Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 2 April-June 1997


Featuring Paradise: November Film Conference
News in Brief
Pacific Island Images Film Festival
Center Visitors
Staff Activities
Student and Alumni News
Seminars and Readings
The Contemporary Pacific
New Publications and Resources
Bulletin Board


Vilsoni HERENIKO's latest play, Fine Dancing, debuts in Honolulu in August. Nine performances, 14-17 and 21-25 August, are scheduled for the beach at Magic Island lagoon, Ala Moana Beach Park. The play tells the story of a runaway wife, her abusive husband, an exotic dancer, and their encounter with Hina, the moon goddess, who teaches them the finer points of the dance of life. Rena OWEN, well known for her role as Beth in the film Once Were Warriors, will star in the role of the moon goddess, Hina. Tickets are on sale at the Hawai'i Theatre Box Office, tel (808) 528-0506. Performances start at twilight, 7:00 pm. The play is being produced by Jeannette Paulson for NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia/Pacific Cinema).


Al HULSEN, President and General Manager Emeritus of Hawai'i Public Radio and the developer of Asia and Pacific programming at KHPR, will be responsible for a daily Pacific Islands news report in the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu's morning newspaper, beginning in July. PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT will appear Monday through Friday. The report is part of a comprehensive plan for Pacific Islands news coverage being developed cooperatively by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the East-West Center's Pacific Islands Development Program. One aspect of the project, the PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT Internet site, is planned to begin daily service on 14 July 1997. Eight to twelve stories will be filed Monday through Friday on the WEB site, at, from local reports, PACNEWS, and other regional sources The first project intern, Mele Laumanu PETELO from Tonga, started 1 July. Laumanu is Controller of News and Public Affairs Programming at Radio Tonga. Her participation in the PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT project is made possible by grants from the American Association of University Women, Honolulu Branch, and the Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association.


"Featuring Paradise: Representations of the Pacific in Film" is the title of the center's annual conference, which will be held in Honolulu, 11-13 November 1997. Convened by Vilsoni HERENIKO and planned to coincide with the Hawai'i International Film Festival, this academic conference will address how the Pacific and Pacific Islanders have been portrayed in feature film for the past hundred years. The program includes film screenings as well as panels on the Pacific as paradise, the racialization of Pacific images, gendered images of the Pacific, and indigenous filmmaking. For information, contact Tisha HICKSON at the address on the masthead.


Pacific Collection Receives Gift

Mary T P H SASAKI, an academic adviser in the College of Continuing Education at UH Manoa and a lecturer in education technology at the College of Education, has given a gift of $1000 to the Pacific Collection at Hamilton Library. Ms Sasaki is a UH alumna who received her BA in Education in 1989 with a concentration in Pacific History. She went on to earn a Master's of Education in 1993. Ms Sasaki, who is from Guam, has also been active as a volunteer computer programming instructor in high schools in Guam and Honolulu. According to Karen PEACOCK, Pacific Curator at Hamilton Library, who announced the gift, "It is deeply gratifying to our staff to have an alumna and colleague give such a vote of confidence to the work of preserving Pacific Islands heritage and providing access to publications on the region. We hope other UH alumni will be moved to follow Ms Sasaki's example!" Ms Sasaki's sister, Anne Perez HATTORI, an alumna of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies MA program, is a PhD student in the Department of History.

Pacific Writing Forum Established at USP

The Pacific Writing Forum (PWF) has recently been set up as an integral part of the Department of Literature and Language at the University of the South Pacific's campus in Suva, Fiji. USP played a pathbreaking role in the genesis, encouragement, and development of Pacific literature in the 1970s and early 1980s, when many of the writers were either staff or students at the Suva campus. Continuing this early commitment to Pacific literature, the PWF aims to promote, encourage, and publish writing and research by Pacific people on Pacific literature and languages, Pacific orature and storytelling, Pacific children's literature, and Pacific journalism. The forum will take over the operations of the South Pacific Creative Arts Society (SPCAS) from USP's Institute of Pacific Studies (IPS) and will collaborate with IPS and other campuses and departments of USP in areas of mutual interest.

