Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 1 January–March 2009


Second Pacific Islands Film Festival to be Held in August
Albert Wendt to Receive Honorary Degree in May
Pacific Alternatives Links Cultural Heritage and Political Innovation
News in Brief
Stars of Oceania Honors Traditional Leaders
Heyum Competition Announced
CPIS and UOG United to Support Micronesian Food Fair
Saāmoa Ala Mai Conference Addresses Higher-Education Oppportunities
USSP Scholarship Winners Announced
Center Occasional Seminars
Faculty and Staff Activities
Student and Alumni Activities
Publications and Moving Images
The Contemporary Pacific, 21:1
Conferences and Meetings
Bulletin Board


The second annual Pacific Islands Film Festival, cosponsored by the UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies, Pomona College, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts, will be held 7–9 August 2009 in the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Featured at the event will be top films from the recent Festival international du Film documentaire Océanien (FIFO) in Tahiti.

Over 1,000 people attended the first Pacific Islands Film Festival, held in the Honolulu Design Theatre’s Cupola Theatre in July 2008. The festival featured a range of documentaries and feature films, including the international premiere of the popular Marshall Islands feature film, Morning Comes So Soon.

Films to be shown at this August's festival include:

For details on these films, see Films, Videos, and DVDs.


Albert Wendt
Albert Wendt

Professor Albert Wendt, recognized internationally as a leading figure in Pacific literature, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the UH Manoa spring 2009 commencement ceremony. According to the announcement, the preeminent contemporary writer has gained international honor for his writing, and passionate advocacy of literature and art of the people of the Pacific.

Wendt’s contributions to Pacific literature and art include novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and published anthologies. Two novels, Sons for the Return Home (1973) and Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree (1974), resulted in feature films. His play The Songmaker’s Chair was produced in Auckland and Wellington (2003, 2004), and staged at Kumu Kahua Theatre in Honolulu and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (2006).

Professor Wendt is the recipient of several awards, including the Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Award, considered New Zealand’s major book prize, for his novel, Leaves of the Banyan Tree (1980), and the South East Asia and Pacific Commonwealth Book Prize for his novel Ola (1991). His scholarly and creative accomplishments also led to his selection as the Citizens’ Chair of English from 2004–2008 on the UH Mānoa campus.

Also receiving an honorary degree at the spring commencement ceremony is Agnes (Auntie Aggie) Cope, a beloved educator and kumu hula, who is an advocate for Native Hawaiians and a Living Treasure of Hawai‘i.

Pacific Alternatives Links Cultural heritage With Political Innovation

Jon Jonassen
Jon Jonassen, speaking at the "Pacific
Alternatives" conference

CPIS’s 2009 annual conference, Pacific Alternatives: Cultural Heritage and Political Innovation in Oceania, was held 24–27 March, in collaboration with the Bergen Pacific Studies group from Norway’s University of Bergen. The conference was the first time that the researchers in the multidisciplinary international research program of the same name have met together. The project’s researchers and other invited speakers used a variety of formats to address a wide range of political developments connected to evolving conceptualizations of tangible and intangible forms of cultural heritage. Complete program information is available at

During the conference, four overarching themes emerged: the broadening and deepening of civil society; the expanding social and cultural scenes involving children, youth and education; the development of local-global interfaces under circumstances of cultural revitalization; and the tenuous relationship between the growth of national culture and issues of cultural property. The conference provided for encounters and interaction between scholars and practitioners, and illuminated ways in which alternative movements may emerge as mainstream developments, particularly in the context of altered forms of nation-states.

Project members will continue their research over the coming year, and the project will expand to include the Norway–Pacific Islands Scholarship Program. This program, which will be administered by the East-West Center, in Honolulu, will provide two competitive, merit-based scholarships at UH Mānoa for master’s degree study in fields directly relevant to cultural heritage and political innovation (see htt:// for information on the competition, which was held recently).


Māori Educator Receives First UHH PhD Granted by UH Hilo

Katarina Edmonds (Te Whanau a Apanui and Rutaia) is the first recipient of a doctoral degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Her PhD in Hawaiian and indigenous language and culture revitalization was awarded by the Ka Haka Ula O Keelikolani College of Hawaiian Language. Edmonds has a master’s degree in applied linguistics from the University of Waikato in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Edmonds’s dissertation focused on the validity and reliability of tests that gauge students’ Māori language proficiency. According to Edmonds, her guiding principle throughout her research was Kaupapa Māori, or the principle of by Māori, for Māori, and in Māori. Edmonds has returned to Aotearoa/New Zealand to work on oral testing, the fourth and final testing component of Māori language learning.


