explain Fiji’s tortured post-colonial history in insightful fashion. The editors have assembled a volume that is “part intellectual biography, part book review, part memoir, part reflection, part tribute”.
—Peter Hempenstall, Pacific Affairs Journal Vol 91(3), 2018

Other publications that may interest you