The PWF welcomes suggestions, expressions of interest, questions, and manuscripts for consideration from Pacific writers and others with interests in Pacific literature. The PWF publishes a newsletter, Pacific Writing Forum Network. The address and contact numbers for the PWF are School of Humanities, USP, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji; tel 679/313-900, ext. 2241; fax 679/305-053; email

US Senate Authorizes Funding for E-W Center

Legislation in the US Senate proposed by Senators Daniel INOUYE and Daniel AKAKA from Hawai'i authorizes Hawai'i's East-West Center to receive US$20 million in operating funds over the next two years. The same funding is being proposed in a US House of Representatives authorization bill. Center officials labeled this a "comfortable" level of support. Earlier, the Clinton administration had proposed funding the East-West Center at a level of $7 million next year and phasing out all support for the East-West Center over the next four years.


The fourth annual Pacific Island Images Film Festival, the only film festival in the world devoted exclusively to showcasing the work of indigenous filmmakers from the Pacific, plays throughout Hawai'i from 23 July to 2 August. Sponsored by Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) and University of Hawai'i at Manoa Summer Session, this year's festival offers an impressive array of recent work from Hawai'i and New Zealand.

Topping the bill is the world premiere of Hawaiian Sting, a comedy short written by Big Island high school student Anthony KAHAWAI'I and starring local actor Ray BUMATAI. Other featured works include Uiaki Fono, a documentary highlighting Tonga's struggle with democracy; Tatau, a close-up look at the art and spiritual meaning of Samoan tattoo; Thunderbox, a comedy short written and directed by Lee TAMAHORI (director of Once Were Warriors), and Kapa Haka, which follows three dance troupes as they prepare for the 1996 Maori Performing Arts Festival in New Zealand. The films will be shown on O'ahu, Maui, the Big Island, and Kaua'i. For information contact PIC in Honolulu at (808) 591-0059 or at


Joshua BELL, MPhil student at Oxford, was in Hawai'i the second week in April to attend the conference on Making Public Places, sponsored by the UH Department of Architecture. Bell is doing his MA thesis on colonial architecture in Hawai'i and while in Honolulu spent time in the Hawaiian Collection at Hamilton Library, the Bishop Museum, and the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library.

Allen STAYMAN, Director, Office of Insular Affairs, US Department of the Interior, visited the center on 10 April. He also met with Jerry Norris, at the Pacific Basin Development Council, to discuss current developments in the American associated territories and freely associated states, as well as recent developments in Washington, DC.

Dr David COHEN, faculty member in the Law School and Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago, is in Honolulu for several months doing research on post-World War 2 war crime trials in Micronesia and elsewhere in the Pacific. He can be reached at 2969 Kalakaua Avenue, #202, Honolulu, HI 96815; tel (808) 922-8402.

Dr A Crosbie WALSH, Director, Post-Graduate Programme in Development Studies, School of Social and Economic Development, University of the South Pacific, visited the center on 15 May. Walsh is building the Development Studies program at USP and is interested in collaborating with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies in a number of areas, including faculty and student exchanges. Walsh was formerly at Massey University in New Zealand, where he was instrumental in creating their Development Studies program.

Sia FIGIEL, winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers' Prize in the category Best First Published Book by a writer from the Southeast Asia and Pacific region, stopped in Honolulu en route from Germany and England, where she received her prize, to Fiji. As a writer-in-residence at the center in 1995, Figiel worked on her book Where We Once Belonged.

Dr John HENDERSON, Political Science Department, Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, was in Honolulu to continue his research on US-New Zealand relations today. He was en route to Washington, DC, to visit the Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, Georgetown University.

John HENNESSEY-NILAND, formerly Foreign Service Officer assigned to The Hague, stopped at the center on 10 June en route to Fiji, where he will be the new Officer for Political and Economic Affairs in the American Embassy in Suva.

Caroline VERCOE, PhD graduate student in Art History at Otago University and newly appointed Lecturer in Art History at Auckland University, visited the center in June. Ms Vercoe, whose research interests include representations of Pacific Island women in film and the visual arts, is on a research trip to the US mainland and Honolulu, where she spent time in the Bishop Museum's collections.

John PICKFORD, British Broadcasting Service, London, was in Honolulu the second week in June. Pickford is doing a radio series on the migrations, past and present, of people in the world. He interviewed center director, Robert C Kiste, on the movement of people in the Pacific in the post-European contact era. He also interviewed Dr Yoshi SINOTO, Bishop Museum, and Dr Michael GRAVES on ancient Polynesia and other migrations in Oceania.