This year’s Stars of Oceania Scholarship fundraising event featured a luncheon held in conjunction with the College of Business Administration’s Pasifika Energy Summit on 9 April 2009. Honored at the luncheon were His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, Head of State of Sāmoa; Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, a paramount chief of Fiji; Iroij Lotak, a paramount chief of the Marshall Islands; and Ramsey Taum, a Hawaiian kupuna with ancient Kā‘u ties to Oceania. Included in the honors were Maori storyteller and author Witi Ihimaera, as well as Senator J Kalani English (CPIS MA, 1995), Senator Mike Gabbard, and Congresswoman Hermina Morita—Hawai‘i state political leaders and advocates for the Pacific region. The organizers also paid tribute to the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and the Polynesian Cultural Center, at Brigham Young University in Lā‘ie, Hawai‘i, as institutions that promote culture, traditional wisdom and knowledge, and higher education. The luncheon keynote address was delivered by Her Highness Masiofo Filifilia Tamasese, of Sāmoa.

The Stars of Oceania Scholarship Fund, at the UH Foundation, supports Pacific Islands students attending the University of Hawai‘i campuses, as well as graduate research development in the Pacific with an academic or developmental emphasis on Pacific Islands studies; the physical, marine, agricultural, environmental, and energy sciences; information technology; business; and engineering. Eligible students come from the US affiliated nations and territories of the Pacific as well as those countries that do not have tertiary educational institutions.

The Pasifika Energy Summit, which hosted the luncheon, also featured Dr Stephen Schneider, Nobel Prize winner and expert on climate change, and Dr David Korten, international best-selling author and a leading critic of corporate globalization. Through talks and moderated panels, keynote speakers and traditional leaders from the Pacific shared their thoughts on global warming, traditional economies, excessive consumption, environmental degradation, alternative energy, and the importance of traditional wisdom and guidance.

The Center for Pacific Islands Studies was a cosponsor of the summit and the luncheon. Information on donating to the Stars of Oceania Scholarship Fund can be found on the UHM Pacific Business Center Program website at


The Center for Pacific Islands Studies has announced the 2009–2010 Renée Heyum Scholarship competition. The Heyum Endowment Fund was established by the late R Renée Heyum, former curator of the Pacific Collection, Hamilton Library, to assist Pacific Islanders pursuing education or training in Hawai‘i.  Funds are available to support one scholarship in the amount of $3,000 for the 2009–2010 academic year. Applicants must be indigenous to the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, or Polynesia and enrolled full-time for academic credit as graduate or undergraduate students at a campus of the University of Hawai‘i. Pacific Island students enrolled in noncredit education or training programs may also be considered for assistance.

The selection committee will review each applicant’s academic performance, potential to make a contribution to his/her country of origin, and need for financial support.

Applicants must submit a letter of application that includes a statement describing academic interests, career goals, need for support, and a plan of study for the 2009–2010 academic year; relevant transcripts of previous academic work; and three letters of recommendation. Applicants are responsible for contacting their referees and arranging for letters to be mailed directly to the Director, Center for Pacific Islands Studies (see address below).

Applications are due on 19 June 2009 and should be sent to Professor Vilsoni Hereniko, Director, Center for Pacific Islands Studies, 1890 East-West Road, Moore 215, Honolulu, HI 96822. Questions may be sent to the director at


The Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the University of Guam (UOG) will collaborate this summer on a project initiated by the residents of Gill-Baza, a recently formed subdivision on Guam, where many Federated States of Micronesia citizens have bought undeveloped land and constructed homes. In 2006, the residents of Gill-Baza formed the nonprofit United Pacific Islanders Corporation (UPIC) to address community needs. Their Micronesian Food Festival, 10–12 July 2009, in Guam, will be an opportunity to establish collaborative links between Gill-Baza residents and UOG students interested in interacting with enclave community. It will also be an opportunity for Gill-Baza residents to strengthen their ties with other residents and subdivisions of Guam, to engage in cross-cultural exchanges, and to educate Guam audiences about Micronesian communities in Guam and their positive contributions to the island. The fair also aims to spur discussion among participants about cultural barriers and the growing ethnic tensions between migrant communities and the larger Guam population.

The fair will feature food preparation and cooking demonstrations, exhibits and displays of cultural implements, and movies that showcase cultural food practices and other topics of interest about Micronesia. CPIS assistant professor Lola Quan Bautista is advisor to UPIC. She recently completed a two-year Postdoctoral Research Minority Fellowship with the National Science Foundation, focusing on the Gill-Baza subdivision. She is also the humanities scholar on an application that UPIC has submitted to the Guam Humanities Council for support for the food fair.

UOG participation in the fair is being led by Kirk Johnson, professor of sociology; Margaret Hattori-Uchima, assistant professor and faculty advisor for the Student Nurses’ Association of Guam; and Rick Castro, UOG librarian. UOG students engaged in service learning will interview community members, create poster boards, collect information on food preparation, and develop literature about the deep symbolism of certain food items for Pacific peoples.


