Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 3 July–September 2009


Translating the Human Symposium in January
UHM Pacific Collection Active on Several Fronts
Torres Strait islands Exhibition at the EWC
News in Brief
Heyum Scholarship Awarded
Samoan language Program Reaches into Community
Michel Tuffery in Residence at UHM
Student Profile: Ann Marie N Kirk
Impressions after the Tsunami
Center Occasional Seminars
Student and Alumni Activities
Faculty and Staff Activities
Publications, CDs, and Moving Images
Conferences and Meetings
Bulletin Board


The interdisciplinary symposium Translating the Human: Rights, Ethics, and Practices Across Cultures will be held at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, 14–15 January 2010. The symposium will explore the question of the human through the prism of linguistic and cultural translation: What is the human? How and why do we mark the boundary between the human and the nonhuman? How can an ethical humanism affect language, identity, and place? Do Western forms of humanism articulate with indigenous perspectives and philosophies?

The featured speakers include Manulani Meyer, associate professor of education at UH Hilo; Susan Schweik, professor of English and co-director of the Disability Studies Program at University of California–Berkeley; Konai Helu Thaman, professor and personal chair of Pacific Education and Culture at the University of the South Pacific; and Salah D Hassan, assistant professor of English at Michigan State University.

The cosponsors are the UHM Center for Pacific Islands Studies, UHM Comparativism and Translation in Literary and Cultural Studies, UHM Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, the UHM Department of English and others. For more information see the website at



Goroka house
House in Goroka (1955), from the George
Grace Collection

In August, the Pacific Collection completed design work on the George Grace Collection: Melanesia 1955–1956, an online assemblage of digitized photographs, field notes, and correspondence of Dr George Grace, professor emeritus of UHM Department of Linguistics. Between 1955 and 1956, Dr Grace traveled extensively in Melanesia, working to produce a classification of the Austronesian languages of Oceania, with particular attention to the position of Polynesian languages. He donated his research materials to the Pacific Collection in 2007. Creation of the digital collection was funded by a grant from the Pacific Rim Digital Libraries Alliance (PRDLA) with additional support from CPIS’s US Department of Education Title VI NRC grant, and marks the first time the Pacific Collection has made an entire manuscript collection available online. (In September, Dr Grace discovered an additional set of field notes from this research, and has since donated them to the library—these are in the process of being scanned for inclusion on the site.) The Grace Collection can be viewed at

The Grace material joins several other UHM Library collections that have been contributed to the Oceania Digital Library project at, an offshoot of the PRDLA that aims to provide open access to Pacific-related library resources worldwide. Links to all of the Pacific Collection’s online material can be found at

In other news, following the devastating earthquakes and tsunami in Sāmoa, American Sāmoa, and Tonga, Pacific Collection Curator Dr Karen Peacock organized a donation drive within the library. With the aid of Pacific Specialist Lynette Furuhashi, twenty-five bags of clothing were eventually gathered for shipment to Pago Pago, via the American Sāmoa governor’s office in Honolulu. Additional UHM library donations were hand-carried by Jane Barnwell (of Honolulu-based Pacific Resources in Education and Learning), who joined Lynn Davis (head of UHM Library’s Preservation Department) on a relief mission to aid American Samoan libraries and archives in preserving damaged materials. The donations carried by Jane were delivered to Territorial Librarian Cheryl Morales-Polataivao, for distribution through the Feleti Barstow Public Library. Dr. Peacock also mailed an additional three boxes of T-shirts and much-needed rubber slippers directly to Ms Morales-Polataivao.

Finally, owing to recent budget cuts, the entire UHM Hamilton Library (including its Hawaiian and Pacific Collections) will be closed to the public during the winter interim (19 December 2009–10 January 2010) and spring recess (22–26 March 2010). During these periods, Hawaiian and Pacific Collection librarians will respond to e-mail reference queries as staffing permits, but no other services will be available. For further updates on library hours see the library website at


Torres Strait Islander dancer
Torres Strait Islander dancer

The East-West Center Arts Program is presenting Dance Machines from the Torres Strait Islands, a touring exhibition from Gab Titui Cultural Centre, Thursday Island, Torres Strait, Australia. The majority of the people in the 17 inhabited Torres Strait Islands are Melanesians, historically and culturally connected to the coastal peoples of Papua New Guinea. Dance is a major form of creative expression, and dance machines (zamiyakal) refers to hand-held mechanical moving objects and elaborate moving headdresses. Each clan and each island group has its own unique performance styles, passed down from generation to generation. In addition, each dance group has a unique array of dance machines, musical instruments, costumes, and repertoire.