Linley CHAPMAN attended the Sixth International Conference on Scholarly Publishing, held by the International Association of Scholarly Publishers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, from 10-15 May 1997. The conference is held every third year, and was attended by about seventy scholarly publishers from around the world, including Denmark, Singapore, Lesotho, Peru, Costa Rica, and China, as well as the United States and Canada. Many of those in attendance are directors of their respective university presses, but others represented museum publishers, research institutions, and libraries, as well as one or two commercial publishers. One of the major themes of the conference was the facilitation of cooperative publishing arrangements between "Northern" and "Southern" institutions. Other themes ran the gamut of publishing topics, including standards, training, selecting manuscripts, the peer review process, editing and indexing, budgeting, marketing and distribution, diversification, and electronic publishing.


Anne Perez HATTORI, MA (1995) and Pete WILCOX, a Certificate Student in Pacific Islands Studies, were announced as co-winners of the Thomas D Murphy Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistant at the Department of History awards ceremony on 9 May. Ms Hattori's paper "Sanitary Confinement: The Making of the Modern Body on Guam," also won the Donald Johnson Award for Outstanding Research Paper produced in a graduate seminar. Completing a great day for both of them, Mr Wilcox was awarded one of two Kennedy Fellowships for dissertation travel for his upcoming research in French Polynesia.

Alexander J DE VOOGT (MA 1993) is the recent author of The Board Game of Mancala in Africa and Asia, published by the British Museum. Dr de Voogt is Guest Researcher at the Department of Cognitive Psychology, University of Leiden.


Sia FIGIEL, poet and novelist from Western Samoa and winner of the Southeast Asia and South Pacific Region Commonwealth Writer's Prize for Where We Once Belonged, read from her prize-winning novel on 21 May. The evening reading was cosponsored by the Hawai'i Literary Arts Council and the Department of English. According to the Commonwealth Writers' Prize judges, Where We Once Belonged is an "uncommon and exciting piece of work," notable for "its ability to evoke an entire community in all its vivid details." Ms Figiel is also the author of The Girl in the Moon Circle.


The fall 1997 issue of The Contemporary Pacific (9,2) is now available. Featured articles include "Framing the Islands: Knowledge and Power in Changing Australian Images of 'the South Pacific'," by Greg FRY; "Continuity and Constraint: Reconstructing the Concept of Tradition from a Pacific Perspective," by James West TURNER; and "The Call of the Kereru: The Question of Customary Use," by Sean WEAVER.

The Fry article should certainly be read as background to the recent leak of an Australian confidential briefing paper that speaks very bluntly about a series of Pacific Islands leaders and nations.

The dialogue section includes three pieces: "The Right to Misrepresent," by Donald DENOON; "Empowering Imaginations," by Greg DENING; and "Tradition in the Politics of the Pacific: Interviews with Simione Durutalo and Bishop Patelesio Finau," by Rory EWINS.

The issue also includes political reviews of the region and Melanesia for 1996, as well as book reviews.

The Contemporary Pacific, now beginning its tenth year, aims to provide comprehensive coverage of contemporary developments in the Pacific Islands region. You can get general information on the journal, check the current and back issues and find ordering information on the UH Press web site.


UH Press Books and Journals

Redemption Songs: A Life of Nineteenth-Century Maori Leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki, is by Judith BINNEY. Te Kooti Arikirangi TE TURUKI, founder of the Ringatu church, was a leader in the war against land confiscation and illegal land purchases and worked to ensure that the leaders of Maori communities listened to the voices of their own people, rather than advancing their own interests or those of the colonizers. Redemption Songs had its beginning in the author's discussions with Ringatu leaders, and she was given access to documents com-piled and kept within the church. The book was the winner of the 1996 Montana New Zealand Book of the Year Award. Paper, $34; ISBN 0-8248-1975-6.

Homeland, the latest issue of Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, features contemporary stories and poems from Maori writers. The issue, guest edited by Auckland writers Reina WHAITIRI and Robert SULLIVAN, includes works by well-known writers such as Patricia GRACE, Witi IHIMAERA, Hone TUWHARE and Alan DUFF, along with new writers such as Marewa GLOVER, Ngahuia TE AWEKOTUKU, and Brian POTIKI. It also includes essays, fiction, and poetry from North America and a photographic essay by PILIAMO'O on the restoration of Waiahole Stream on O'ahu. Paper, $16; ISBN 0-8248-1973-X.

Living Tradition: A Changing Life in Solomon Islands, as told by Michael KWA'IOLOA to Ben BURT, is the story of Kwa'ioloa's life growing up on the island of Malaita and the changes his path took as he moved to the town of Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands. His story is one of coming to terms with the contrasting values and contradictions he encountered moving between these two environments. Michael Kwa'ioloa is secretary to the Kwara'ae chiefs in Honiara. Paper, $23; ISBN 0-8248-1960-8. For sale only in the US, Canada, and the Philippines; published in the United Kingdom by British Museum Press.