While Samoans have contributed to social, economic, and political development in Hawai‘i and on the US continent, Samoans born and raised in the United States are underrepresented in institutions of higher learning. Although 76 percent of Samoans in Hawai‘i aged 25 and older have completed high school, only 11 percent have a bachelor’s or higher degree. About 500 students of Samoan ancestry were registered in the University of Hawai‘i system in 2007, but the majority of these students came from Sāmoa or American Sāmoa. This underrepresentation in institutes of higher learning has repercussions for labor force participation and income levels for Samoans.

The Sāmoa Ala Mai Conference, which was organized by the UHM Office of Multicultural Student Services (OMSS), took place on 31 January 2009. It was designed to motivate, encourage, and support participation in higher education by Samoans in Hawai‘i. OMSS hopes that it will become an annual event. The conference was part of a larger initiative by OMSS to engage students of Samoan ancestry in its community outreach to Samoans and other Pacific Islander students. According to Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai, OMSS program coordinator and conference co-convener, The fact that more than 200 Samoan parents and students attended the conference, and stayed until the end of the day, was a clear indication that Samoans do want their kids to succeed and have a better life.

The conference took place at University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu (UHWO). Hosting the conference at our campus, said Sa‘iliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor (CPIS MA, 1993), assistant professor in Hawaiian and Pacific Studies at UHWO and conference co-convener, was timely and sends an important message to the people of west O‘ahu, especially Pacific Islanders and Samoans living on the Leeward coast, that the University of Hawai‘i is committed to fulfilling its mission of serving these underserved populations. The overwhelming feeling from the conference participants was that this is a great start and that ongoing dialogue between the university and our Pacific communities is essential.

The main purpose of the conference was to disseminate information about financial aid, college admission, and opportunities and programs throughout the UH system that help parents and students navigate their way to college. OMSS will continue to work with community members who attended the conference, to disseminate information about the importance of higher education and the aid that is available. Ms Monalisa Siofele, a former teacher and leader of the Polynesian Club at Waipahu High School, gave the keynote address. She emphasized the importance of a college degree and encouraged students to dream big and work hard to achieve their dreams.

Panel presentations featured high school students, community leaders, and UHM and UHWO students. The college students, in panel presentations and breakout groups, talked about their experiences transitioning from high schools in Hawai‘i and American Sāmoa to UHM and UHWO. They also talked about how hard they worked to maintain good grades and how finding scholarship opportunities helped relieve them and their p‘rents from having to worry about how they would support themselves in Hawai‘i. In the final session of the conference, participants recommended more outreach programs to the Samoan community, the establishment of a committee to work with secondary schools on issues pertaining to Samoan students, and using the Samoan language in the media, such as the radio and ‘Ōlelo Community Television, to inform parents and students about college and financial aid. The day concluded with a performance by the Sāmoa Mormon Youth Group from Waipahu.

Tauasosi-Posiulai and Lilomaiava-Doktor were joined on the organizing committee by Denise Ah Sue (PhD student in education at UHM and a teacher and coordinator at Farrington High School), Samalaulu Lam Yuen (MA student in education at UHM and a language education teacher at Farrington High School), former Center for Pacific Islands Studies graduate students Loau Luafata Simanu-Klutz (CPIS MA, 2001), a lecturer in the UHM Samoan Language and Culture Program and UHM PhD student in history, and Sia Achica (CPIS MA, 2008).

Funds for the conference were provided by UHM–OMSS, with assistance from UH–West O‘ahu, the UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies; the UHM Hawai‘inuaikea School of Hawaiian Knowledge; Filcom; the Pacific Business Center Program, UHM College of Business Administration; UHM GEAR UP; UH Equity and Diversity Initiative; Sāmoa Mo Sāmoa Radio Program; and individual donors from the community.


The East-West Center has announced five scholarship awardees for the 2008 US–South Pacific (USSP) Scholarship competition.

Three awardees were selected at the master’s degree level, and will attend UH Mānoa, beginning in August 2010:

Two awardees were selected at the bachelor's degree level and will attend UH Hilo:

The next round of competition starts in the summer of 2009 for scholarships that begin in August 2010. Information on this competition will be posted on the EWC website, at, in July 2009. The USSP scholarship, funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, aids students who are citizens of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. For more information, e-mail to

USSP alumni from 2003 and subsequent years will gather at the East-West Center for a five-day workshop in June 2009, Leadership and Social Networking: Strengthening the Ties that Bind Our Pacific Islands Alumni Community. Alumni from Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Sāmoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu will take part in seminars, team-building activities, and service-learning experiences.