The exhibit, by guest curator Robyn Fernandez, opened at the East-West Center Gallery, with a performance, on 1 November 2009 and continues through 3 January 2010. For more information, see the website at


President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

In an executive order on 14 October 2009, President Barack Obama established the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), in the US Department of Education, as well as a White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Each will work to improve the quality of life and opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through increased access to and participation in federal programs in which they are underserved. Executive departments and agencies designated by the initiative must prepare a plan for, and document, efforts to improve the quality of life of AAPIs. They must also solicit public input from AAPI communities on ways to increase and improve opportunities for public participation in federal programs, considering a number of factors, including language barriers.


The Center for Pacific Islands Studies is very pleased to announce the 2009–2010 recipient of the Renée Heyum Scholarship. Congratulations to Carolyne Papali‘i. A junior at UH Mānoa, Carolyne is an outstanding student majoring in social work. She is also the first in her family to attend college. According to Carolyne, growing up in a less-privileged community offered financial and academic challenges, but more importantly, it made her realize the value of a college education. She worked many hours as a volunteer in her community during her freshman and sophomore years, and she sees her social work degree as a way of building the skills she needs to help those in the community who are underrepresented.

The Renée 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 generally available to support one scholarship in the amount of $3,000 each year. The fund welcomes donations! Contributions may be sent to the UH Foundation/Heyum Endowment, University of Hawai‘i, 2444 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822.

Information on the annual competition is on the Web at


Samoan language learning in the community took a big step forward with the creation last year of Le Fetuao, a Samoan language school at the First Samoan Methodist Church. Two members of the UH Mānoa community were instrumental in the founding of the school—Elisapeta Tu‘upo-Alaimaleata, a specialist at the UHM Center on Disability Studies, is director and founder, and Fepulea‘i Lasei Dr John Mayer, associate professor of Samoan language and culture and chair of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, is one of the administrators. According to Mayer, Le Fetuao, the first school of its kind in Hawai‘i, is based on a model developed in New Zealand over ten years ago. The community outreach program is designed to provide preschool to middle school children with language and cultural vernacular education. The Reverend Nu‘utele Vaeena is the executive director of Le Fetuao, which provides its lessons free of charge and is open to nonchurch members.

UH support and expertise has been critical in the success and growth of the school. Mayer and other members of the Samoan Language and Culture Program have assisted with curriculum development and instruction. Although the primary aim of Le Fetuao is to empower Samoan youth to be productive and contributing citizens, with strong self-images and knowledge of their Samoan heritage, the school is planning to expand its activities to teach Samoan language to adults, especially the parents of Fetuao children. This will enable the families to learn together and build a solid foundation for the language in the home.

For more information on Le Fetuao, see the website at


Scholarships for Native Peoples from the Americas and Pacific Islands

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has announced the following scholarships for 2010, which are open to Native peoples from the Americas, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Indigenous Pacific Islanders:

For more information about these scholarships and an application form, see the website at The deadline is 15 December 2009.

East-West Center Scholarships for 2010

For information on EWC fellowships, see the website at

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is expanding its successful 4-year funding program for PhD students (Canadian and international). Pacific Islands students and students interested in the Pacific Islands are encouraged to apply. There is a video at and more information at


Nui Te Wai Pounamu stamp, by Michel Tuffery
Nui Te Wai Pounamu 1 Cent
(Michel Tuffery)

Artist Michel Tuffery, an acclaimed printmaker/painter/sculptor from Aotearoa/New Zealand, presented an illustrated lecture of his work on 9 September. Tuffery was the Center for Pacific Islands Studies visiting artist for 2009 and the UH Art Department’s fall 2009 Intersections artist. He began by showing some of his earliest work, his colorful prints of postage stamps, which incorporate endangered species. The stunningly beautiful prints grew out of early drawings on envelopes that were meant to surprise and engage people who came across them in the mail and also to alert them to a precious resource that was in danger of being lost. Both aspects of this early work, the importance of engaging people in artistic endeavors outside of the sometimes sterile and forbidding settings of galleries and museums and of educating people about the fragility of the natural environment, continue throughout Tuffery’s innovative art. Much of his art has a strong community element—whether he is setting up a street performance with his fiery creations or designing a skateboard park. Throughout his lecture Tuffery (who is of Samoan, Rarotongan, and Tahitian ancestry) talked about works that bridge gaps in cultural continuity—get the old ones talking to the young ones—and works that are destabilizing and probe community issues.

Equally engaged by his work and his personal stories were high school art students whom he visited at Kaimuki High School and Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. Students were amazed and delighted to see his work, which they described as awesome and fantastic. They particularly appreciated his explanations of design details and how he created his pieces. Also important to them was insight into the importance of art in perpetuating culture. In addition to visiting secondary schools, Tuffery made a presentation at UH West Oahu and spent time with local artists.

