Center for Pacific Islands Studies Newsletter

No. 4 October–December 2009 and No. 1 January–March 2010


CPIS Celebrates Its Sixtieth Anniversary!
Exhibition: Artists of The Contemporary Pacific
Hawai‘i Legislature Honors CPIS
New Occasional Paper:The Space Between
Chamoru Poets Speak Out
Kabu ni Vanua, from Fiji, Featured in April
Samoan Language Program Awarded Fulbright-Hays
Q&A with Writer/Director Toa Fraser
Meller Awards Announced
CPIS Students Help Host SPAS Graduate Student Conference
Douglas Oliver, 1913–2009
Center Presentations
Student and Alumni Activities
Pacific Curator Karen Peacock Retires
Faculty and Staff Activities
The Contemporary Pacific, 21:2
Publications and Moving Images
Conferences and Meetings
Bulletin Board


Pan-Pacific Club performers
Members of the Pan-Pacific Club perform at anniversary

2010 marks the sixtieth anniversary of Pacific Islands studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Pacific Islands area studies began as the Pacific Islands Studies Program in 1950 and officially became the Center for Pacific Islands Studies in 1987. Some of the anniversary events that have already been held as part of the celebration are

Events that are planned, include



The Contemporary Pacific cover
The first Pacific artist featured on
the cover of
The Contemporary
Pacific was John Pule.

CPIS opened its anniversary year with an exhibition of covers from The Contemporary Pacific issues from 2003 to the present. In 2002, the journal, which features articles examining contemporary social, economic, political, ecological, and cultural topics, began highlighting the work of contemporary Pacific artists. The first featured artist was poet, painter, and multimedia performance artist John Pule. Thus far, artists from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Guam, Solomon Islands, Norfolk Island, Samoa, Niue, and Hawai‘i have been featured. In addition to the framed journal covers, the exhibit, in the Elevator Gallery on the first floor of the UHM Hamilton Library, includes information about the artists whose work appears on the covers as well as on inside pages of the journal. The featured covers were designed by Stacey Leong. Previous issues of The Contemporary Pacific (1989–2002), with covers designed by Barbara Pope, are also on display. In May, the exhibit will be moved to the Pacific Collection reading room on the fifth floor of the library.

At an opening reception, held on 12 January, Vilsoni Hereniko, Terence Wesley-Smith, and Jan Rensel (former editor, current editor and managing editor respectively) thanked all of those who have contributed to the journal over the past 22 years, from cover designers to proofreaders and staff at University of Hawai‘i Press.


Senators J Kalani English and Clayton Hee
Hawai‘i State Senators J Kalani
English and Clayton Hee

In honor of the center's 60th anniversary, CPIS alums and Hawai'i State Senators Clayton Hee (CPIS MA, 1978) and J Kalani English (CPIS MA, 1995) sponsored a Hawai'i Senate certificate honoring and congratulating the center, and thanking those associated with the center for their service to the communities of Hawai'i and their dedication to seeking new ways to encompass a deeper understanding of the region.

In remarks that he prepared for the occasion, Senator English said:

Our lives rest upon our sense of place. The place where our roots dig down, and our limbs reach up. Where the road from our past links to the path toward our future. The fulcrum upon which we balance our treasured experiences and our dearest dreams.

I am proud to be here today because part of my sense of place rests at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. I stand among those who have had the opportunity to study here, to benefit from the mission of the center, and to carry those teachings and experiences forward into everything I have tried to accomplish since.

My place is the Pacific, and my dreams are for unity and prosperity for all of our brethren throughout Oceania. I was fortunate to have those values instilled in me by my kupuna and others who helped shape my early life. But it was here at the center that I was free to work with others who shared my passions and guided my work.

I was relatively young when I came here. I admit that I didn't feel particularly young at the time, because I think we always feel ready for whatever challenges we encounter. But in retrospect, I had a lot to learn and I needed a place where I could stiffen my bones for the opportunities to come.