Warwick Anderson, professorial research fellow in the Department of History and the Center for Values, Ethics, and the Law in Medicine at the University of Sydney, gave a seminar, Ambiguities of Race: Science on the Reproductive Frontier of Australia and the Pacific between the Wars, on 5 February 2009. The seminar, which looked at how Oceanic approaches to racial hybridity influenced Australian attitudes toward race mixing, was sponsored by the UHM History Forum and cosponsored by CPIS.

Mason Durie, Professor of Maori Research and Development and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Māori), Massey University, gave a talk on Treaty of Waitangi Partnership Initiatives: Successes and Challenges. The talk, on 6 February, commemorated as Waitangi Day in Aotearoa/New Zealand, summarized the history of the treaty, including the Treaty of Waitangi Act of 1975, the principles of the treaty, and the wide range of ways that the treaty has been implemented.

Benoit Trépied’s talk, Local Politics and Colonial Frontiers: The Paradox of the Union Calédonienne in the Commune of Koné (New Caledonia), on 18 February, analyzed the ambiguous relationship between the Union Calédonienne and New Caledonia’s colonial heritage through a micro-historical sociology of the political party in the rural commune of Koné. Trépied is a lecturer at the University of New Caledonia. The seminar was cosponsored by the East-West Center Pacific Islands Development Program and the Center for Pacific Islands Studies.

Electronic Pathways for Samoan Heritage Students was the topic of a talk on 26 February by Denise Ah Sue, a teacher at Farrington High School in Honolulu and a doctoral student in education at UH Mānoa, and Steven Tschudi, a specialist with the UHM Language Learning Center and the National Foreign Language Resource Center. Following Tschudi’s introduction of the Online Café Project, Ah Sue presented preliminary lessons learned from the Samoan section of the project, which brought together students from UH Mānoa, American Sāmoa Community College, and Farrington High School in Honolulu, to rap online, in English and Samoan, about what fa‘asamoa (the Samoan way) meant to them.

On 5 March, cultural resource managers from Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, Guam, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands reported on projects in the Historic Preservation Offices from these jurisdictions. The officers presented a wide variety of marine- and land-based projects and discussed changes they would like to see take place in national historic preservation regulations. The seminar was organized by the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, and cosponsored by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies.

Also on 5 March, the UHM Department of English and CPIS cosponsored a presentation by Witi Ihimaera, Citizen’s Chair and Distinguished Visiting Writer in the Department of English, and his students. Writing the Pacific: Opening up the Pacific Vein featured readings by Ihimaera and students Keala Francis, Gina Kanekoa, Alexei Melnick, Kenneth Quilantang, and Ida Yoshinaga. In exchanges with audience members, these writers discussed the challenges they face as they write the local—whether it is historic, contemporary, postmodern, postcolonial, or science fiction/fantasy—into existence.


CPIS Assistant Professor Lola Quan Bautista has been awarded a $5,000 UHM Research Relations Fund Award for her project, Building Pacific Islander Homes, Households, and Communities. The project is a continuation of Lola’s research on gendered and indigenous understanding of mobility and the household among Chuukese migrants in the Gill-Baza subdivision on Guam. The objective of the project is to increase understanding of Pacific Islander ways of knowing and experiencing urban and diasporic communities. The grant will provide partial support for production of a story-based documentary film about emerging identities in Gill-Baza. The end product will inform viewers about social issues in Gill-Baza, while the process of making the film will strengthen social ties and encourage development within the community.

CPIS Director Vilsoni Hereniko will be a guest of the Centre for New Zealand Studies (CNZS), at Birkbeck, University of London, for the United Kingdon’s Origins: Festival of First Nations, a London-wide series of events, 4–17 May 2009 ( Hereniko will take part in Filming First Nations, a panel discussion, and will teach a film master class at CNZS. His film The Land Has Eyes will also be screened.

CPIS Editor Jan Rensel and her husband, Emeritus Professor Alan Howard (UHM Anthropology Department), co-organized a working session titled Diaspora, Identity and Incorporation (with Michael Lieber of the University of Illinois, Chicago) at the annual meeting of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, held 9–14 February 2009 in Santa Cruz, California. In that session they presented a paper, Issues of Concern to Rotumans Abroad: A View from the Rotuma Web Site; in an ASAO symposium on Indigenous Struggles and Issues in Oceania Today they gave a paper entitled Ethnicity, Nationality, and the Rights of Indigeneity: The Case of Rotumans in Fiji.