For more information on Tuffery and his boundary-crossing art see Jaimey Hamilton, an assistant professor in the UH Department of Art and Art History, coordinated Tuffery’s visit to UH Mānoa. ‘Ōlelo Community Television videotaped his public lecture and an interview by Jaimey Hamilton, and both programs were shown in November 2009.


Ann Marie N Kirk
Ann Marie N Kirk

Ann Marie Nalani Kirk is in the final stretch of her Pacific Islands studies MA program. Prior to joining the program she was actively engaged in work as a producer and director for the Tele-school Branch of the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and also active in the community. In 2008, Ann Marie launched a website,, featuring the unique history of the Maunalua Bay area on kūpuna (elders) and other people who are particularly knowledgeable about the environment and history of the area. In the following interview with the editor, Ann Marie talks about the site and her experiences in the MA program.

Before you started on your master’s, you had been out of school for a while and were heavily immersed in filming projects. What led you back to school and the MA program?

I had been doing a number of projects with Pacific themes through the years: from art and music to language, history, and archeology. I found the more projects I became involved in regarding the Pacific, the more questions I had, and the more I wanted to learn. I also wanted to make sure I was properly representing the stories of the people and cultures I was telling—an MA in Pacific Islands studies was the right fit for me.

In addition, one day I would like to teach digital storytelling at the college level. I would like to guide those who want to tell stories that reflect who they are and their Pacific culture. I feel having an MA in Pacific Islands studies makes sense for what I would like to do.

What do you think was the most valuable part, for you, of being in the MA program?

I know I should say it was a particular book I read, a film I saw, or class I took, but—honestly, for me—the most valuable part of the CPIS MA program was the incredible relationships I developed with other CPIS students from all over the Pacific and the continental US. Many times our student discussions would start in the academic classroom setting, but then they would spill over to Mānoa Gardens, where we would sit for hours discussing topics related to the Pacific and the specific areas we call home. AND, of course, through laughing, sharing beers (‘awa and sodas too) and, while talking story, we all got to know each other, and we became close friends.

It became extremely important for me to know what my friends in CPIS thought about particular issues in the Pacific, in their homelands, in their hometowns. Their thoughts, their voices, informed me about what our future can be in the Pacific, because they are the ones who will be creating positive change in the coming years. It’s a privilege for me to call my CPIS cohort my friends. I’m excited to see the work they will be doing in the future.

The site is so rich. How did you get involved in that, and what has it been like to work on the site?

Mahalo for your kind words about the website. I had been working on community issues like the establishment of public rights-of-way for East O‘ahu and the protection of cultural and historical sites in our area. What I discovered is that the larger community, and elected officials who make decisions about the future of our community, had really no idea of the long and deep cultural history of East O‘ahu and the importance of knowing and honoring that history for future generations by making appropriate decisions about our land and ocean areas. Should we really be allowing development over known cultural sites, as has been done in the past? Should we allow people to block access to the ocean when there is a long history of community use of the ocean in our area? And why do people speak of the developer Henry J Kaiser creating the Hawai‘i Kai community in East O‘ahu 40 years ago, not recognizing or being aware that Hawaiians have been living in the Maunalua community for over 1,000 years?

I had been collecting stories about Maunalua through the years as a hobby and then as a way of teaching others about the importance of the establishment of public rights-of-way to the ocean. Now, this information had a greater purpose: to educate the larger community about the place they live and why it is important to know its history—the history of Maunalua.

I thought, what would be the easiest and most effective way to get this information together so people could learn about East O‘ahu? My answer was the Internet. In my [MA] portfolio project I write about a digital sea of islands, where the guiding star to navigate your way is www. The Internet provided a place where I could put photographs; film; interviews with community members, cultural practitioners, archeologists, and historians; Hawaiian newspapers; and historical documents about Maunalua. With the click of just a few buttons, all this information about East O‘ahu is available and easy to navigate.

What I was doing with for the community fit in perfectly with my CPIS MA focus on digital storytelling. For the website I did numerous interviews with people, research online and in libraries, and research through community members’ private photos and documents—it was an enormous amount of work, but extremely rewarding. On the website there is currently over an hour and a half of movies. Many more movies will be posted at the website in the future.

Through the process of creating the website I began to see Maunalua through the eyes of my ancestors. I could see through the modern development, and begin to see the fishponds, heiau (places of worship) sites, house sites, and the people who once lived here. My visual landscape of Maunalua is forever changed, and I am so grateful for that—the past and present coexist in my vision.

It has been an incredible journey to put the Maunalua website together. I had no idea how much I would learn about Maunalua and how much people would want to share and be a part of the site. Kūpuna (elders) who thought people didn’t care about their stories and the history they know of East O‘ahu now know there are multitudes of people who care. It’s really exciting capturing the history from ku¯puna who want to share their stories with me.

The website, at, has been online for over a year now, and has had over 25,000 hits from around the world. I have been overwhelmed by the community response to the website and, more importantly, my goal to have people learn the history of Maunalua is a reality.

