At present, approximately one-fifth of the world's 6,500+ languages are spoken in Oceania, the geographical region encompassing Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. It is likely, however, that many of these languages will no longer be spoken 100 years from now.
Like biological species, many of the world's languages are faced with an extinction crisis, the magnitude of which may be very large. The National Science Foundation currently estimates that by end of this century more than half of the world's languages will either be dead or moribund, meaning that they are no longer being learned by children.
It is likely that many Oceanic languages will be among those that are lost, primarily because most are spoken by small numbers of speakers in societies where upward mobility requires command of a regional lingua franca, such as Tok Pisin, or a language of broader communication, such as English or French.
Unfortunately, at least 80% of the languages of this region are currently either underdocumented or undocumented. If these languages die, it will be as if they never existed. Their death potentially represents an enormous loss of accumulated wisdom and a catastrophic loss of information, both for the societies in which these languages are spoken and for the academic community. The loss of a language is a loss to all humanity. There is thus a pressing need to document and, where possible, to assist in the conservation of these languages.
In response to this need, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UHM) has launched a language documentation and conservation initiative. Since its inception in 1963, the UHM linguistics department has had a special focus on Pacific and Asian languages. It has supported and encouraged fieldwork in these regions, and it has played a major role in the development of vernacular language education programs in Micronesia and elsewhere. This present initiative, which represents a renewed and intensified commitment to such work, has three objectives.
The first objective is to provide high-quality training to graduate students who wish to undertake the essential task of documenting the many underdocumented and endangered languages of the Pacific and Asia. Consequently, the Department of Linguistics has established a graduate program in language documentation and conservation, one of the first of its kind in the United States. (Further information about this program can be found at http://www.ling.hawaii.edu.)
The second objective is to serve the field of language documentation by promoting the free exchange of ideas among its practitioners. To this end, UHM has launched a new open-access, online journal, Language Documentation and Conservation, sponsored by the National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) and published by the University of Hawai'i Press. The website for the journal is nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc. Future efforts include an international conference on language documentation, to be held in 2008, as well as a summer institute for fieldworkers, to take place in 2010. These latter two activities will be supported by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, the National Resource Center for East Asia, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, and the NFLRC.
The third objective is to promote collaborative research efforts among linguists, native speakers of endangered and underdocumented languages, and other interested parties. An especially creative effort in this sphere of activity is UH Mānoa's award-winning student-directed Language Documentation Training Center (see http://www.ling.hawaii.edu/~uhdoc/).
There is worldwide concern for the loss of linguistic, biological, and cultural diversity, with an urgent need for action to combat this trend in the Pacific. The UHM language documentation and conservation initiative represents one such effort. It is an attempt to respond to Jonas Salk's admonition—that we must all learn to be good ancestors.
Ken Rehg, Associate Professor
UHM Linguistics Department
On 13 January 2007, about a hundred Tokelauans and community supporters met on O'ahu, with a delegation of government officials from Tokelau—New Zealand's sole remaining colony. Elders Vaeleti Tyrell and Meleane Faumui received the visitors with a blessing, followed by the chanting of the fakalupega (genealogy) of Tokelau's four atolls—Olohega, Fakaofo, Nukunonu, and Atafu; pehe ma fatele (songs and dances) performed by students of Te Lumanaki School of Tokelau Language, Arts and Culture; and presentations of leis and gifts. Ulu (titular head) of Tokelau Faipule O'Brien spoke after he introduced the delegation—Faipule Kuresa Nasau, Faipule Pio Tuia, and legal counsels Lise Suveinakama (the Tokelau Office of the Council of Ongoing Government, Apia, Samoa) and Professor Tony Angelo (Faculty of Law, Victoria University of Wellington). "We are here to inform our overseas families of Tokelau's decision to hold another referendum in November 2007, and we seek your support," they said.
Tokelau (population 1,124) is a colony of New Zealand located immediately north of Samoa. Under the Tokelau Act of 1948, Tokelauans are citizens of New Zealand. Currently, New Zealand provides approximately 80% of Tokelau's annual operating budget. Since 1975 (after New Zealand decolonized Niue), despite repeated vocal resistance from Tokelau to any change in its colonial status, New Zealand and the United Nations have campaigned for social and political reforms that in the late 1990s found sympathetic ears among the new elites of the native government. Combined external and internal forces eventually forced a vote in the Tokelau Fono that authorized an act of self-determination. In February 2006, Tokelauans were given the opportunity to vote either "yes" or "no" on whether Tokelau should become self-governing in free association with New Zealand. Six hundred and fifteen Tokelauans (70% of the eligible voters) voted, and although 60% of those voting voted "yes," it was not the required 2/3 majority necessary for the referendum's passage.
In the January meeting on O'ahu, the Faipules discussed Tokelau's political development, the options of "independence" and "integration," and why "free association" will, again, be the only option on the referendum. Counsel explained key points of the proposed treaty of free association between Tokelau and "its would-be former administering power," New Zealand.
This was the second time Hawai'i has been included in Tokelau's periodic overseas consultations—a symbolic practice since the approximately 8,000 diasporan Tokelauans around the world (approximately 1,000 of whom live in Hawai'i) are ineligible to vote in homeland elections. Courting support in the diaspora, however, is viewed as strategic by those who desire free association.