Jan’s article, Returning Indigenous Knowledge through Publications Written for Pacific Islands Communities, has appeared in the volume La restitution du patrimoine matériel et immatérial: Regards croisés Canada / Mélanésie, edited by Florence Dupré, Frédéric Laugrand, and Pierre Maranda, published by the Centre interuniversitaire d’études et de recherches autochtones in Québec, Canada (Les Cahiers du CIÉRA 2, October 2008). Alan’s article, Web Sites as Vehicles for Repatriation, was published in the same volume, which emerged from a conference at which the two were invited to speak, in September 2007 at the Université Laval.

Also at ASAO, CPIS affiliate faculty member Deborah Waite of the UHM Department of Art and Art History co-organized (with Kathy Creely of the University of California, San Diego) an informal session titled Pacific Pasts: Agency, Archives, and Artifacts.

Robert Sullivan, CPIS affiliate faculty member and associate professor in the UHM English Department, will be one of the keynote speakers at the New Zealand, Germany, and the (Post) Colonial Pacific conference in Frankfurt, Germany, 3–5 July 2009. Samoan language instructor Luafata Simanu-Klutz, who is a PhD student in the Department of History (and CPIS MA, 2001), will also be giving a paper, Saoluafata’s Girls: Before, During and After German and New Zealand Colonialism, at the conference.

Noenoe Silva, CPIS affiliate faculty member and associate professor in the UHM Department of Political Science, will be a featured speaker at Indigenous Studies Engages Ethnic Studies, a symposium hosted by the Department of Ethnic Studies at University of California, San Diego, on 8 May 2009. This one-day symposium focuses on native feminism scholarship as a critical perspective missing in both indigenous studies and in most analysis of race, gender, sexuality, colonialism, and citizenship.

Jonathan Kamakawiwo‘ole Osorio, CPIS affiliate faculty member and professor in the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, will speak on a panel, Ho‘opunipuni: The Myth of Statehood, on 4 May at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, in Los Angeles. Jon and four other speakers—Kekuni Blaisdell, Richard Falk, Maivân Clech Lâm, and Khi Vogeler—will discuss the complexity of Hawai‘i’s relationship with the United States.

Congratulations to Fa‘afetai Lesa, instructor in the UHM Samoan Language and Culture Program, on the completion of his doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in the UHM College of Education! Tai’s dissertation, The Impact of Samoan Christian Churches in Hawai‘i on Samoan Language Competency and the Development of Samoan Cultural Identity, looks at the role of the Samoan churches in Hawai‘i in the formation and maintenance of a truly hybrid cultural identity among Samoans.


Congratulations to CPIS students James Arriola and Madonna Castro-Perez, co-organizers (with Jonas Estrada and Yoko Wang) of the very successful twentieth School of Pacific and Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference, 11–13 March 2009. The keynote for the conference, Transoceania: Rethinking Asia from the Pacific and the Pacific from Asia, was given by alumnus Greg Dvorak (CPIS MA, 2004). CPIS certificate student David Kupferman also took part in the conference. His paper was A Genealogy of Schooling in Micronesia. The award for the best Pacific-focused paper was given to UHM anthropology student Kuan-jung Lai, for The Silence of Culture in Tourism and Ambiguity of Contemporary Guam.

Recruiting for Pan-Pacific Club
James Viernes and Aska Hirabe
recruit for Pan-Pacific Club

CPIS students Aska Hirabe, Patrick Kaiku, and Kisha Borja-Quichocho; CPIS alumnus James Viernes (CPIS MA, 2008); CPIS faculty member Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka; and other members of the Pan-Pacific Association participated in the UHM Registered Independent Organization Fair on 17 and 19 February. They created a Pacific display and recruited for the organization with new Pan-Pacific flyers. The purpose of the Pan-Pacific Association is to promote a productive network of Pacific Islander students and students with a special interest in the Pacific, through social engagement, community service, and collaboration toward success in their academic endeavors and subsequent careers. Membership in the organization is open to all students at UH Mānoa and to students affiliated with the East-West Center. Interested persons outside of UHM and the EWC can join as associate members. Current members of Pan-Pacific represent American Sāmoa, Chuuk, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Hawai‘i, Kiribati, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Sāmoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna. For more details, contact Pan-Pacific President James Viernes at

Members of the Pan-Pacific Association, including Kisha Borja-Quichocho, James Arriola, Aska Hirabe, Patrick Kaiku, and Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka, performed dances and chants from Guam, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea at the East-West Center’s East-West Fest, One World, Many Cultures, on 18 April.

CPIS teaching assistant James Viernes was on Guam recently, where he delivered two presentations at the University of Guam College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences 30th Annual Research Conference, Pearls of Knowledge: 30 Years of Excellence, on 10 March 2009. James presented on overview of his MA thesis Fanhasso i Taotao Sumay: Displacement, Dispossession, and Survival in Guam and was among three Chamorro PhD students who participated in the Perspectives and Experiences: Toward Becoming an Indigenous Academic panel. While on Guam for the conference, James was invited to read his poetry at Luis P Untalan Middle School’s P.R.I.D.E. (Poetry in Its Divine Existence) workshop. He was also invited to present his master’s thesis to the speaker and various senators and staff members of I Mina‘ Trenta na Liheslaturan Guâhan (The 30th Guam Legislature).