The motto I created for is Learn–Remember–Share. It’s simple and clear. I feel a huge responsibility to Maunalua to make sure I properly represent and share its stories. I also feel an enormous amount of aloha for Maunalua. It is a special place for me, the place I call home.

Where do you go from here? What projects will you be involved in?

I just finished a film on my grandfather Colonel Oliver H Kupau. It’s titled Homealani, and it will have its premiere on 13 December 2009 in Honolulu, at the Kamehameha Schools Kapālama campus. I’m really excited for people to come and see it. It’s a very personal film, but I hope people who see it will see the story of my grandfather speaks to many Hawaiians of his time who had to learn how to navigate and find balance living in a both a Hawaiian world and the Western world. It’s something many Hawaiians today are still trying to figure out how to do.

I am also in the beginning process of working with the Hawaiian Language Immersion office of the Hawai‘i Department of Education to produce a 9-part television series on Hawaiian-language newspapers from the 1800s and early 1900s. High school students in the immersion program will research the newspapers and create projects about what they’ve discovered. I think it’s going to be a really great series. It will be on in 2010.

I’m also in pre-production for a series I did a number of years ago entitled Eazy Tunes. It’s a really popular series, and I have a chance now to create new programs for it. Eazy Tunes is a television music show featuring island entertainers teaching students and community members how to play guitar. It’s a lot of fun to do and will be on air in 2010 as well.

I've been working on a few writing projects, one of which is a book about Maunalua, with the president of the Maunalua Fishpond Heritage Center, Chris Cramer. We don't have a target date for when it will be out, but I’m thinking definitely in the next few years.

AND continues on—the little website that could! I am currently collecting stories in Waimānalo, since parts of Maunalua were once part of Waimānalo. The Waimānalo community is so appreciative they are becoming part of the website, and, like the Maunalua community, they have been wonderful to work with. At this point, I actually have more information off the website than I have on it. I am just trying to find the time to work on it. Funny—a hobby became a community project, became my CPIS MA, and has returned to a hobby gone wild! And it is a hobby I know will continue to be a part of my life for many, many more years to come.


In the wake of the recent tsunami that devastated parts of the Samoan islands, two CPIS students with strong ties to the islands, Jessica Garlock and Aska Hirabe, visited Saāmoa, taking with them donations from friends and family in Hawai‘i and Japan, in some cases bringing assistance to those who had yet to receive aid. Below they write about their experiences returning to Saāmoa. Garlock first went to Sāmoa as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1999. Hirabe first went to Sāmoa as a backpacker in 2004 and is writing her MA thesis on the community-level sociocultural implications of climate change impacts in the village of Tafitoala.


Ten years ago, I boarded a plane and headed to Sāmoa to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I will never forget stepping off the plane that first time.

Recently, I boarded another plane headed for Sāmoa and experienced another first that I will never forget: a Sāmoa who will remain forever changed by the earthquake and tsunami of 29 September 2009. While in Sāmoa, I stayed with friends who have two small children. Lumepa-Rose, who is four years old, after gleefully receiving her gifts, asked me very seriously, Aunty Sita, can I tell you something sad? I could only brace myself. She told me about a preschool classmate of hers who was visiting with family when the tsunami struck their village. Her classmate survived, but her classmate’s 8-year-old sister did not.

Lumepa-Rose knows and understands what has happened. I wonder what her memory of the events will be in 10 or 20 years.

The first day that I headed out to see the destruction and locate friends and family members was a dreary one and one that I will never, ever forget. While Aunty Sita had a good cry that afternoon, it was Lumepa-Rose who got out the bubbles and played with me and her little brother that afternoon . . . who taught me about resilience and that if we don’t allow ourselves to have a little bit of fun and laughter, then we don’t have much at all.

The work continues. Rebuilding—physically and mentally—will take some time. While in Sāmoa, I was able work with Apitaga mo Tagata Soifua (similar to Habitat for Humanity) as well as Caritas Sāmoa (a Catholic aid agency)—both of whom will be involved in the rebuilding efforts. Please contact me at if you are interested in learning more or would like to be involved.

Fa’afetai tele lava to all of you who have helped with donations, thoughts, and prayers.


It had already been 10 days since the tsunami when I arrived on Upolu. The devastation caused by the tsunami was enormous, needless to say, although tsunami survivors had cleaned and cleared the area considerably; the level of their strenuous effort was apparent on skin darkened from working under the sun every day.