Hawai'i's Tokelauan elders, most of whom are former residents of Olohega (Swains Island), expressed appreciation that Hawai'i Tokelauans were still considered "family" despite Olohega's separation from Tokelau by US annexation in 1925; all wished for a prosperous Tokelau. In a meeting that was conducted bilingually, the delegation then listened to comments from the audience. "You came here six years ago seeking our support to reclaim Olohega...nothing happened, what is Tokelau's plan?" "The only guarantee is integration. Look at Niue, what good is free association if you don't have people!" "We cannot vote in your referendum, why are you really here?" "If the next referendum fails, what then?" The answer to the last question confirmed the delegation's chosen path for Tokelau: "Then, we will be back next year to ask for your support for referendum number three," they said.
Betty Ickes, PhD Candidate
UHM History Department
Over a hundred people attended the two-day "Hidden Treasures" Pacific library and archives conference, sponsored by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the UHM Library System and held 15-16 March 2007. The conference opened with a keynote, "Toward a Māori Library: Digital Manifestations of a Dream," by Robert Sullivan, assistant professor of English at UH Mānoa. As an award-winning poet and former librarian, Sullivan offered his "creative visualizations" of a Māori memory institution that would reunite "the various strands of Māori knowledge first preserved but also divided among various institutions during the colonization of New Zealand, a Māori institution that combines aspects of the museum, archive, library, and business information center." This Māori knowledge institution would serve all New Zealanders but with an emphasis on Māori language and Māori interests.
Themes from Sullivan's keynote address were also addressed by David Kukutai Jones, Kaitiaki, Kohikohinga Mori, at the Alexander Turnbull Library, and by Dore Minatodoni, librarian in the Hawaiian Collection at UH Mānoa. Jones's talk, "'Eke Panuku! Eke Tangaroa!' Move Forward! Onto the Wave! Māori Initiatives in Libraries, Archives, and Information Management," described the great strides that have been made in the ways in which the physical environments, services, exhibitions, research, and collections management (including Māori archiving and cataloguing tools) reflect a Māori worldview and a growing interest among Māori in accessing and managing information. Continuing the theme of a national library that would embody indigenous relationships to the land and to a cultural heritage, Minatodoni described her library students' responses to an exercise that required them to envision a Hawaiian National Library, an exercise in which students describe both the possible physical building and the many print, visual and electronic resources to be housed and used in a culturally appropriate setting.
Ewan Maidment, executive officer of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, reviewed the history of the bureau and discussed its efforts to help organize, preserve, and microfilm archives in the Pacific Islands region. He used dramatic photos of numerous Melanesian archives to show the conditions in which many Pacific archivists struggle to maintain the records that document national history and heritage. Maidment noted that despite the lack of staff, shortage of funds, and the constant threats from weather, mold, rats, termites, war, and civil strife, "these precarious institutions are rich, not only with the historical records of the Pacific Islands, but also with committed, skilled, knowledgeable, and dedicated custodians." Taking advantage of his conference trip, Maidment extended his stay in Honolulu to finish a long-term project of microfilming at the Hawaiian Mission Children's Society.
Other speakers described their collections and plans for future development or focused on "hidden treasures" in these collections. Pacific Islanders from outside Hawai'i who made presentations included Justina Nicholas, Chief Librarian of the Cook Islands; Faustina Rehuher, Director, Belau National Museum; Elizabeth C Reade Fong, Deputy University Librarian, University of the South Pacific, Fiji; June Bela Norman, Counterpart Chief Librarian, National Library of Vanuatu; and John K Pagolu, Library Director, College of the Marshall Islands. Talks, and cautionary tales, on digitization projects dealt with a diversity of projects including the Ulukau Hawaiian land database, Hawaiian-language newspapers, the Trust Territory Archives photos, and the Steve Thomas Traditional Micronesian Navigation Collection.
At the final session, conference convener Karen Peacock announced that she would be revitalizing the Pacific libraries listserv that was created following the previous Pacific collections conference at UH Mānoa in 1998, using the e-mail addresses from the "Hidden Treasures" conference as a starting point. Peacock also proposed the creation of a regional organization for librarians, archivists, and others who deal with Pacific Islands–related collections, and a group was formed to begin work on this project. At the close of the conference Peacock echoed the theme of hidden treasures, saying, "Hidden? Not today. I do not need a map to find you. You are here; your voices tell your stories. I marvel at your knowledge and your dedication. I offer you my thanks."
Oscar Kightley, Sāmoa-born and Aotearoa/New Zealand-raised comic, actor, and television- and screenwriter, entertained, as well as educated, audiences at UH Mānoa and Kapi'olani Community College during his residency at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, the first week in April. Kightley, the center's 2007 Visiting Artist, showed his 2006 hit film, Samoan Wedding, and clips from bro'Town, the popular animated series in New Zealand created by the comedy group the Naked Samoans. According to Kightley, under the current of humor that has swept Samoan Wedding and bro'Town into public consciousness, lies a seriousness of purpose as well as a desire to speak to a broader audience.
