Annie Kwai is a PhD Student with the School of Culture, History and Language (CHL) at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. Her PhD project titled History, Culture and Contemporary Gender Discourse in Solomon Islands is supervised by Chris Ballard of the ANU. Using archival sources, oral histories and ethnographic fieldwork, her work focuses on tracing the changing trajectories of traditional gendered identities, roles, and relationships under the influences of missionization and colonialism in Solomon Islands. Her primary case study is the Kwara’ae region of Malaita, situating Kwara’ae experiences within a comparative exploration of other Solomon Island societies. By offering an indigenous perspective on gender and culture studies in Solomon Islands, Annie hopes to bridge the knowledge gap between academic representations of cultural practices and indigenous experiences of gender norms and relationships.
Annie earned an MA in History at ANU with the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) in 2014. Her MA thesis on Solomon Islanders’ participation in WWII was published with the ANU Press in 2017. She also holds a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of the South Pacific (USP) (2010).