The coastal village I have been visiting for 6 years, Tafitoala, is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. With waves invading homes at high tides with increasing frequency, people of the village have been living with the fear that someday they would have to leave their land. Little did they know it would come true so soon. My namesake, four-year-old Little Aska, was so traumatized by the incident that her legs froze and she burst into tears whenever the ocean came into view. My good friend who had witnessed headless bodies and a lone, small hand of a little child under layers of debris has been resorting to alcohol, desperately trying to get those hellish images out of his mind. The psychological aftereffects of tsunamis are heartbreaking; they may be more complex than currently recognized by the public and certainly should not be underestimated.

However, people are being incredibly strong and coping with the situation as positively as they can. A friend of mine said, Our life doesn’t end here. I lost everything, but I’m still alive. I’m Samoan; I still have a few shirts and ie (sarongs), and there are coconuts everywhere. I can survive—and laughed out loud. This woman lost her mother, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter; she and her family continue to sleep under a big parasol.

Sāmoa faces numerous challenges. Not only the physical, but also the economical, environmental, sociocultural, psychological, and epistemological implications of the tsunami are likely to continue to manifest themselves. However, what is promising is the survivors’ admirable attitude. The path to recovery will be a long and arduous journey, but, with their courage, strength, earnest willingness to recover, and a positive attitude towards life, the survivors convinced me that their resilience will be reflected in Sāmoa’s recovery. In good time, Sāmoa will rise like the Phoenix from the ashes.


CPIS Visiting Artist Michel Tuffery gave an illustrated lecture on his work on 9 September 2009. Tuffery, one of the Pacific Islands region’s most established and innovative artists talked about the inspiration for some of his most well known work, which includes sculpture, painting, printmaking, and performance. His presentation was cosponsored by the UHM Art Department’s Intersections Program.

Toa Fraser, Fulbright–Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence for 2009, showed his award-winning film Naming No. 2 on 25 September. Following the showing of film, which he wrote and directed, Fraser talked about his life as a writer and as a director, his inspiration for his filmmaking, and his transition from playwright to screen writer/director. His presentation was cosponsored by the UHM Academy for Creative Media.


Congratulations to August 2009 CPIS graduates James Edward Hill Arriola and Siniva Marie Bennett. Arriola’s thesis, I Hinenggen Chamorro Yan I Salut Hinasso The Battle for Sanity: De(Constructing) Mental Health through a Chamorro Epistemological Framework, looks at how the values of Chamorro culture that have always been used to alleviate mental distress in the Northern Mariana Islands have taken a backseat to Western interventions. In his exploration of Chamorro epistemology and its relevance to mental health, he says the area of mental health is similar to other pressing issues faced by people, both as a community and a commonwealth, even though it has often been overlooked.

Bennett’s master’s portfolio project, “Warriors at What Cost? American Sāmoa and the US Military,” looks at the targeting of American Samoans as military recruits in the Iraq war. She uses the knowledge that American Sāmoa has the highest per capita casualty rate of any US state or territory in the Iraq war as a starting point for trying to analyze a matrix of current circumstances in American Sāmoa that includes the economy and the educational system. As part of her portfolio project Bennett created an interactive website, at, to spur discussion and debate on some of the issues she raises.

In August, CPIS warmly welcomed an outstanding group of new students:

Also taking classes, prior to joining the program in January, is Brian Alofaituli. He grew up in California, earned a BA in environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara, served in the Peace Corps in Jamaica, and studied at the Kanana Fou Theological Seminary, in American Sāmoa, prior to getting his master’s degree in intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena. He is interested in researching the role of the church in culture and identity in the Samoan diaspora.

In the meantime, our current students have been very busy. Certificate student David Kupferman, who is also a PhD student in the College of Education, successfully defended his dissertation proposal and passed his comprehensive exams in summer 2009, making him an official PhD candidate. He returned to the College of the Marshall Islands as the coordinator of Marshallese Studies, a new program that he will work on building. David’s paper, Our Sea of Atolls: Conceptualizing Marshallese Studies, was accepted for the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia conference that will be held in Honolulu in December 2009. He will be copresenting with Mary Silk, the director of the Nuclear Institute at the College of the Marshall Islands.

Rachel Miller also returned to Majuro, in the Marshall Islands, for a month last summer, to conduct interviews with people about their understanding of the canoe tradition today. She videotaped the interviews and intends to make a documentary after she completes her master’s.>/p>

Ann Hansen, Rachel Miller, Angela Hoppe-Cruz, and Kisha Borja-Quichocho recently attended rallies and court hearings, joining leaders and supporters of Micronesian communities in Hawai‘i in advocating for health equity. In July, Governor Linda Lingle, as part of state budget-cutting measures, attempted to implement a new healthcare plan, Basic Health Hawai‘i, which would have seriously reduced medical coverage provided to adults from the Compact of Free Association nations. Micronesians United, a grassroots organization, and other community groups collaborated to oppose the proposed reductions. Angela is currently one of the vice presidents of Micronesian Community Network (MCN), a Micronesian community group, and Ann shares responsibilities as MCN secretary with Rachel and Edelene Uriarte. Angela is also working with the Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition, a new organization formed by medical professionals and members of the Micronesian communities and Micronesian community groups for continued health advocacy.