The comedy of the Naked Samoans evolved from their earlier theater work, which was serious drama and which dealt with many of the problems of immigrant Pacific Islanders in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Although their theatre work was well received, the sober nature of their work began to wear on the group, who wanted to try their hand at something lighter. Somewhat to their surprise, the comedy that evolved continued to focus on the problems of identity, culture clashes, unemployment, an alien education system, and visa overstaying, but in a way that used the hook of humor to reach a larger audience. Samoan Wedding took four years to write but Kightley said his desire to make a movie goes back even farther. Asked how much of what is portrayed in the group's comedy comes from real life, Kightley replied, "Everything!"
Kightley had a busy week, but he enjoyed his time in Hawai'i very much and is eager to return and bring his live work. In addition to speaking at a showing of Samoan Wedding and at a public seminar on his creative work, Kightley spoke at two digital media classes—for the UHM Academy for Creative Media and Kapi'olani Community College—was interviewed by students, met CPIS faculty and students at an informal lunch, and posed for many photos with fans.
The Center for Pacific Islands Studies Visiting Artist Program is made possible by the center's UH Department of Education National Resource Center grant. The program enables the center to present a wide range of Pacific voices and perspectives on political and social issues of the times, which are creatively expressed in art that is critical, engaging, and sometimes provocative. Previous visiting artists have included John Pule, Neil Ieremia, Larry Thomas, Teweiariki Teaero, and Rosanna Raymond.
The inaugural recipients of the Stars of Oceania scholarship at the University of Hawai'i are Jansen Santos, from Pohnpei, and Tamera Heine, from the Marshall Islands. Each has been awarded a $1,000 scholarship for the 2007–2008 academic year.
Jansen Santos is a part-time student at Kapi'olani Community College and will earn his associate in arts degree in May 2008. He is a graduate of Pohnpei Island Central School and hope to return to Pohnpei and work in the medical field.
Tamera Heine, a full-time student at UH Mānoa, will earn her bachelor's degree in political science in May 2010. She also keeps busy as a volunteer with Micronesian young people living in Pālolo Valley in Honolulu. She graduated from Assumption High School in the Marshall Islands and intends to return to the Marshalls to work in the field of education.
Congratulations to each of the very deserving awardees! Persons wishing to contribute to the fine work of the Stars of Oceania Scholarship Program are encouraged to send contributions, designated for the "Stars of Oceania Scholarship Endowment," to the University of Hawai'i Foundation, PO Box 11270, Honolulu, HI 96828.
The Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the Institute for International Strategic Studies, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, sponsored a conference titled "China in Oceania: Towards a New Regional Order?" 26–27 March 2007 in Beppu, Japan. The speakers included scholars from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Sāmoa, Fiji, Hawai'i, and Japan. The keynote address was given by His Excellency Michael Maui, Papua New Guinea Ambassador to Japan. The speakers, who included graduate students involved in research on China's involvement in Oceania, looked at the history of China's engagement with the region, Pacific perspectives on this engagement, and the impact of various political factors on China's future presence in the region. The conference chairs, Edgar Porter and Terence Wesley-Smith, are planning a conference publication.
"Asia Pacific Journeys: Exploring New Directions" was the eighteenth SHAPS graduate student conference, 14–16 March 2007. Pacific Islands–related presentations, by students from Hawai'i, the broader Pacific region, and the US continent, included papers on Tokelau's Act of Self-Determination, the Motu Koitabu of Port Moresby, Marxism in Waiahole-Waikane, and surfing as Oceanic literary. Prizes were awarded for the best Pacific and Asia papers. Dina El Dessouky, University of California–Santa Cruz, won the Pacific prize for her paper, "Gauging La Force de Frappe: Ma'ohi Writing Spaces and Identities in the Fallout of French Nuclear Testing in Te Ao Ma'ohi/French Polynesia."
A dedicated group of Pacific Islander college students and young professionals, including Native Hawaiians, have inaugurated a project to remedy what they see as inequities in the eligibility requirements for scholarship, fellowship, and other US academic programs for underrepresented minorities, known as UHE (underrepresented in higher education) programs. Their organization, the Pacific Islander Access (PIA) Project, cites evidence that Pacific Islanders are 40 percent less likely than the average US citizen to obtain a bachelor's degree, yet 73 percent of UHE programs exclude Pacific Islanders from funding. According to the 2000 census, Pacific Islander higher educational attainment is 44 percent below the national average at the bachelor's level, and 54 percent below the national average at the advanced degree level.
The mission of the project is to end Pacific Islanders' exclusion from UHE funding. The project members hope to do this by raising public awareness of this exclusion and persuading UHE programs to change their policies. They also want to dispel the notion that Pacific Islanders in the United States are simply a subgroup of the category "Asian." The project team is building a coalition as the foundation for their efforts and welcomes the participation of students, educators, and others. The Center for Pacific Islands Studies has endorsed the project. More information on the organization and its aims can be found on the website at http://piaproject.blogspot.com. The executive director of the project is James Kawika Riley.
