Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 2 April-June 1995


Student and Alumni News
CPIS Faculty Activities
Pacific Islands Studies Visitors
Occasional Seminars
New Publications from UH Press
Other New Publications
Bulletin Board


Participants in the joint Pacific History Association-UH Center for Pacific Islands Studies conference, "History, Culture, and Power in the Pacific," will be welcomed at an opening reception the evening of 9 July at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. Dr Lilikala KAME'ELEIHIWA, Center for Hawaiian Studies at UH Manoa, will lead the events of Wednesday, 10 July. Her keynote speech Wednesday morning in the auditorium is open to the public free of charge. Sessions throughout the day on Wednesday will focus largely on issues of history, culture, and power in Hawai'i, and the day will conclude with an evening performance by the renowned Halau 'O Kekuhi.

Sessions continue on Thursday morning, all day Friday, and on Saturday morning. Thursday afternoon the conference will move to the volcano with a cultural tour led by members of halau 'O Kekuhi. Friday evening concludes with a banquet and a keynote address by Greg DENING, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Melbourne.

Papers from the conference will be published in conference proceedings. For registration information and a tentative program, contact Tisha Hickson at the address on the masthead. For questions about dormitory accommodations and meal plans on the Hilo campus, contact the UH-Hilo Conference Center; e-mail; tel (808) 933-3555; fax (808) 933-3684.


The center will cosponsor "Multi-Ethnic Literatures Across the Americas and the Pacific: Exchanges, Contestations, and Alliances," a conference of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (MELUS). The conference, to be held at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 18-20 April 1997, is being coordinated by the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature. In addition to papers on the multi-ethnic literatures of North America, the organizers welcome comparative perspectives that address the growing cultural and textual connections between America and the Pacific, as well as comparative perspectives on postcolonial and American ethnic literature. Presenters should be members of MELUS, and the deadline for proposals is 15 October. Special sessions are scheduled for K-12 teachers.

For conference information, contact 1997 MELUS Conference Chair, UH-Manoa Department of English, Honolulu, HI 96822; e-mail; fax (808) 956-3083.

For MELUS membership information, contact Dr Arlene ELDER, English Department, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221.


Eighth Annual Graduate Student Conference

The 1996 School of Hawaiian, Asian & Pacific Studies (SHAPS) graduate student conference, "Pacific-Asian Concerns: Theories and Issues of Change," provided stimulating noontime fare throughout the second week in March. Paper topics included women, the state, and labor in postwar Japan; Hawaiian women in the resistance to annexation; masculinity under attack in postmodern Japan; children and tourists in Nepal; the Chinese church-state relationship; hula halau in Japan; and new medicines from old Polynesian plants. The conference concluded with a thoughtful and probing, student and faculty discussion of the future and purpose of area studies in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the reception following the conference, the Albert J Moscotti awards were given for the top papers in the Asian and the Pacific categories. Winner of the Pacific prize was Allison A C SMITH for her paper, "Representations of Hawai'i's Ocean in Tourism Literature." Smith, a student in geography, analyzed the misfit between the meanings created in images of the ocean in tourist literature and the meanings and significance the ocean has for Hawaiians.

Rabaul Library Book Appeal

With the volcanic eruption on 19 September 1994 at Rabaul, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, the Rabaul Library lost its roof and seventy percent of its stock. The library was well used, particularly by the students of the East New Britain University Centre, and had a good collection of books relevant to the interests of people in the area. The library will be rebuilt sometime next year with international funds. In the meantime, with the approval of the Administrator of East New Britain and library staff, books and cash are being solicited to help restock the new library.

Donations of books will be stored in Canberra until they can be housed in East New Britain. Donations should be sent to Professor Hank NELSON, History Department, RSSS, Australian National University, Canberra 0200, Australia; e-mail


Former student Christy HARRINGTON (MA 1995), whose thesis was on Fiji's Garment Workers in Global Context, is in the second year of the doctoral program in anthropology at University of Otago. Christy is continuing her research in Fiji as well as doing research in a training program for garment workers in New Zealand and tutoring in social anthropology.


Visit Kansai ...

Center faculty members Robert C KISTE, Vilsoni HERENIKO, Geoffrey WHITE, and Marion KELLY, along with Hugh KANG, Professor of History, anthropologist Robert FRANCO, Kapi'olani Community College, and Joyce S TSUNODA, Chancellor for Community Colleges, University of Hawai'i, spent the last week of March at Kansai University in Osaka. They were invited by the university to take part in an international symposium featuring a session on "Contemporary Societies of the Pacific Region - Environment, Development, and Culture."