"What I found here was a program that not only focused on the Pacific Islands and issues of concern to Pacific Islanders, but did so in an open, multi-disciplinary way. All of us who have traveled the Pacific-whether for academic purposes or simply because we love the places and the people-have seen the rich diversity of the area's cultures and inhabitants. Such a place called for an educational approach that was equally diverse. That matching of people, place, and philosophy provided me with endless support and opportunity. I cannot say enough to express my gratitude to the center for giving me so much that sits at the foundation of what I do today. "Today, as a state senator and as president of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures, addressing issues of importance to the Pacific region is a daily occurrence, and those concerns run the gamut from economic development to health to governance and cultural preservation. I do not think I would have been successful in analyzing and responding to those concerns if it had not been for the rich, multi-disciplinary education I received here. "Over the past 60 years, I cannot imagine the number of lives changed and vital initiatives supported-directly and indirectly-by the work that the center has done. "Our lives rest on a sense of place. For all of us who call the Pacific region home, and who wish the best for the future of our special part of the world, Sixty years of history and effort has made the Center for Pacific Island Studies our place. Our future will grow from here. And I offer my dearest hope that it is a very long-and very prosperous-future indeed."


The Space Between cover

In February 2010, CPIS launched a landmark publication, the all-graduate-student-written-and-edited occasional paper, The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place, and Identity in the Pacific, edited by Andrea Marata Tamaira (CPIS MA, 2009). The paper is number 44 in the center's Occasional Paper Series. In the preface, Tamaira describes The Space Between as an eclectic blend of theoretical, personal, and artistic expressions, produced by graduate students within and outside of the Pacific. It is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from academic fields such as history, art, art history, and Pacific studies. In addition to striking artwork, it contains poetry and prose dealing with negotiating life in the diaspora, identity and challenges to identity, the space between cultures, the confluence of poetry and politics, and voyaging in the broadest sense.

Congratulations are due to Marata, for her vision and her skill at bringing the publication together. At the launch, at the UHM Korean Studies Center on the evening of 4 February, CPIS managing editor and advisor on the project Jan Rensel paid tribute to Marata and described the many tasks she performed in the editing process, including proposing the volume's theme, creating an advisory board, circulating submissions for review, corresponding with authors, editing each piece, designing the layout, preparing camera-ready copy, and working with designer Stacey Leong to create a cover highlighting the work of the featured artist, Roxanne Chasle. As Jan said, we are very proud of Marata, all the contributors, and this publication!


Anghet Hoppe-Cruz and Kisha Ann Borja-Kicho'cho'
Anghet Hoppe-Cruz and Kisha
Ann Borja-Kicho'cho' (photo
by Jessica Garlock)

CPIS students Kisha Ann Borja-Kicho'cho' and Anghet (Angela) Theresa Hoppe-Cruz, Chamorritas from Guåhan (Guam), are using their skills as poets to raise the consciousness of those inside and outside of Guåhan about the impact of colonialism on the island, particularly the ongoing threats to Chamoru language and identity, and the current challenge posed by the proposed US military buildup on the island. In a series of poetry performances, I Kareran I Palåbran Måmi: The Journey of Our Words, cosponsored by CPIS and the UHM Marianas Club, which provides traditional Chamoru food for these popular gatherings, Borja-Kicho'cho' and Hoppe-Cruz have explored a wide range of challenges that face Chamorus and other Micronesians, including issues of cultural identity and cultural loss, human rights and environmental justice, the harsh reality of male suicide in Micronesia, and what it means to be a Chamoru woman in the 21st century.

Active on many different fronts in the community, Hoppe-Cruz (who is working on a master's in social work, as well as a master's in Pacific Islands studies) and Borja-Kicho'cho' (who is working on a master's in Pacific Islands studies) clearly see activism and other forms of service to their communities in their futures. Both took part in a panel discussion on campus following the screening, on 21 March, of the documentary The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands, and they plan to continue their performances and discussion evenings.


