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Dr. Katerina Martina Teaiwa
Katerina is an assistant professor in the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the Australian National University and an MA in Pacific Islands Studies from the University of Hawai'i. Her doctoral project, Visualizing te kainga, dancing te kainga: history and culture between Rabi, Banaba and beyond (2002) in text and DVD, focused on connections among the displaced peoples of Banaba in Kiribati, with special attention to the impact of phosphate mining and the way dance forms embody cultural and political change and survival. This thesis incorporated an innovative ethnographic film element, in which the circulation and exchange of contemporary Pacific dance practices were significantly highlighted. At CPIS Katerina developed and currently teaches a course called "The Body and Pacific Studies," which explores a "choreographic" approach to Pacific Studies and attends to the way Pacific bodies have been conceptualized in discourses about the Islands. This course also incorporates discussion of movement vocabularies and recognizes the centrality of dance to the lives of Pacific peoples. She also teaches courses on women in Oceania, globalization, and culture and consumption. Her work as both a dancer and videomaker has been featured at international conferences in Suva, Fiji, Canberra, Honolulu, Santa Cruz, CA, and New York. She is also a founding member of the Oceania dance theater based at the Oceania Center for Arts and Culture in Suva, Fiji with choreographer Allan Alo. She is currently working on a Ford-funded project "Islands of Globalization: Pacific and Caribbean Perspectives" (www.movingislands.net) and is a member of the World Dance Alliance and the International Council for Traditional Music.