The Teresia Teaiwa Prize and the Gunson Essay Prize are postponed to 2021; revised timelines for the prizes will be advised in due course. 

The Inaugural PHA Teresia Teaiwa Prize


The Pacific History Association has established the PHA Teresia Teaiwa Prize (NZ$1000) to honour the profound legacy of Teresia Teaiwa, former President and Secretary of PHA. This will be awarded at the Pacific History Association biennial conference.


The inaugural winner will be announced at our biennial conference at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, 1–4 December 2020. This will be the 40th anniversary of PHA and will mark a homecoming for Teresia.


The prize will be for a conference presentation. Contestants will be shortlisted on the basis of an essay submitted prior to the conference.


We invite students and emerging scholars planning to present at the PHA conference to submit a draft paper on a topic relating to the history of Pacific peoples and their islands, and which promotes the innovation, originality and critical creativity that characterized Teresia’s work. The paper should also broadly be in keeping with the theme of the 2020 conference: In Their Own Words.


Shortlisted candidates must personally present their paper at the conference to be considered for the prize. Co-authored and joint presentations are welcome provided that both authors meet the eligibility criteria.


Eligibility: Students enrolled in a postgraduate course of study in 2020, as well as emerging scholars not appointed to a full-time academic position within 2 years (in 2020) of the completion of an MA, PhD or other degree course or diploma.


Submission guidelines: The draft paper should be submitted via email to Dr Adrian Muckle, PHA Secretary (adrian.muckle[at] Due date: 1 August 2020 (23.59pm NZ time). Late submissions will not be accepted. Intending entrants should ensure that they also submit a paper proposal by the deadline set in the general CFP (to be announced in February 2020).


Word limit: 3500 words, including full citations.

Papers should be double spaced, 12 pt. font with minimal formatting.

Submit two copies of the paper: one “blinded” and one with full author identification, including the author’s university affiliation and supervisors’ names.


For queries about the competition contact Dr Jacqui Leckie, Chair, Teresia Teaiwa Prize Komiti


The Gunson Essay Prize


Established in 2012, the Gunson Essay prize ($AUD 1,000) is awarded by The Journal of Pacific History every two years in conjunction with the Pacific History Association’s biennial conference.

The prize promotes the work of scholars at the early stages of their research. It also pays tribute to Dr Niel Gunson, from the Australian National University, for mentoring so many students and scholars over a lifetime of dedication to Pacific history.


The past prize winners are:


  • 2012. Nicholas Hoare (then at Victoria University of Wellington), ‘“Harry” Holland and Samoa: the Labour leader’s “Samoa complex”’.

  • 2014. Kristie Patricia Flannery (then at the University of Texas at Austin), Battlefield Diplomacy and Empire-building in the Early Modern Pacific World.

  • 2016. Benjamin Sacks (then at the University of Western Australia), “Running Away with Itself”: Missionaries, Islanders and the Reimagining of Recreation in Samoa, 1830–1939.

  • 2018. Elyssa J. Santos (then at University of Hawai’i at Manoa), “More Better” Ideas: Chamorro Resistance to U.S. Development Projects on Guam, 1898–1941.


The 2020 Gunson Essay Prize winner will be announced at the PHA conference at the University of the South Pacific in Suva on 1–4 December 2020.

Postgraduate or senior students from any country are invited to submit an essay

– in English
– between 5,000 and 8,000 words
– on any topic relating to the pasts of the Island Pacific and its peoples
– to: jph[at] by 1 November 2020 (23:59pm, Australian Eastern Standard time).


Each entry must consist of two documents: one with the author’s name, contact details, essay title and abstract of 150 words; the other consisting of the essay itself, anonymised, with title, abstract and text. Referencing should be consistent, accurate and complete, but authors do not need to follow any one particular set of conventions for presentation.


The essay submitted for the prize should not have been published or accepted for publication in any outlet by the closing date for entries.


The winning entry will, in the eyes of the judges, make the most valuable contribution to our historical knowledge, draw convincingly from relevant sources and communicate effectively.


The judging committee will consist of three members, including a special speaker at the PHA Conference, a representative of PHA and a representative of The Journal of Pacific History.


For further details, contact The Journal of Pacific History, jph[at]


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