The symposium, which was sponsored by the Institute of Oriental and Occidental Studies, is part of the university's efforts to expand the expertise of the faculty teaching about the Pacific Islands region. It is also part of a larger international education initiative at Kansai. Dr Kiste was the keynote speaker for the session. Chancellor Tsunoda, who also spoke, was instrumental in establishing a relationship between Kansai and the University of Hawai'i. The two universities have an agreement to promote student exchange and collaborative faculty studies, and members of the Kansai faculty have visited Hawai'i several times to attend conferences and to discuss common interests.

. . . And Enjoy Summer at Sea

Vilsoni HERENIKO and Terence WESLEY-SMITH will be away from the center from 15 May to 15 July while they take part in the University of Pittsburgh Semester at Sea program. Semester at Sea is a unique educational program in which students earn a semester's credit for courses that take place on the SS Universe Explorer. The summer 1996 session, the first to tour the Pacific, visits Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Western Samoa, and Hawai'i. Courses, many of which focus on the Pacific Islands, include topics in anthropology, biological sciences, literature and film, geography, geology, history of art, music, and religion. Educational activities while the ship is in port complement the shipboard classes, and students are also encouraged to travel independently.

The academic dean for the 1996 summer semester is Richard Scaglion, Professor of Anthropology at University of Pittsburgh, who was a Visiting Colleague at the center last year.


Professor Louise PELTZER, Université Française du Pacifique, recently spent two weeks at UH-Manoa at the invitation of the Tahitian language program head, Jack WARD. Peltzer directs the Reo Ma'ohi (Polynesian Language and Culture Studies) program at UFP, which confers degrees corresponding to the Associate Degree and the BA. She is also a poet and novelist who publishes in French and Tahitian.

In addition to teaching extra sessions for first, second, and third-year Tahitian language classes, Professor Peltzer recorded poetry and prose material for the Tahitian collection in the Language and Telecommunications Resource and Learning Center. This was her second visit to the Tahitian program since 1993. She also met with center director, Robert C KISTE, to discuss strengthening ties between programs in Tahiti and Hawai'i.

Mac MARSHALL, Professor of Anthropology, University of Iowa, spent a week in January at the center working with director Kiste to finish editing the volume of papers from the center's 1993 conference on American anthropology and Micronesia. Marshall was returning from preliminary fieldwork in Micronesia on the social, financial, and health costs of tobacco usage in the islands.

Cluny MACPHERSON, University of Auckland sociologist, spent a week at the center working in Hamilton Library's Pacific Collection after taking part in the annual Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO) meeting in Kona in February.

Verena KECK, Institute of Ethnology, Basel, Switzerland, and Jürg WASSMANN, University of Heidelburg, were also in town for the ASAO meeting, They spent a morning meeting with center staff, discussing our respective centers and the activities and upcoming conference of the European Society for Oceanists (ESO) in December.

Rod ALLEY, Victoria University of Wellington, was a Visiting Colleague at the center for the month of March. Alley, who is on study leave to work on a book on the UN's impact in the Asia-Pacific region, was doing research in the Pacific Collection as well as talking with University of Hawai'i and East-West Center scholars. He gave a seminar based on a chapter from the book.


Dr David GEGEO, California State University at Monterey Bay, spoke on Indigenous Epistemology and Local Knowledge in Rural Development: Toward a New Paradigm, on 14 February. Gegeo's talk was based on his research over the past several years in the Solomon Islands on islanders' engagement, both practical and theoretical, with development issues and activities.

Dr Rod ALLEY, Senior Lecturer in Politics at Victoria University of Wellington, spoke on "An Outward-Looking South Pacific?" on 21 March. In his talk he looked at the expectations generated by sovereignty and new relations of interdependence and the evidence for a change in orientation by public sector management.


Guardians of Marovo Lagoon: Practice, Place, and Politics in Maritime Melanesia, by Edvard HVIDING, is the latest volume in the center's Pacific Islands Monograph Series. Hviding, associate professor of social anthropology at the University of Bergen, first went to the Solomon Islands in 1986 as a researcher for the Marovo Lagoon Resource Management Project, an undertaking by the Marovo Area Council to document traditional knowledge, uses, and management of the resources of the lagoon. In his book, he examines Marovo people's vast knowledge of the coastal-marine environment in New Georgia in the western Solomon Islands, as well as the striking flexibility of social relationships expressed most clearly through the customary marine tenure system. ISBN 0-8248-1664-1, US$45.

The latest publication in the Talanoa: Contemporary Pacific Literature Series, edited by Vilsoni HERENIKO, is the republication of Albert WENDT'S first, trailblazing novel Sons for the Return Home, originally published in 1973. According to Hereniko, "The story of star-crossed lovers may be one that readers will have heard before, but this one is told by a visionary who sees cross-cultural encounters - particularly those between Samoans and pakeha New Zealanders - with more clarity than most." ISBN 0-8248-1796-6, paper US$12.95.