Among the visitors to the center during the period January through March 2007 were
á Wendy Arbeit, Independent Researcher, Honolulu, Hawai'i
á Edward Halealoha Ayau, Hui Mālama i nā Kūpuna O Hawai'i Nei, Honolulu, Hawai'i
á Thomas Beckman, Legislative Counsel, Pohnpei State Legislature, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
á Pi'ikea Clark, Te Uru Maraurau: School of Māori and Multicultural Education, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
á Christine DeLisle, History and Women's Studies, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
á Vicente Diaz, Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, American Culture Program, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
á Dina El Dessouky, Department of Literature, University of California–Santa Cruz
á Ayako Fukushima, Research Associate, Department of Environmental Design, Kyushu University, Japan
á Ben Graham, Private Consultant, Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands
á Francis X Hezel, SJ, Director, Micronesian Seminar, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
á Edvard Hviding, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway
á Biama Kanasa, Office of Information Services, University of Papua New Guinea
á Jim Mellon, Director, Office of Student Development and Affairs, University of Hawai'i at Hilo
á Joakim Peter, Director, College of Micronesia–Chuuk Campus, Federated States of Micronesia
á Lou Ratte, Hill Center for World Studies, Ashland, Massachusetts
á Rolf Erik Scott, Research Fellow, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway
"The Vanuatu Cultural Centre: Safeguarding Living Cultural Heritage" was the title of a talk by Ralph Regenvanu, director of the Vanuatu National Cultural Council, on 11 January 2007. The talk provided historical perspective on the work of the center since the mid-1970s, showing how the center adapted its mandate to address changes in Vanuatu society. Regenvanu also highlighted the role of the center as an advocacy organization. Regenvanu was director of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre for twelve years. His talk was sponsored by the Winter Institute on Black Studies, the UHM Museum Studies Program, the Hawai'i Museums Association/Bishop Museum, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies (CPIS), and the UHM Department of Anthropology.
"Ejet Mour Ran Kein? Juon Iien Kōnono Ikijeen Jōkjōk in Mour im Jōramman Ilo RMI? How's Life These Days? A Discussion on Social and Economic Issues in the Republic of the Marshall Islands" was the title of a talk on 25 January by independent consultant Ben Graham of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Graham's talk summarized the major socioeconomic, human development, governmental, private sector, environmental, and demographic issues affecting the RMI in 2007. Graham made his presentation in English and Marshallese and took questions from an audience of UH Mānoa faculty and students as well as members of the Marshallese and other communities. The talk was sponsored by Small Island Networks (SINET) and CPIS.
"Pacific History and War Photography: 'Paradise Lost and Saved'," by Prue Ahrens, University of Queensland, Australia, reviewed the World War II photos of US Army Quartermaster Elmer J Williams. These photos, which were taken in New Caledonia, were the subject of an edited book by Dr Ahrens and form a photographic exhibition that has traveled to Washington, DC; San Franciso; Noumea; and, most recently, Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa. Ahrens is associate lecturer of English, media studies, and art history at the University of Queensland. The talk was sponsored by the East-West Center (EWC) Pacific Islands Development Program and CPIS.
Hilda Heine, director of policy and director of the Pacific Comprehensive Center for Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), gave a talk entitled "The Impact of External Aid on Education in the Republic of the Marshall Islands" on 7 February. The talk focused on a recent report that showed an increased reliance on external aid by the Republic of the Marshall Islands, for education and for other services. Heine discussed community involvement in the schools and the impact that reliance on external aid has on community members' ability to influence educational policy. Heine is a former secretary of education for the RMI and the first Marshall Islander to earn a PhD. The talk was sponsored by CPIS and the EWC Pacific Islands Development Program.
"Experiments in Oceanic Modernity: The Lami Movement of Fiji" was the title of a talk, on 22 February 2007, by Norio Niwa, of Hosei University, Japan. Niwa, a visiting scholar at the UHM Department of Anthropology, described the origins and evolution of the Bula Tale Fijian cooperative that began in the 1960s, and the reactions of other Fijians to this social movement. The talk was sponsored by the UHM Department of Anthropology and CPIS.
"Rural Development in Post-Conflict Solomon Islands" was the title of a talk by the Honorable Job Dudley Tausinga, Member of Parliament, Solomon Islands. Tausinga, who is the longest-serving Member of Parliament in the Solomons, reviewed the current government policy that focuses on rural development as the way forward for the Solomons. He described the most important issues for the country as peace and reconciliation and nation building. Following his talk he took questions on the role of NGOs, the presence of RAMSI, and government corruption in the Solomons. The talk was sponsored by the EWC Pacific Islands Development Program and CPIS.
"Towards Reclaiming Pacific Spirituality in New Zealand" was the topic of a talk on 8 March 2007 by visiting Fulbright scholar Melani Anae. Anae, the former director of the Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Auckland, talked about the absence of a meaningful spirituality for New Zealand–born Samoan youths and the inability of Pacific mainstream churches to respond to this need. She also described the consequences this has had for young peoples' behavior and their relationships with their families and communities. Anae, whose research has focused on understanding identity construction of Samoan peoples in Aotearoa/New Zealand, is in residence at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies for three months. Her talk was sponsored by CPIS, the EWC Pacific Islands Development Program, the UHM Department of Anthropology, and the UHM Samoan Language and Culture Program.