Alumna Trish Shipman (CPIS MA, 2008) has just joined Kōkua Kalihi Valley (KKV), a community-organized and operated nonprofit health center, as a grant writer. Founded in 1972, KKV assists the residents of Kalihi Valley, on the island of O‘ahu, in 17 Asian and Pacific Islands languages and is well known for responding to the healthcare needs of underserved populations.

Junko Edo (CPIS MA, 1986), who is a professor on the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyorin University, in Tokyo, is teaching Oceania as a subject area. She received her PhD from the Research School of Pacific & Asian Studies, at the Australian National University. Her primary research interests are New Caledonia and Kanak identity.

Michelle M Kamakanoenoe Tupou (CPIS MA, 2000) has just taken up a position as a full-time instructor in Hawaiian and Pacific studies at Kapi‘olani Community College, in Honolulu. She is also a doctoral student at the University of Auckland in film and literature of Oceania.

Sia Achica (CPIS MA, 2009) is working as the research assistant to American Sāmoa Community College’s research archaeologist, David Addison, in the Institute for Samoan Studies. She is thrilled to be learning even more about Samoan history, culture, and language.

Manuwai Peters (CPIS MA, 1997) is on sabbatical from Moloka‘i High School, where he teaches in the Hawaiian immersion program that he founded. Currently attending graduate school at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Manuwai was the focus of an 8 October 2009 article in the New York Times about the popularity of the Hawaiian language classes he is offering in New York City.

All of us at CPIS send warm wishes to two recently married alums. Teri Brugh (CPIS MA, 2007) and Brian Masters were married on 3 October 2009 in Mentor-on-the Lake, Ohio. They live in Seattle, Washington, where Teri is the supervisor of a youth facility for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Masami Tsujita (CPIS MA, 2002) and Levusi (Pou) Levi were married on 11 June 2009 in Honolulu. They are currently residing on the island of Savai‘i, in Sāmoa. Masami is a doctoral student in the UHM Department of Geography.


CPIS Director Vilsoni Hereniko attended the fourteenth Pusan International Film Festival in Seoul, Korean, 8–16 October 2009. He was also one of the jurors for the NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) award at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival, 15–25 October 2009. Joining him on the NETPAC jury was film critic Ian Conrich. Conrich has written extensively about New Zealand cinema and was hosted by CPIS during the festival.

Assistant Professor of Linguistics Yuko Otsuka presented a paper at the sixteenth meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association, at University of California, Santa Cruz, 1–3 May 2009. Her paper was Inherent Case and Symmetric Voice in Eastern Polynesia.

CPIS Managing Editor Jan Rensel spent most of July on sabbatical in Fiji, visiting several colleagues at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Laucala Bay campus as well as catching up with many Rotumans in the Suva area. On 23 July she and her husband, UHM Anthropology Emeritus Professor Alan Howard, were invited to give two presentations titled Rotuma Online about their work on the Rotuma website: one for the USP Library staff about the site’s use as a virtual archive, and the other for the USP community at large and the Fiji Library Association about the ways Rotumans use the site for networking.

Alan Howard was also honored by Rotumans at a dinner held in Suva on 11 July in celebration of his fifty years of research on and service to the Rotuman community worldwide. The event, with the theme Sustaining Rotuma's Environment and Cultural Legacy, featured art and dancing by members of RAKO (Rotuman Artists Co-operative) and served as a fundraiser in support of the LājeRotuma Initiative, an environmental education and awareness program begun in 2002 by a group of young Rotuman marine biologists. For more information about the dinner, and about RAKO and LājeRotuma, see the Rotuma website (

Ethnomusicology Professor Jane Moulin is teaching for UHM Study Abroad this semester, at Lorenzo de Medici University in Florence, Italy. Jane had the novel experience of teaching several Tahitian dance workshops in a deconsecrated twelfth-century convent chapel. In November, she will give three public lectures, based on the theme Understanding Polynesia, at Lorenzo de Medici University, and she will do a presentation on Tahitian dance costuming for the university’s course Anthropology of Fashion and Desirability.

Jane has an article on Tahitian dance costumes in the upcoming Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion, which will also be using one of her field photos of Tahitian dance on the cover. Two of Jane’s photos will also appear in Choral Singing in Human Culture and Evolution, by Joseph Jordania, which is due out in 2009.

Professor and Chair of Anthropology Geoff White went to Solomons Islands in September, to participate in a memorial event for Sir Dudley Tuti, former bishop (Church of Melanesia) and paramount chief of Santa Isabel, who passed away in 2006. In the process he was able to pursue his research in connection with the University of Bergen–University of Hawai‘i Pacific Alternatives Project, including consultation with National Museum Director Lawrence Foanaota, and follow-up conversations with the Isabel Council of Chiefs, as that institution remakes itself with the appointment of a new paramount chief.