Also available from UH Press is Wendt's latest novel, Black Rainbow. Set in New Zealand, it has been described as both an adventure story and a futuristic allegory. ISBN 0-8248-1586-6, paper $14.95.

Observations Made during a Voyage Round the World, first published by Johann Reinhold FORSTER in 1778, appears in a new edition with introductory essays by the editors, Nicholas THOMAS, Harriet GUEST, and Michael DETTELBACH. Forster's observations constitute the most significant and substantial analysis of non-Western cultures that emerged as a result of the Cook voyages. The editors' essays provide information on the historical, ethnographic, political, and scientific contexts for the book's concerns. ISBN 0-8248-1725-7, US$55.

Books may be ordered from Orders Department, University of Hawai'i Press, 2840 Kolowalu St, Honolulu, HI 96822. Fax (808) 988-6052; tel (808) 956-8255 or, within the Americas, 1-800-956-2840.


He Pukenga Korero: A Journal of Mori Studies published its inaugural issue in Spring of 1995. The semiannual journal (ISSN 1173-5767, NZ$50), which comes out of the Department of Mori Studies, Massey University, provides a publishing venue, in both Mori and English, for Mori academic authors in disciplines such as linguistics, sociology, history, visual arts, philosophy, political science, health sciences, and the environmental sciences.

Articles in the first issue take as their focus the roles of Mori academics in Mori development and general education; the economics of whnau participation; the role of whnau values, practices, and structures in innovative responses to educational under-achievement and loss of language, knowledge, and culture; tino rangatiratanga, self-determination, and the development of a national Mori body politic; and misleading extrapolations from early European impressions.


Micronesian Counselor Online

The Microstate Network and Island Initiatives Consulting has announced the online publication of the complete series of Micronesian Counselor, an occasional bulletin on social and development issues produced by the Micronesian Seminar. Micronesian Seminar is a private, nonprofit, Jesuit-run organization based in Pohnpei. Its main goal is to encourage the people of Micronesia to reflect on current issues and problems brought on by modernization.

The Web address for Micronesian Counselor and for information about Micronesian Seminar is Seventeen titles are available including: The Dilemmas of Development: Effects of Modernization on Three Areas of Island Life; Kokan: Youthful Female Runaways in the Marshalls; What Can We Do To Prevent Suicide?; Social Isolation, Cultural Competence, and Disability in the Carolines; Land Issues in Chuuk; and Mental Illness in Micronesia.

Microstate Network is a collection of resources and services developed by Microstate Ltd. for the purpose of fostering public and private sector development in small states and islands. Using the internet, the organization has developed links to resources and publicly accessible electronic databases and training modules. Their Web address is

Pacific Islanders in Communication

Hawaiian filmmakers Carlyn Tani and Ann Marie Kirk have won the prestigious Gold Apple, awarded by the National Educational Media Network for excellence in educational media, for their production, Happy Birthday TtRuth. The documentary is currently being shown nationally on public television and can be purchased from PIC.

Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC) also announces their new website,, with information on grants; institutes and workshops; and the Pacific Island Images Film Festival, 1-4 August 1996; as well as information about recent PIC productions Then There Were None and Pacific Diaries (Chamoru Dreams, The Samoan Heart, and Happy Birthday TtRuth). There are also plans to include articles from their quarterly newsletter.

For more information on Pacific Islanders in Communication and their video productions, contact PIC, 1221 Kapi'olani Boulevard, Suite 64-A, Honolulu, HI 96814. Tel (808) 591-0059; fax (808) 591-1114; e-mail

Macmillan Brown Centre Scholars

The Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury invites applications for positions as Research and Visiting Scholars in 1997. Successful applicants will be selected on their research record. Applicants without formal qualifications will be considered on the basis of experience and research interests. Research Scholars are funded from the centre's scholarship program; Visiting Scholars are those who have their own funding from other institutions, but are attached to the centre.

The Macmillan Brown Centre was established in 1988 with the objective of encouraging and promoting the study and research of the countries, peoples, and cultures of the Pacific, including New Zealand. The centre's main activities include its research and visiting scholars program, publications, and teaching. Since its inception, the centre has hosted some 40 scholars under its research and visitors program.

Applications close on Friday, 12 July 1996. For conditions of award write to The Director, Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. Tel (64-3) 364-2957; fax (64-3) 364-2002; e-mail


Globalization as a Challenge to Small States

The conference will take place in Switzerland, 12-14 July 1996, at the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), Geneva, Switzerland. The goal of the conference is to assess the challenge of globalization in three areas: concepts of unit, space, and purpose in globalized small states; implications for civic and institutional stability and adaptation; and policies, policy conflict, and economic performance correlates. For information, contact Randall KINDLEY, 5214 45th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55417-2334. E-mail; tel (612) 721-6752; fax (612) 626-2242.