Lamont Lindstrom, professor of anthropology at the University of Tulsa, gave a talk titled "Dreaming of Unity and Cargo in Melanesia" on 15 March 2007. Lindstrom discussed cargo cults in the context of globalization and explored why "global cargo flows still continue to promote and to disturb island attempts to cultivate persons and communities." The talk was sponsored by the UHM Department of Anthropology and CPIS.
The faculty and staff of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies welcomed Richard Scaglion, professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, as a visiting colleague at the center from 1 February to 31 March 2007.
CPIS Director David Hanlon was at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor the last week in March, where he gave a presentation on Micronesia's place in Pacific studies and met with faculty and students in the Asian/Pacific Islander American studies unit of the Program in American Culture.
CPIS Managing Editor Jan Rensel and her husband, Alan Howard, UHM emeritus professor of anthropology, participated in a session called "Diaspora, Identity, and Incorporation" at the annual meeting of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO), held 20–24 February 2006 in Charlottesville, Virginia. On 13 March, Rensel was also invited to speak about her research and publishing work, as part of a panel on applied anthropology organized by Professor Les Sponsel of the UHM Anthropology Department.
CPIS Professor Vilsoni Hereniko was invited by the University of Guam to screen his feature film, The Land Has Eyes, and to be keynote speaker at the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Annual Conference, 12–14 March 2007. While in Guam, he and his wife/producer, Jeannette Paulson Hereniko, held radio and television interviews, spoke to an anthropology class, screened their short film Just Dancing at the conference as part of a session on ethnographic film, and were guests at a reception hosted by Guam's Council for the Humanities for its aspiring filmmakers. His film The Land Has Eyes was also screened at Windward Community College, on O'ahu, on 22 March 2007.
Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Anthropology Ty Tengan organized a session for the afore-mentioned ASAO meeting in Charlottesville titled "Articulating Indigenous Anthropology in/of Oceania." Alex Golub, assistant professor of anthropology at UH Mānoa, also attended the meeting.
Professor of Ethnomusicology Jane Freeman Moulin presented a paper titled "Selling Tahiti: Music and Dance as Cultural Consumption," at the national Conference of the Society for Ethnomusicology, held in Honolulu on 15-19 November 2006. She also organized a session of three papers devoted to Oceanic music—"A Sea of Islands: Encounters through Time," "Encounters through Space," and "Encounters through the Other."
The UH Tahitian Ensemble Te Vevo Tahiti nō Mānoa, under the direction of Moulin, performed recently for four UH events: UH Day at the State Capitol, the CPIS "Hidden Treasures" conference on Pacific libraries and archives, the UHM International Night, and the Kapi'olani Community College International Festival. They will also be performing at the EWC International Fair in April 2007.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology Heather Young Leslie has several new publications. In addition to her political review on Tonga in The Contemporary Pacific, 19:1, she is a coeditor of, and published two articles in, Hybrid Textiles: Pragmatic Creativity and Authentic Innovations in Pacific Cloth, a special issue of Pacific Arts, Vol 3–5, 2007. The articles are "Pacific Textiles, Pacific Culture: Hybridity and Pragmatic Creativity," with Ping-Ann Addo, and "...Like a Mat Being Woven." In May 2007 she will be part of a panel on "Ecographic Thinking: Human–Animal–Environment Relations," at a joint conference by the Canadian Anthropology Society and the American Ethnological Society in Toronto.
Associate Professor of History David A Chappell's article "Le Reveil Kanak: Les Intellectuels Anti-Colonialistes Re-Inventent la Nation," based on his talk at the 2004 Pacific History Association conference in Noumea, has come out in the conference proceedings publication, Approches Croisees de l'Histoire Caledonienne, published by Indes Savantes, Paris, 2007, and edited by Frdric Angleviel.
Richardson School of Law Professor Jon Van Dyke gave a talk titled "Who Owns the Crown Lands of Hawai'i?" on 18 January 2007 as part of the UH Mānoa Faculty Lecture Series.
Associate Professor of Political Science Noenoe Silva was the Morse Center Distinguished Speaker at the Ethnic Studies Department, University of Oregon, in February 2007. Her talk, on 12 February, was titled "Ho'ohemokolonaio: Why Political Decolonization is Not Enough for Kānaka Maoli in Hawai'i."
Professor and Chair of Anthropology Geoffrey White has accepted a one-month "guest professorship" at the two main Pacific Islands programs in France: the Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l'Ocanie (CREDO), in Marseille and the Formation a la Recherche dans l'aire Oceanienne (FRAO) in Paris. He will split his time between the two programs from mid-May to mid-June, giving talks in each place and developing joint interests with faculty and students.
On 12 April 2007, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Ben Finney opened a two-day program in Honolulu on Polynesian voyaging, with a presentation titled "Navigating into Polynesia's Past." The program, "Traditions of the Pacific," was hosted by Bishop Museum.
The Center for Pacific Islands Studies is pleased to announce the publication of the latest volume in its Pacific Islands Monograph Series (PIMS)—Imagining the Other: The Representation of the Papua New Guinean Subject. Much has been written about Papua New Guinea over the last century and too often in ways that legitimated or served colonial interests through highly pejorative and racist descriptions of Papua New Guineans. In Imagining the Other, Regis Tove Stella pays special attention to early travel literature, works of fiction, and colonial reports, laws, and legislation to reveal the complex and persistent network of discursive strategies deployed to subjugate the land and its people. The volume, which is published by University of Hawai'i Press, is number 20 in the Pacific Islands Monograph Series.