Professor of History David Chappell has written an article, Historical Perspectives on Independence, about states and constitutions in the South Pacific. It will appear in a special issue of the bilingual Revue Juridique Polynesienne.


Available from UH Press

The Adventures of Vela, by noted novelist, playwright, and poet Albert Wendt, is the story of the immortal Vela, the Samoan song maker, poet, and storyteller. It is an epic novel, stretching from hundreds of years before the arrival of Papalagi to today and fusing the great indigenous oral traditions of storytelling and Western poetry. 2009, 288 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3420-3, paper, US$26.00.

Plants of the Canoe People: An Ethnobotanical Voyage through Polynesia, by W Arthur Whistler, draws on his decades of traveling throughout Polynesia, studying the flora of the region. 2009, 252 pages. ISBN 978-0-915809-00-4, paper, US$24.95.

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

Other Publications

A Papuan Plutocracy: Ranked Exchange on Rossel Island, by anthropologist John Liep, is an exploration of ranked exchange and a critique of anthropological exchange theory. The author argues that accepted theories of reciprocity and gift giving are founded on assumptions of social equality and are unable to account for a system of ranked exchange, where participants are unequal and money is an instrument of distinction and power. Published by Aarhus University Press. 2009, 376 pages. ISBN 978-87-7934-446-4, paper, EUR66.95

Māori Architecture: From Fale to Wharenui and Beyond, by Deidre Brown, explores the vast array of Māori-designed structures and spaces—how they evolved over time and how they tell the story of an ever-changing people—beginning with early Polynesian settlement. The Penguin website describes the text as absorbing, informed and sometimes controversial. 2009, 263 pages. ISBN 978-0-143-0111-25, cloth, A$59.95.

A Floating World: Images of the Tuvalu Environment, by writer Peter McQuarrie, presents photographs from his collection that illustrate the character of the atolls and the fragile nature of their existence. The book includes aerial photographs made in the early 1980s and shows WWII’s effects on the environment. Ellice Islands Press. 2008, 97 pages. ISBN 978-1-877479-55-7.

The Official Chamorro Language Dictionary, the result of a 30-year project, contains more than 9,000 entries. It includes Chamorro words, with English definitions, grammatical notes, and sentence examples in both Chamorro and English. Available from the Department of Chamorro Affairs, PO Box 2950, Hagatña, Guam 96910, and the Chamorro Affairs Research, Publication, and Training Division office at the Chamorro Village in Hagatña, Guam, 2009. US$50.00.

U.S. Territorial Policy: Trends and Current Challenges, by Allen P Stayman, is an analysis, from legal and policy perspectives, of how the US territorial system evolved. Stayman is a long-time official with the US Senate and the Departments of State and Interior, who has been involved with matters relating to the US territories and freely associated states. The publication is number five in the East-West Center Pacific Islands Development Program Pacific Islands Policy Series. It is available in print and electronic formats. See 2009, 30 pages. ISBN 978-0-86638-217-5, electronic.

For a more comprehensive list of recent publications about the Pacific, see the September 2009 Oceania Newsletter at

E Publications

Migration and Transnationalism: Pacific Perspectives, edited by Helen Lee and Steve Tupai Francis, offers a detailed history of the transnational migration of Pacific Islanders to nations such as New Zealand, the United States, and Australia, along with an account of the key issues in transnationalism today and a range of case studies. It is published by ANU E Press and available at

Films,Videos, and DVDs

Noho Hewa: The Wrongful Occupation of Hawai‘i (2008, DVD, 73 minutes), a documentary by Hawaiian journalist and filmmaker Anne Keala Kelly, is a contemporary look at Hawaiian people, politics and resistance in the face of their systematic erasure under U.S. laws, economy, militarism, and real estate speculation. It won the 2008 Hawai‘i International Film Festival’s award for best documentary. Available at Personal use price is US$19; institutional prices vary.


Pacific Islands Political Studies Association

The eleventh Pacific Islands Political Studies Association conference, “Pacific Democracy: What’s Happening?” will be held at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, 3–4 December 2009. For further information and updates, see

Oceanic Transformations—AAAPS Conference

“Oceanic Transformations,” the biennial conference of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies, will be held at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, 8–11 April 2010. The deadline for proposals is 30 November 2009. For more information, see the website at

International Conference on Island Sustainability

Islands 2010: First international Conference on Island Sustainability will be held at Brac, Croatia, 19–21 April 2010. Among the conference topics are climate change, tourism impact, transport and community issues, energy issues, water resources, and island services. The conference organizers are the Wessex Institute of Technology, United Kingdom, and the Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia. The website is

European Society for Oceanists

The eighth conference of the European Society for Oceanists, Exchanging Knowledge in Oceania, will be held in St Andrews, Scotland, 5–8 July 2010. See the website at for more information and panel titles. The deadline for paper proposals is 14 December 2009.