CPIS student Angela Cruz was invited to read her poetry at Rock the Boat, a consciousness-raising concert for social change on 4 April 2009 at UH Mānoa.

CPIS student Patrick Kaiku is a co-coordinator (with Joshua Cooper and Isabelle Rettig) for the fifth annual Human Rights in Oceania Conference, 29 April–1 May 2009. The conference is sponsored by OceaniaHR and the Hawai‘i Institute for Human Rights.

Congratulations to Faustina K Rehuher-Marugg (CPIS MA, 1989) on her appointment as Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs for the Republic of Palau. The mission of the ministry is to enhance the well-being of the community and to preserve and maintain Palau’s cultural and traditional heritage. Tina is well placed to do this as the former, long-term director of the Belau National Museum.

Congratulations to alumna Katherine Higgins (CPIS MA, 2007) on the publication of the first issue of Oculus: Postgraduate Journal for Visual Arts Research, the journal of which she is cofounder and, now, assistant editor. Katherine cofounded the journal (with Barbara Garrie) when she was a postgraduate student at the University of Canterbury, in New Zealand. She is currently a student at the University of Auckland. The inaugural issue of Oculus was launched in February. The journal, from the University of Canterbury Department of Art History and Theory, focuses on research in visual arts and culture.

And, finally, congratulations to Katerina Teaiwa, former CPIS faculty member and alumna (CPIS MA, 1999), and her husband, Nicholas Mortimer, on the birth of their daughter Tearia Mena Teaiwa Mortimer, born 8 January 2009 in Canberra, Australia, where Katerina is on the faculty of the Australian National University.


Available from UH Press

Dancing from the Heart: Movement, Gender, and Cook Islands Globalization, by Kalissa Alexeyeff, McArthur Fellow in the Gender Studies Program at the University of Melbourne, demonstrates how dance plays a key role in articulating the overlapping local, regional, and transnational agendas of Cook Islanders. Central to the study is Alexeyeff’s ethnographic account of contemporary dance practice. 2009, 224 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3244-5, cloth, US$55.00.

Natives and Exotics: World War II and Environment in the Southern Pacific, by historian Judith A Bennett from the University of Otago, is an environmental history of World War II, ranging over rear bases and operational fronts from Bora Bora to New Guinea. Although the war’s physical impact proved significant and oftentimes enduring, this study shows that the tropical environment offered its own challenges. Weather, terrain, plants, and animals all played an active role as enemy or ally. 2009, 448 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3265-0, cloth, US$60.00. ISBN 978-0-8248-3350-3, paper, US$30.00.

Gagana Samoa: A Samoan Language Coursebook, Revised Edition, by Galumalemana Afeleti Hunkin, a senior lecturer in Samoan studies at Victoria University of Wellington, is a modern Samoan language resource. With an emphasis on patterns of speech and communication, the book includes ten practical dialogues, more than 950 exercises, and a glossary of words used in the coursebook. There is an optional CD. 2009, 208 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3131-8, paper, US$26.00.

Ethnobotany of Pohnpei: Plants, People, and Island Culture, edited by Michael J Balick, examines the relationship between plants, people, and traditional culture on Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Balick is the director of the Institute of Economic Botany at the New York Botanical Garden. The book is published in association with the botanical garden. 2009, 608 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3293-3, paper, US$28.00.

Tonga: A New Bibliography, by Martin Daly, former publications manager with the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, is a selective guide to the most significant and accessible English-language books, papers, and articles on Tonga’s history, culture, arts, politics, environment, and economy. 2009, 224 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3196-7, cloth, US$65.00.

Sailors and Traders: A Maritime History of the Pacific Peoples, by scholar and mariner Alastair Couper, is the first comprehensive account of the maritime peoples of the Pacific. It focuses on the sailors who led the exploration and settlement of the islands and provides information on traditional and commercial seagoing across major periods in Pacific history. 2008, 262 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3239-1, cloth, US$55.00.

Terror in Our Midst: Searching for Terrorism in Aotearoa New Zealand 2007, edited by historian Danny Keenan, looks at the police raids in the township of Rutoki, in October 2007, which were largely targeted at Maori. Keenan and other writers examine these events in the context of historical relationships of colonization in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Published by Huia Publishers and available from UH Press. 2008, 340 pages. ISBN 978-1-86969-329-9, paper, US$30.00.