Regis Tove Stella, from the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, is director of the Melanesian Institute of Arts and Communications and a faculty member in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea. 2007, 264 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-2575-1, cloth, US$54.00. A flyer for the book is included with this newsletter. The UH Press website is http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu.
Routes and Roots: Navigating Caribbean and Pacific Island Literatures, by Elizabeth M DeLoughrey, associate professor of postcolonial literatures at Cornell University, is the first comparative study of Caribbean and Pacific Island literatures. It is also the first work to bring indigenous and diaspora literary studies together in a sustained dialogue. DeLoughrey's approach charts transoceanic migration and engages with history, anthropology, and feminist, postcolonial, Caribbean, and Pacific literary and cultural studies. The book's stunning cover art features Lingi Vaka'uta's painting, No'o 'Anga/Tied Shark. Vaka'uta is an artist at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture at the University of the South Pacific. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Oceania Centre. 2007, 352 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3122-6, cloth, US$49.00.
UH Press books can be ordered through the Orders Department, University of Hawai'i Press, 2840 Kolowalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96822-1888; the website is http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu.
In her book Decolonizing Cultures in the Pacific: Reading History and Trauma in Contemporary Fiction, Susan Najita, an assistant professor of American culture and English at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, examines the work of contemporary writers from Hawai'i, Sāmoa, and Aotearoa/New Zealand. In particular, she explores how they "remember, re-tell, and deploy" their violent histories of colonial resistance in their writing. The book is part of the Routledge Research in Postcolonial Literatures Series. 2006, 240 pages. ISBN 9780415366694, cloth, US$110.00. A paperback edition of the book will be available by the end of 2007.
Pacific Genes and Life Patents: Pacific Indigenous Experiences and Analysis of the Commodification and Ownership of Life, edited by Aroha Te Pareake Mead (Call of the Earth), and Steven Ratuva (University of the South Pacific), contains chapters by sixteen indigenous Pacific writers, documenting the experiences and responses of Pacific communities to genetic research and products, as well as patents on life forms. Published by Call of the Earth/Llamada de la Tierra, in conjunction with the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies. 2007. ISBN 0-473-11237-X. The may be downloaded for free from www.earthcall.org/en/publications/index.html.
Globalisation and Governance in the Pacific Islands, edited by historian Stewart Firth, looks at topics such as labor migration; sugar and garments; mining and forestry; tradition, culture, and politics; and media, civil society, and democracy. The book is available online and downloadable for free at epress.anu.edu.au, and is also available in hard copy, from ANU E Press. 2006. ISBN 1-920942-97-1, paper.
Redefining the Pacific? Regionalism Past, Present and Future, edited by anthropologists Jenny Bryant-Tokalau and Ian Frazer, examines the future effectiveness of Pacific regional institutions as well as ongoing problems of security, governance, and poor economic performance. Published by Ashgate Publishing Company as part of their International Political Economy of New Regionalisms Series. 2006, 226 pages. ISBN 13 978-0-7546-4673-0, cloth, US$99.95.
Democracy and Diversity: Political Engineering in the Asia Pacific, by Ben Reilly, director of the Australia National University Centre for Democratic Institutions, is a study of the way in which the democratizing states of Asia and the Pacific have managed political change, with particular focus on innovative reforms to democratic institutions. Published by Oxford University Press. 2007, 256 pages. ISBN 13 978-0-19-928687-4, cloth, US$85.00.
Customs, Commons, Property, and Ecology, edited by John Wagner and Mike Evans, is a special issue of Human Organization, volume 66, number 1, spring 2007. It contains articles on Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Mokil Atoll.
Hybrid Textiles: Pragmatic Creativity and Authentic Innovations in Pacific Cloth is a special triple issue of Pacific Arts, new series, Volumes 3–5, 2007. The guest editors are Ping-Ann Addo, Heather E Young Leslie, and Phyllis Herda. The issue is dedicated to the memory of Jehanne Teilhet-Fisk and contains articles on Hawaiian quilts, Niuean weavers, Samoan siapo, and Tongan ngatu, among other topics.
"Is That the Best You Can Do? A Tale of Two Micronesian Economies," by Francis X Hezel, SJ, is the first publication in the East-West Center's new Pacific Islands Policy Series. Hezel, director of Micronesian Seminar, a nonprofit organization in Pohnpei, looks at the changing economic policies in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands over the years. The paper can be downloaded for free at http://www.EastWestCenter.org. Hard copies can be ordered through the East-West Center's Publications Office, e-mail ewcbooks@EastWestCenter.org.
A New Island (2006, 56 minutes), a documentary by filmmaker Dale Carpenter, of the University of Arkansas, offers an in-depth look at the Marshallese community in Springdale, Arkansas. Springdale's Marshallese community of 2,000 to 6,000 is thought to be the largest Marshallese community in the continental United States. The Marshallese movement into Springdale began slowly in the 1970s and then increased dramatically in the 1990s as people came looking for jobs, better health care, and better schools. The film features the views of Marshallese of all ages, from students to community elders. The film is available in DVD from the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), PO Box 1250, Conway, AR 72033. The cost is US$29.95, including shipping and handling.