UH Press books and journals can be ordered through the Orders (or Journals) Department, University of Hawai'i Press, 2840 Kolowalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96822-1888. More information is available on the UH Press website at

Other Publications

The latest issue of Wasafiri, no. 25, spring 1997, is a special issue of Pacific writing coedited by Vilsoni HERENIKO and Briar WOOD. The issue is a mix of contemporary Pacific writing in the form of poetry, short stories, essays, interviews, and reviews. The collection ranges across the Pacific from Papua New Guinea to Hawai'i and includes such well-known names as Albert WENDT, Konai THAMAN, and Epeli HAU'OFA, alongside emerging writers such as Teresia Kieuea TEAIWA, Regis STELLA, and Selina Tusitala MARSH. Wasafiri is published twice a year from the Department of English, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS; email

The Covenant Makers: Islander Missionaries in the Pacific, edited by Doug MUNRO and Andrew THORNLEY, has been published by the Pacific Theological College and the Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific. Paper, US$11 including sea mail postage; ISBN 982-002-0126-8. Available from Institute of Pacific Studies, USP, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji.

Literature for Children and Young Adults About Oceania: Analysis and Annotated Bibliography with Additional Readings for Adults, by Mary C AUSTIN and Esther C JENKINS, is a reference work for scholars, teachers, librarians, and parents. The authors have provided extensively annotated bibliographies of the traditional and contemporary literature of Oceania, in the third volume in a series about ethnic literature for children and young adults. Cloth, $69.95; ISBN 0-313-26643-3. Available from Greenwood Press, Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-9990.


Beginning with this issue of the newsletter, we will be listing new Pacific Islands films and videos purchased for the Wong Audiovisual Center at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Recently purchased was:

Advertising Missionaries. VHS, color, 53 minutes, directed by Chris HILTON and Gauthier FLAUDER; distributed by First Run/Icarus Films, c1996.

In Papua New Guinea, where over three quarters of the population cannot be reached by the regular advertising media, a theater group travels the remote highlands regions performing skits advertising products such as soft drinks, toothpaste, and laundry soap. The "walkabout marketing" group is also engaged by the government to bring social service messages such as the dangers of alcoholism and the benefits of family planning. Unexpected local conflicts are one of the hazards of the trade. There is some dialogue in Tok Pisin or Yaluba with English subtitles.


Twelfth PHA Conference

The twelfth Pacific History Association Conference will be held 7-10 July 1998 in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Details will be included in the next issue of this newsletter. For information, contact Max QUANCHI, School of Humanities, Queensland University of Technology, Beams Rd, Carseldine, Queensland, Australia 4034; email


Call for Pacific Island Writers

Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), a media nonprofit organization, is seeking to purchase rights to a published, fictional work by an indigenous Pacific Island writer for adaptation to the screen. PIC is interested in works that can be developed into a full-length, 60-90-minute program.

Indigenous Pacific Island authors, poets, playwrights, and screenwriters are invited to submit their work. The story should be relevant to the cultures of the Pacific, and must have been published as a book or short story, in a magazine or literary journal, or have been produced as a stage play.

Writers are encouraged to submit their works as soon as possible. Closing date for submissions is 3 October 1997. For information and an application form contact Pacific Islanders in Communications, 1221 Kapi'olani Boulevard, Suite 6A-4, Honolulu, HI 96814; tel (808) 591-0059; fax (808) 591-1114; email

Position in Art History at Auckland

The University of Auckland seeks a chairperson for its Department of Art History, the largest department of art history in New Zealand. Applicants should be qualified and, preferably, hold a doctorate. They should be practicing art historians of national or international standing and be actively engaged in a substantial program of research. A demonstrated sensitivity to biculturalism is also required.

Further information can be obtained from the Academic Appointments Office, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand; tel 64-9-373-7599, ext 5789; fax 64-9-373-7023; email Three copies of applications should be forwarded to reach the Registrar at the university address above, by 11 August 1997.

Published quarterly by
The Center for Pacific Islands Studies
School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Phone: (808) 956-7700
Fax: (808) 956-7053

Robert C Kiste, Director
Letitia Hickson, Editor

Items in this newsletter may be freely reprinted. Acknowledgment of the source would be appreciated. To receive the newsletter electronically, contact the editor at the email address above.

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