French Worlds, Pacific Worlds

The conference "France, Australia, and Pacific Nuclear Testing in Context" will be held 16-17 July 1996 at Newman College, Melbourne University. An international array of speakers will examine the historical and regional contexts for French nuclear testing including Pacific and independence movements, a green world, media and public opinion, and Francophilia to Francophobia in Australia and beyond. The conference is convened by Stephen ALOMES and Michael PROVIS, Deakin University. For information contact Provis at 61-52-27-2964, e-mail; or Alomes at 61-3-9372-1531. Lodging is at Newman College, 887 Swanston St, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia; tel 61-3-9347-5577; fax 61-3-9349-2592.

The Western Pacific, 5000 to 2000 BP: Colonizations and Transformations

This 31 July-6 August 1996 conference in Port Vila is sponsored by the Vanuatu National Museum, Australian National University, and ORSTOM. The main academic sessions will take place on 1-2 August and 5-6 August with a field trip on Saturday 3 August. The conference will be the third in the "Lapita series," following on previous conferences at ANU and ORSTOM. It will coincide with a major exhibition of ethnographic arts, mainly from European collections, which will be held at the recently constructed National Museum of Vanuatu. The official conference hotel is the Windsor Hotel, with sessions to be held at the National Museum. Inquiries about accommodations can be made directly to the Windsor Hotel International, Kumul Highway, PO Box 810, Port Vila, Vanuatu. Tel (678) 22150; fax (678) 22678.

The conveners of the conference are Matthew SPRIGGS and Jean-Christophe GALIPAUD. If you are planning on participating and have not contacted one of the conveners, please get in touch with Jean-Christophe Galipaud, ORSTOM, PO Box 76, Port Vila. Tel (678) 22268; fax (678) 23276; e-mail GALIPAUD@VANUATU.ORSTOM.FR.

13th Annual Pacific Educational Conference

"The Pacific Family: Navigating to Excellence," 6-8 August 1996 in Pohnpei, FSM, is the thirteenth conference of the Pacific Region Educational Laboratory (PREL). Over 1000 delegates are expected to attend the conference workshops, which cover a wide range of Pacific educational topics with appeal for teachers, principals, staff, parents, students, and community members.

Registration before 30 May is $75 and after 30 May is $100. Housing is being arranged upon request by the PEC '96 Organizing Committee or participants may make their own arrangements. For further information contact PEC '96 Organizing Committee, Pohnpei State Department of Education, PO Box 250, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM 96941; tel (691) 320-2102; fax (691) 320-3864. Information is also available from Pacific Region Educational Laboratory, PREL Conference Liaison, 828 Fort Street Mall, Suite 500, Honolulu, HI 96813; tel (808) 533-6000; fax (808) 533-7599; e-mail

PREL is a nonprofit corporation for educational research and improvement serving children and educators in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawai'i, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. PREL's Web address is:

Malacology: Medical and Applied

The Fourth International Congress of Medical and Applied Malacology will be held in Santiago, Chile, 7-11 October 1996. The purpose of the congress, which is organized by Universidad de Chile, International Society of Medical and Applied Malacology, and Sociedad Malacológica de Chile, is to promote the interchange of malacological information between scientists and other professionals from around the world and to enhance and extend the knowledge of medical and applied malacology. The official language of the conference is English with simultaneous translation into Spanish. For information, contact Dra Cecilia OSORIO R, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile.

From Myth to Minerals in New Guinea and Aboriginal Australia

"From Myth to Minerals: Place, Narrative, Land, and Transformation in New Guinea and Australia" is the title of a conference planned for Adelaide in 1997. Conference organizers Peter Sutton, Alan Rumsey, and James Weiner are inviting anthropologists from around the world to discuss the traditional and contemporary links - cultural, social, political, and otherwise - between the indigenous societies and cultures of Australia and New Guinea.

Suggested topics include the progress of internal colonialism in Australia as opposed to its external counterpart in New Guinea; the uses and nature of knowledge systems; the emergence of landowner as a contemporary Aboriginal and New Guinea political and social status; the critical role of consulting anthropology in both areas; the role of art in mediating new and traditional cultural identities; the marked use of gender contrast for a variety of discursive and social categorizations; and the role of religion and Christianity. For information, contact James WEINER, Department of Anthropology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia. Fax 61-8-303-5733; e-mail

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

Robert C. Kiste, Director
Letitia Hickson, Editor

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

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