Made in Taiwan: A Nathan and Oscar's Excellent Adventure (2006, 45 minutes) is a documentary that follows two New Zealanders looking for their origins. In this film by Dan Salmon, Nathan Rarere and Oscar Kightley go through DNA tests to learn about their Polynesian ancestors, then retrace their ancestors' possible journey in reverse, starting in the Cook Islands and Sāmoa, moving on to Vanuatu and finally to Taiwan. The film won top honors at the 2007 FIFO (French International du Film documentaire Ocanien) in Papeete.
Other films in the 2007 FIFO competition include
á Les critures de l'Ocan (2006, 52 minutes, Vanuatu) looks at alternative forms of writing, such as drawings on sand and petroglyphs, across Oceania, from Rapa Nui to Vanuatu. The film, in French, was made by Olivier Jonemann, Pierre Vachet, and L Chenas.
The Story of Suzanne Aubert/L'histoire de Suzanne
Aubert (2006, 63 minutes, New Zealand) is about Suzanne
Aubert, who came to New Zealand as a missionary in 1850 from Lyon, France, and
made an "exceptional commitment" to its people, learning
Māori and publishing in that language, establishing free medical clinics, and developing indigenous remedies based on her knowledge of chemistry and the knowledge of Māori healers. The film, in English and French, was directed by Chantal Perrin and is available in DVD format.
á Les voyageurs de la Korrigane (2005, 52 minutes) is about five French travelers aboard the ship Korrigane, who sailed throughout Oceania from 1934 to 1936 and collected over 2,500 objects destined for museums. The film, in French, was directed by Jean-Paul Fargier, in association with ethnologist Christian Coiffier.
á Tjibaou le pardon (2006, 52 minutes, New Caledonia) considers the history of the assassination in New Caledonia in 1989 of Jean-Marie Tjibaou and Ywein Ywein, leaders of the FLNKS, and the reconciliation, 15 years later, of their families and the family of their assassin, Djoublly Wa. The film, in French, is by Gilles Dagneaux.
á Les Rapa Nui ont fait un rve (2004, 55 minutes, Rapa Nui) is a history of Rapa Nui told by Rapa Nui storyteller Hucke Atan. The film, in French, is by Philippe Ray and Gerard Bonnet.
á Arts du mythe—Crne Iatmul (2004, 26 minutes, France) is a film, in French, by Ludovic Segarra and Philippe Truffault, about art and the revering of ancestors' skulls among the Iatmul of Papua New Guinea.
á Longfin (2006, 24 minutes, New Zealand) focuses on the evolution of the longfin eel—from an ancestral figure for Māori to a valuable export commodity today—as an allegory for humans' relationship with the environment. The film, in English, is by Lindsey Davidson and Melissa Salpietra.
á Pacific Solution (2005, 50 minutes, New Zealand) is a film about Australia's "parking" of Afghani refugees in a Nauru camp in 2001 and the eventual reconstitution of some of the families. The film, in English, is by James Frankham.
á Plume (2005–2006, 53 minutes, France) examines the inauguration of the Muse du Quay Branly in France and an offering to the museum from the Tanna Islanders of Vanuatu. The film, in French, is by Rgis Ghezelbash.
á West Papua (2003, 52 minutes, France) is a history of the political struggles in West Papua over the past 40 years. The film, in French, is by Davien Faure.
á Les sentiers de la creation (2006, 52 minutes, French Polynesia) is about the different aspects of dance that come together in Ori Tahiti, including the texts, music, costumes, choreography, and musical instruments. The film, in French, is by Marie-Hlne Villierme.
á Nauru, l'ile perdue (2006, 52 minutes, France) is about the contemporary history of Nauru, the decline of the island, and the problems faced by its people. The film, in French, is by Laurent Cibien and Pascal Carcanade.
The Micronesian Seminar, in Pohnpei, has three new films in its Island Topics Series:
á Micronesians Abroad (2006, 69 minutes) focuses on the great numbers of Micronesians who have left their homelands since the 1990s. Today, 30,000 people from the Federated States of Micronesian, or one out of every four citizens, is living abroad.
á Chasing the Dream (2007, 20 minutes), sponsored by the Federated States of Micronesia National Olympics Committee, highlights the important contribution of athletics to the lives of the young and old.
á To Chew or Not to Chew (2007, 22 minutes) follows a young man as he wends his way through the world of betel nut users and tries to answer the question, "to chew or not to chew?"
Michael Loves Nancy (2006, 36 minutes) is a recent VHS offering, in English, from Wan Smolbag Theatre, in Vanuatu. The drama focuses on tuberculosis and a TB song contest that both the boys and the girls hope to win. The Wan Smolbag website is www.wan-smolbag-theatre.org. Their catalogue (available on request) includes DVDs, as well as videos, in both English and Bislama.
"The State of the Nation: New Zealand's Centenary as a Dominion" will be held 28–30 June 2007 at Birkbeck, University of London. A half-day of the conference will be devoted to Taha Māori. For more information, contact Ian Conrich, Centre for New Zealand Studies, at email@example.com.