Living Spirits with Fixed Abodes: The Masterpieces Exhibition of the Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery, edited by Barry Craig, includes the most significant cultural treasures on display at the Papua New Guinea National Museum. 2008, 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3151-6, paper, US$80.00.

UH Press bookscan be ordered through the Orders Department, University of Hawai‘i Press, 2840Kolowalu Street, Honolulu, HI 96822-1888; website

Other Books

In God’s Image: The Metaculture of Fijian Christianity, by anthropologist Matt Tomlinson, is a study of life on Kadavu Island. According to Tomlinson, Christianity on Kadavu generates both a sense of what has been lost since ancestral times and a way of recuperating from this loss through ritual and political action. Published by University of California Press. 2009, 263 pages. ISBN 978-0-520-25777-1, cloth, US$55.00; ISBN 978-0-520-25778-8, paper, US$21.95.

Tonga: In Search of the Friendly Islands, by broadcaster and publisher Kalafi Moala, explores the dilemmas, paradoxes, and challenges of modern Tonga. Moala examines a number of issues, including domestic violence, the culture of domination and hierarchy, traditional and modern leadership, economic development, globalization, and spirituality. Published by Pasifika Foundation Hawai‘i and the Pacific Media Centre. 2009, 164 pages. ISBN 978-1-817-31475-9, paper, NZ34.95.

Oil, Fire, and Fate: The Sinking of the USS Mississinewa AO-59 in WWII by Japan’s Secret Weapon, by Michael Mair, is a history of Ulithi Atoll during World War II. Mair is the son of a USS Mississinewa (AO-59) crewman. Published by SMJ Publishing. 2008, 642 pages. ISBN 978-0-9790905-1-6, US$21.00. (See the website at

Bibliographic Index of Pacific Theses in New Zealand Universities lists references to all master’s and doctoral theses about the Pacific submitted to New Zealand universities since 1900. Although the index is currently available only to participating universities in New Zealand and to members of the funding group, Building Research Capability in the Social Sciences (BRCSS) Network, the developers’ hope is that the index will eventually be available more freely online. The three-volume publication is currently available in hard copy or on CD-ROM. For information, e-mail at Auckland University of Technology Te Wananga Aronui O Tamaki Makau Rau.

Films,Videos, and DVDs

The following films were in competition at the Tahiti Festival international du Film documentaire Océanien (FIFO) in 2009 and will be shown at the second Pacific Islands Film Festival in Honolulu, 7–9 August 2009:

March toward Self-Government (2009; VHS-NTSC; 87 minutes) is the fifth and final video of the History of Micronesia video series produced by Micronesian Seminar, in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. Number 63 in the Micronesian Seminar’s Island Topics series, it covers the social changes and political transition that took place during the late trust territory years (1960–1980). The video is US$10.00 at


TCP cover

The latest issue of The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs includes articles, dialogue pieces, political reviews, and book and media reviews.


Beyond Migration: Samoan Population Movement (Malaga) and the Geography of Social Space (Va)
Sa‘iliemanu Lilomaiava-Doktor

The Red Wave Collective: The Process of Creating Art at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture
Katherine Higgins


A Well with No Water
Brij V Lal

The “Sea of Little Lands”: Examining Micronesia’s Place in “Our Sea of Islands”
David Hanlon


Micronesia in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008
John R Haglelgam, David W Kupferman, Kelly G Marsh, Samuel F McPhetres, Donald R Shuster

Polynesia in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008
Lorenz Gonschor, Jon Tikivanotau M Jonassen, Margaret Mutu, Unasa L F Va‘'a

The current issue of The Contemporary Pacific (TCP) marks a change in editorship, with CPIS Associate Professor Terence Wesley-Smith succeeding former editor Vilsoni Hereniko. In his editor’s note, Wesley-Smith says that he is committed to broadening access to the journal where possible, especially via the Internet. Although TCP has been available electronically on Project Muse since 2000, there are no Muse subscribers in the Pacific Islands and very few in Australia and New Zealand. To address this issue, the editorial board plans to make use of the University of Hawai‘i’s online ScholarSpace facility. Work is already underway to digitize volumes 1 through 11 (1989–1999) of the journal. Subsequent issues of the journal are already in digital form and will also be posted on the site. The latest political reviews are posted on the East-West Center’s Pacific Islands Report at Book and media reviews for each issue are also freely available, at, under issue contents.

The artist featured on the cover and throughout the current issue is Tongan artist Lingikoni Vaka‘uta, an economics student at the University of the South Pacific (USP). According to Katherine Higgins’s about the artist note, his journey as an artist began when he joined the first painting workshop at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture, at USP, in 1998. Given a piece of canvas and told to tell his story, Lingikoni found inspiration in his memories of growing up in Lapaha, Tonga. He continues to find inspiration in the poetic and insightful Tongan metaphors and stories he has learned or composed. Confidante and mentor to his fellow artists at the Oceania Centre, Lingikoni is now the coordinator of the Red Wave Collective, as the artists at the center are known. He is currently completing a Master of Arts in Pacific studies at the university.


13th Tonga Research Association Conference

The organizers of the 13th Tonga Research Association Conference, Siu‘alaimoana: Voyaging through the Oceans of Tongan Theories and Practices, have issued a call for papers for the 3–6 December 2009 conference in Berkeley, California. Siu‘alaimoana refers to the long-distance flight of birds across the ocean in search of food. The deadline to submit an abstract is 31 May 2009, with expressions of interest requested as soon as possible, to Tevita O Ka‘ili at Although the main interest is in Tongan theories and practices, papers in any area of Tongan studies are welcome.

Pacific Arts Association Tenth International Symposium

The Pacific Arts Association Tenth International Symposium will be held on Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 11–13 August 2010. The conference website is

Conferences Announced in Previous Newsletters


Call for Abstracts—Transoceanic Flows

Amerasia Journal invites contributions for a special issues on Transoceanic Flows: Pacific Islander Interventions across the American Empire. Studies about Pacific Islanders and the American Empire often invoke anthropological and area studies notions of culture and identity, theory, and history. Hawai–i receives the most attention among these studies. Few scholars have ventured beyond Hawai‘i and taken stock of Pacific Islanders’ engagements with American Empire in Micronesia and in the continental United States. This issue will call attention to these Pacific Islander interventions and to the ways in which they inform and are informed by the politics of ethnic studies, gender studies, indigenous studies, race studies, and sexuality studies.

The consulting guest editor for the issue is Keith L Camacho (CPIS MA, 1998), assistant professor of Pacific Islander studies, UCLA Asian American Studies Department. The editor of Amerasia Journal is UCLA Adjunct Professor Russell C Leong. The due date for two-page abstracts is 1 September 2009. Inquiries and abstracts should be sent to Camacho at and Leong at

New UOG Social Sciences Journal Seeks Submissions

Pacific Asia Inquiry: Multidisciplinary Perspectives is a new online occasional journal from the University of Guam’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The editor, Amy Owen, welcomes articles, critical essays, and case studies—both applied and theoretical—across the liberal arts and social sciences. Manuscripts focusing on or including the Micronesian region of the Pacific are of particular interest. Inquiries and submissions may be forwarded to Owen at

New SEA Semester Program for 2010

Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems is a new Sea Education Association (SEA) program for January–March 2010. It will take place aboard the sailing research vessel Robert C Seamans, in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and in the waters and on the islands of French Polynesia. Students will study the dilemma of environmental and cultural sustainability in French Polynesia. For more information see the website at

Call for Papers: South Pacific Journal of Natural Science

Frank Thomas, associate editor for the archaeology/human ecology section of the University of the South Pacific’s (USP) South Pacific Journal of Natural Science, has announced a call for papers for the journal. A peer-reviewed publication, the journal is an annual online publication of the Faculty of Science and Technology at USP. Contributors should consult publication guidelines at, and submit papers to Thomas at

Hulili: Call for Papers for Hawaiian Journal

The editors of the Kamehameha Schools journal Hulili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being have issued a call for papers for volume 6. Hlili highlights theory, practice, and research on Native Hawaiian issues from diverse disciplines such as education, health, sociology, anthropology, and economics. To request manuscript guidelines, e-mail To view previous volumes of Hulili, visit

Pacific Art at the College Arts Association Conference

Organizers Margo Machida and Jewel Castro are calling for participation in the Pacific Arts Association session at the College Arts Association Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, 10–13 February 2010. The panel aims to draw attention to visual art produced by Pacific Islander peoples living in the continental United States. The deadline for getting proposals to Machida ( or Castro ( is 3 May 2009. For detailed information on the proposal submission process and on the conference, see the website at

Call for Submissions: Dreadlocks, Volume 6, 2009

Dreadlocks is the annual literary/cultural issues/creative expression journal of the School of Language, Arts, and Media at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. Journal articles, reviews, photo essays, creative works, and interviews are invited, with some Pacific content preferred, but not essential.

Dreadlocks is a refereed journal. Electronic submissions only are solicited. They should follow the journal guidelines and be in MS-Word format. Email submissions to Final date for submissions is Friday, 14 August 2009. For more information, see

Call for Submissions: Micronesian Anthology

Writing by indigenous writers from Micronesia (including Guam, Saipan and the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk, Yap, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Nauru) is being sought for the first anthology focused specifically on this region. The deadline for submissions is 1 June 2009. For further information on submission requirements, please contact the editors, Evelyn Flores and Emelihter Kihleng, at


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

Vilsoni Hereniko, 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

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