Talanoa Oceania 2010: Niu Locals

Talanoa Oceania gatherings are for people interested in the dynamic ways of the diverse peoples of Oceania who have migrated overseas. The focus of the 2010 Talanoa Oceania gathering, Niu Locals, to be held 28–30 August in North Parramatta, Australia, will shift the lines of thinking from migration and diaspora toward becoming locals. Presentations are invited on a number of aspects of how and what it means to be niu locals. For information, see the website at The deadline is 30 May 2010.

American Society for Ethnohistory

The 2010 annual meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory, Creating Nations and Building States: Past and Present, will focus on indigenous societies and their relations with expanding colonial and modern state structures of Canada, America, and Latin America. Panel proposals for the conference, to be held in Ottawa, Canada, 14–16 October 2010, are encouraged. The deadline is 15 April 2010. The website is

Berkshire Conference on Women's History

The fifteenth Berkshire Conference on Women’s History, Exploring Race, Sexuality, and Labor across Time and Space, will be held at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, 9–12 June 2011. Proposals are due 1 March 2010. The website is

Conferences Announced in Previous Newsletters


Black Grace to Perform in Hawai‘i

New Zealand’s Black Grace, with choreographer and director Neil Ieremia, returns to Hawai‘i on 6 February 2010 for a performance at Leeward Community College Theatre. The dance company, which is at the forefront of Pacific contemporary dance, is an all-male dance group that has wowed audience around the world. For information, see the website at

Position for Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies

California State University–Northridge is advertising for an assistant professor of Asian American studies with an emphasis or a demonstrated interest in Asian American and Pacific Islander literatures and cultural studies. The announcement is at; the application deadline is 14 December 2009..

6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia, will take place 5 December 2009 through 5 April 2010. Among the Pacific artists who will be performing and exhibiting are Pacific reggae musicians, led by O-Shen; artist Solomon Enos, from Hawai‘i; the Mataso Printmakers, from Vanuatu; artist Reuben Paterson, from New Zealand; sculptors from Ambrym, in Vanuatu; and Robin Williams, from New Zealand, with Bale Jione and Leba Toki, from Fiji. There will also be a special exhibition, Paperskin: Barkcloth across the Pacific, focusing on the aesthetics of this medium. For more information, see the website at

Dance, Gender, and the Moving Body in Oceania

Guest editors Katerina Teaiwa, April K Henderson, and Sean Mallon have issued a call for contributions to Dance, Gender, and the Moving Body in Oceania, a special issue of the electronic journal Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. The editors invite scholarly articles, reflection pieces, video, images, visual montages, and original artwork on the theme of dance, gender, and the moving body in Oceania. Deadline for submissions is 18 December 2009. There is more information on the special issue on the Web at

Asia-Pacific Week at the Australian National University

Asia-Pacific Week, 8–11 February 2010, is a conference and summer school that brings together PhD candidates from Australia and overseas to take part in workshops and master classes and form networks committed to understanding the Asia-Pacific region. There is no financial help for travel from overseas, but there are a limited number of small grants to partially cover domestic travel, accommodation, and board while in Canberra. For more information, see the website at

Va‘aomanū Pasifika Seeks Director

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, is seeking a director for its Pacific unit, Va‘aomanū Pasifika. The university currently offers a range of courses leading to majors in Pacific studies and Samoan studies at the undergraduate level. The BA (Honors), and MA and PhD in Pacific studies are offered at the postgraduate level. Applicants should have a PhD and an excellent research and teaching profile. A background in the social sciences and a proficiency in a Pacific language would be an advantage. The closing date is 30 November 2009. For more information see

Anthology of Pacific Islander Writers: Call for Writings

The editors of USOs on Freeways: An Anthology of Pacific Islander Writers from/in the Continental United States encourage submissions from Oceanic/Pacific Islander people who are from the continental United States, but now reside elsewhere in the diaspora or are back in the homeland. Uso is a popularly used Samoan term denoting homie, sis, or bro, words that express a relationship and community that the authors seek to strengthen through the anthology. The editors will accept poetry, short stories, one-act plays, essays, and excerpts from novels or memoirs. The deadline is 15 January 2010. For more information on the submissions process, contact Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Loa Niumeitolu, or Craig Santos Perez at

Power and Aesthetics: Traditional Art from Micronesia

The Linden-Museum Stuttgart, in Germany, will stage its first comprehensive exhibition on Micronesian cultures, 5 December 2009–6 June 2010. There is information about the exhibition online 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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