The seventh meeting of the Lapita Archaeology Conference, "Lapita Antecedents and Successors," will be held at the Solomon Kitano-Mendana Hotel in Honiara, Solomon Islands, 4–7 July 2007. For more information, see the website at http://www.pacificarchaeology.org/conference.
There will be an "Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Knowledge Conference" in Sydney, Australia, 11–13 July 2007, hosted by Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning and the Indigenous Program Units at University of Technology, Sydney. The deadline for paper proposals is 27 April 2007. For more information, see the website at http://www.isik.org.au.
The 2007 Tonga Research Association (TRA) conference, "Tonga: Its Land, Sea, and People," will be held in Tonga, 11–14 July. Information is available on the TRA website at http://www.latrobe.edu.au/anthropology/tonga.
The workshop "Pacific History and Film" has new dates—6–8 February 2008—at the Australian National University. The conference themes are films, frontiers, and imperialism; war and identity; Islanders and others; and Pacific pasts and history through film. For information, see the website at http://rspas.anu.edu.au/pah/filmandhistory. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31 May 2007.
The 2008 Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) meeting will be held in Canberra, Australia, 13–16 February. Information will be available on the ASAO website at http://www.asao.org, closer to the date of the meeting.
á The twenty-first Pacific Science Congress will be held 13–17 June 2007 at the Okinawa Convention Center in Naha, Okinawa, Japan. For more information, see the website at http://www.pacificscience.org/congress2007.html.
á The Pacific Global Health Conference will be held in Honolulu, 19–21 June 2007. For information, see the website at http://www.hawaiipublichealth.org.
á "Indigenous Lives 2007: A Conference on Indigenous Biography and Indigenous Autobiography" will be held at the Australian National University, 9–12 July 2007. For information, see http://law.anu.edu.au/ncis/IL2007.pdf.
The Planet Tonga website recently launched its new Pacific Islander youth online magazine, Pacific Eye, at http://www.planet-tonga.com/pacificeye. Editor 'Anapesi Ka'ili invites submission of artwork, poems, stories, reviews, interviews, articles, and essays. The colorful inaugural issue, March 2007, includes interviews with well-known writers, scholars, and sports figures, such as Clestine Vaite, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Vaimoana Niumeitolu, and Reno Mahe, as well as articles on financing a college education, political events in Tonga, health, and other topics.
Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) recently contributed four Pacific films to the US Public Broadcasting System (PBS). The films will air in May and June 2007. Black Grace: From Cannon's Creek to Jacob's Pillow, which chronicles the journey of the standout Aotearoa/New Zealand all-male Polynesian modern dance troupe, will air nationally on PBS on 21 June. Keepers of the Flame: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women will be shown on Hawai'i Public Television on 10 May, and Time and Tide, which concerns the effects of globalization and global warming on Tuvalu, will also air in Hawai'i, on 17 May. Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege, a documentary on the controversial uses of a sacred Hawaiian landscape for astronomical observatories will air in Hawai'i on 7 June. Other stations may also air the latter three films. Check your local listings.
Micronesia Challenge, an initiative by the governments of Micronesia to aggressively conserve near-shore marine resources and terrestrial resources, is seeking conservation "champions" to design and carry out outreach and education programs. Each "champion" will receive $5,000 in stipends, a laptop, and funded travel for workshops and training. Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of Micronesia and either currently enrolled in a college or university or a recent college graduate. For more information, contact Willy Kostka, director of the Micronesia Conservation Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline is 30 April 2007.
The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Marton, Middlesbrough, England, is seeking to expand its links with colleagues, researchers, artists, and others, to develop programs that reflect the Cook legacy and life and culture in the contemporary Pacific. They have recently collaborated with Tom Pohaku Stone (CPIS MA, 2002) on the construction of a typical olo surfboard, which is now part of the museum's collection, and they are planning to work with George Nuku and Anna Bates, from Aotearoa/New Zealand, on a project on Pacific design. They welcome inquiries from people interested in collaborating on future exhibitions and events. The senior curator is Phil Philo and the museum's website is http://www.captcook-ne.co.uk.
Ian Conrich has been appointed director of the new Centre for New Zealand Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, which had its formal opening 6 February 2006. The center is the only one outside of New Zealand that focuses solely on New Zealand studies. It houses various visual culture collections and is committed to promoting New Zealand studies at universities in the United Kingdom and in Europe. The center runs a series of fortnightly seminars and film screenings and will sponsor a three-day conference in June 2007 on New Zealand's centenary as a dominion. A website is being planned. For more information, contact Ian Conrich at email@example.com.
The New Zealand Electronic Text Centre's free online archive of New Zealand and Pacific Islands texts and heritage materials offers an expanding, searchable set of images, books, manuscripts, and journals, which include contemporary as well as historical Māori and Pacific Islands materials. One of the latest additions is the pioneering work First Lessons in Māori, by William Leonard Williams. The center's website is http://www.nzetc.org.
News from Mānoa is published quarterly by
The Center for Pacific Islands Studies
School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
Phone: (808) 956-7700
Fax: (808) 956-7053
David Hanlon, 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 e-mail address above. The University of Hawai'i at Mānoa is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution