this month at the center

Events are subject to change, please check here for updated times and locations.

Event:  Natural Resources & Development in Oceania Seminar Series: PACS 401 and PACS 690 Student Presentations

Date: Monday, May 2, 2016


Location: John A. Burns Hall 3121/25, Third Floor, East-West Center

Description: During spring 2016, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center, organized a seminar series on the theme “Natural Resources and Development in Oceania.” The seminars feature scholars from various disciplines at UHM who have researched and published on related issues. See series flyer for more information.  In this culminating session, students in PACS 401 (Senior Capstone) and PACS 690 (Graduate Seminar: Natural Resources & Development in Oceania) will deliver the following presentations:  

  • Matatai / Eyes to the Water: Researching Samoan Navigation, by Jorden Suyeto
  • 'Ofa mo Fatonga: Raising Awareness about Health Care of Micronesians in Hawai'i, by Emalata Maka
  • Kanikapila with the Children of Pālolo: Music and Its Influences on Identity, by Brandy Tarkong
  • Marine Resource Development and Environmental Conservation in the Republic of Belau, by Meche Iechad
  • Tongan Lands and the West: How Western Imperialism Has Influenced Tongan Land Rights, by Joshua Uipi
  • Female Bodies and Lands / Fonua Mo e Sino Fakafefine: On Gendered Land Rights in Tonga, by Luseane Raass
  • Developing the Pacific: Samoa and Fiji Land Systems, by Asalemo Crawford
  • From Kalama to Waiahole, by Travis Thompson
  • Blood Politics: A Critical Look at the Department of Hawaiian Homeland’s Blood Quantum Requirement, by Delia Ulima
  • Seabed Mining: The New Gold Rush, by Joy Enomoto

Click here for the May 2nd program.

Sponsors: Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center.

Contact: Dr. Tarcisius Kabutaulaka, e-mail:, Phone: (808) 956-2659

Event: Film Screening: Dream Big: Nānākuli at the Fringe, followed by a panel discussion about the importance of the Nānākuli Performing Arts program.

Date: Thursday, May 5th

Time:  Doors open at 7:00pm, screening begins at 7:30pm. Light refreshments will be provided.

Location: Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art, 99 Kinau Street, Honolulu 96814

Register (free): Reserve your seat(s):

Description: About the Film: In 2011, students and alumni from the Nānākuli Performing Arts Center on Oʻahu traveled to Scotland to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Learn how this group, who hailed from what was once considered the "worst" school in Hawaiʻi, came to proudly represent the United States at the largest art festival in the world.
PIC Exchange is a free community-engagement screening series that brings community members together in an inclusive way to share, learn, discuss, and get involved with issues that are pertinent to the Pacific.

Sponsor: Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC)

Event: Oceanic Tongues: Assessing and Documenting Language Vitality in the Contemporary Pacific, by Alexander Mawyer

Date: Saturday, May 7, 2016

Time: 9:00am to 12:00pm

Location: Kuykendall Hall Room 210, UHM campus

Registration (fee waived for Hawai'i residents):

Description: This talk looks at an ongoing regional crisis that parallels the more familiar problem of biological mass extinction, both globally and in the Asia-Pacific region: the endangerment and loss of languages within the Pacific Islands over the last century. Issues of language shift and change, and community-based supports for language documentation, conservation, and renewal bring into view many facets of Pacific Island history and the contemporary Pacific. With a focus on poetic language as well as the linguistic encoding of local ecological knowledge, this talk explores the diversity and regional linkages that characterize Oceania and observes how issues in language and culture are often connected to other profound issues of the contemporary moment, from cultural identity and community to issues of mobility, globalization, and the political.

Sponsor/Contact: The Center for Asia-Pacific Exchange, E-mail:, Phone: 942-8553

Event:  Seminar by Mary Walworth, PhD, DEL Fellow, US National Science Foundation

Date:  Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Time:  12:00 - 1:00pm

Location:  Tokioka Room, Moore 319

Description:  Tahitian, the indigenous language of the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, is becoming increasingly endangered due to the decline of its general use and its intergenerational transmission. However, while the language’s use steadily decreases in Tahiti, throughout the rest of French Polynesia where Tahitian is an introduced language, it is thriving. In this talk, I explore the role of Tahitian in French Polynesia through language-use surveys and interviews with educators and officials, which were conducted both in Tahiti and in the outer islands. I present Tahiti as an economic, political, educational, social, and religious center for the region and I demonstrate how its prestigious role in this capacity has led to extensive linguistic and cultural influence and subsequent language replacement in the outer islands. In this talk, I first describe the reasons for Tahitian’s endangerment in Tahiti, and then I investigate how Tahitian has come to threaten lesser-spoken languages outside of Tahiti. Finally, I examine the future of the Tahitian language in Tahiti and how its continued decline will certainly affect language throughout French Polynesia.
Dr. Mary Walworth is a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the National Science Foundation Documenting Endangered Languages program and a Visiting Researcher and Instructor at l'Université de la Polynésie française. Her work centers on the documentation of lesser-spoken languages of French Polynesia, and her research focuses on language contact, change, and shift in greater Polynesia. See flyer for more information.

Sponsors:  The Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the Departments of French, Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas, and Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures.
Oceania Ensemble is is an initiative dedicated to increasing awareness and visibility of both UH and international creative and critical scholarship and the arts in the French-speaking Pacific.

Event: Free screening of the video, Maisa, the Chamoru Girl who Saves Guåhan

Date: Sunday May 29, 2016

Time: 1:00pm

Location: Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art, 900 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96814

Registration: This is a free but ticketed event. Please RSVP via the "Purchase Tickets" button on this website:

Description: Based on a Chamoru legend, Maisa tells the story of a girl who finds the strength to lead the women of Guåhan (Guam) into battle against a giant creature from the Marianas trench that is devouring their island home. This is the first animated film to feature the endangered Chamorro language of Guam. The Honolulu production and creative team at Twiddle productions Inc. worked hand in hand with the DOE Chamorro Studies Department in Guam as well as cultural and language experts. See the trailer: See also the Facebook Event Page:


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