Kabu ni Vanua dancers

Kabu ni Vanua, an award-winning dance company of 18 performers, presented a spectacular show at University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's Kennedy Theater on 3 April 2010. Kabu ni Vanua, comprised of some of Fiji's most accomplished college-age performers, represented Fiji at the 2008 Festival of Pacific Arts. They went on to win the top awards at Fiji's 2009 Hibiscus Festival.

Kabu, meaning morning mist, and ni Vanua, meaning of the land, implies the dawn or beginning of a new day, and reflects the group's aim to keep Fijian culture and heritage alive in the face of urbanization, modernization, and Westernization. Their performance included the men's spear dance, men's and women's fan dances, men's and women's hand dances, and impressive multipart singing. In addition to their performance on 3 April, the group traveled to the Big Island to perform for students, teachers, and the general public.

The Center for Pacific Islands Studies was a cosponsor of the group's visit, which was arranged and coordinated by the East-West Center Arts Program.


UH Mānoa's Samoan Language and Culture Program has been awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant for their Advanced Samoan Language Abroad (ASLA) Program, a 12-week intensive language training, independent study, research, and cultural immersion program in Samoa for six to ten advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and teachers with an intermediate-level Samoan language proficiency. The program, which will take place in summer 2010, will offer participants an opportunity to improve their Samoan language proficiency, while they conduct independent study or research and gain important skills in culturally appropriate research methodologies and Samoan cultural protocols. Participants will spend the duration of the project in a variety of urban and rural settings to reinforce the learning of context-specific and content-based language.

The ASLA Program aims to enhance participants' linguistic functioning (code-switching) at three levels of Samoan society: village (colloquial) language; formal (respect) language; and government (specialized topic) language. Special emphasis will be placed on the role of cultural protocol in communicating in Samoan, an aspect of language acquisition that can only be learned through cultural immersion and structured and guided reflective learning experiences in-country.

Project director and CPIS affiliate faculty member John Mayer, who started the UHM Samoan Language Program in 1976, has led nine study-abroad programs to Sāmoa. He has also developed Samoan language and culture training programs for the United States Peace Corps and the Maryknoll Fathers Mission in Sāmoa. The UHM Samoan Language Program now has six faculty members and teaches more than 200 students each semester.


Toa Fraser and students
Toa Fraser and students

Playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter Toa Fraser was CPIS's Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer-in-Residence for 2009. On 25 September 2009, he showed his award-winning film Naming No. 2, in which the celebrated American actress Ruby Dee plays an aging Fijian matriarch in New Zealand who orders her fractious extended family to come together to prepare a traditional Fijian feast, at which she will name her successor. After the screening, which was cosponsored by the UHM Academy for Creative Media, Fraser answered the following questions from faculty, students, and community members about the film and his approach to filmmaking.

Q: How did you put the movie together and get funding?

A: We are very lucky in New Zealand because we have the New Zealand Film Commission, which is a governmental body funded for the development, production, and sale of New Zealand feature films, and through that body, which I think was founded in the late 70s-early 80s, New Zealand has seen real success on the national and international stage, particularly with Once Were Warriors, and Niki Caro's film Whale Rider, so I not only had the opportunity to ride on the coattails of their success, but also Peter Jackson's work with the infrastructure that he brought to New Zealand with the Lord of the Ringstrilogy and King Kong. . . . King Kong was going into the same post-production process two weeks after us, so King Kong and No. 2 were very much on a parallel path to the big screen. Obviously it is a very different movie, although some of the same actors were involved in it, in very different capacities. . . .

Also, the play [on which No. 2 was based] was very successful. I had written a play and started in theater, and Madeleine Sami, for whom I wrote the play, had toured all around the world. It was a one-woman show originally; she played nine characters and toured to Fiji, Mexico, Holland, Australia, London, Jamaica — one of the highlights—and on the back of that success, I was able to meet the right people and get the film made. But it was a real struggle to meet the right people and to convince them I was capable of directing the movie, particularly given that I wanted to make the movie—that street that I shot the movie on was virtually around the corner from my Auntie Clairlene's house in Mount Roskill. The family in the movie is very similar to my family, so I wanted to make the film with a real sense of responsibility and connection to the neighborhood, and that was a challenge in itself—a challenge but also a real strength as well. Lots of my cousins participated in the movie—most of the extras were related to me—and whenever there was a problem that an ordinary film crew couldn't solve, my cousins were just a text message away. Like the scene where Erasmus breaks into the car, nobody on the set knew how to break into the car! (laughter).

Q: Do you have any tips for writing?

A: Yes, I do, I've got a lot, because I started as a playwright. . . . It's a bit of a love-hate relationship, I think, most writers' encounter with that particular discipline—and it is a real discipline. When I was writing No. 2 for the screen, I'd write from 10 o'clock in the morning to 2 o'clock in the afternoon every day, have a break, and then start again at about 8 o'clock and finish at 2 or 3 in the morning. And I did that for four years, five days a week. I wouldn't recommend that as the most healthy writing regime, and looking back on it I think I probably didn't do all that much writing during those hours. So these days I spend far less time in front of the computer on any given day. That's the idea — make the time you do spend in front of the computer a lot more intense. . . . The thing for me about writing is that it's a real solitary existence, and, as you probably noted from the film, I like people, and my inspiration comes from the street, it doesn't come from sitting with my back to the world. So the great thing about directing for me is that it is a social thing, it is athletic. I can be in a room with carpenters and lawyers and accountants and make-up artists and actors and musicians and all kinds of people from all over the world and all walks of life, and if I didn't have that balance to writing, I'd get sick of writing pretty quick. So that and eat lots of fibrous vegetables and protein shakes and drink lots of water, not too much coffee and not too much whiskey!

Q: I think this is a great film. You built a lot of empathy for the characters and showing races and cultures clashing. It reminds me of my own family—it has the essence and real feeling of family; it reminds me of the picnics we used to have . . .

A: Thank you very much. It is interesting that you say that—that it reminds you of picnics—because your saying that reminds me of Poetic Justice, John Singleton's movie that he made with Janet Jackson straight after Boyz n the Hood. I was very influenced by African-American cinema of the late 80s–early 90s, and there was a picnic scene in Poetic Justice, which I really responded to in a similar way.

But talking about those movies I was inspired by, obviously Spike Lee was a really major influence on me in my early writing in my career, and Do the Right Thing . . . was a major influence on No. 2, and you can even see the similarities are pretty obvious. It is all set on one hot summer's day, and Ruby Dee, who played Mother Sister in Do the Right Thing, and who came to New Zealand to participate in our movie . . . Ossie Davis was involved in Do the Right Thing as well, so I learned a little bit about both through my admiration for Spike Lee's work, and it was a great honor for me to talk about how do you get a movie made.

Rene Naufahu, who plays Erasmus in the movie—he is a filmmaker himself—he's got a great metaphor. He talks about a limited number of happy and sad vouchers that you have. If you got excited and disappointed at every opportunity, you'd be a wreck, so you only whip out a happy or sad voucher occasionally. The day that Ruby Dee arrived in New Zealand and Auckland was the day I pulled out a big happy voucher—it was like, man, the movie is really going to happen, because we had looked all around the world for a woman to play Nanna Maria, and if we didn't find that actor, we didn't really have the movie. She arrived, and it was a very exciting day. She had never been away from her husband, Ossie Davis, for that long, or she hadn't been that far away, and when I met her, she was on the phone to him. I went home; I got a call in the morning of the next day to say that Ossie Davis had died that night. We were obviously very supportive of her going back to New York to take part in Ossie Davis's . . . what turned out to be a virtual state funeral with Bill Clinton, and Harry Belafonte, and Wynton Marsalis. And we thought the movie was going to fall. But she came back two weeks later, and one of the things that she said to me before she left, after having met the actors and my family, was that she was looking forward to coming back to the Pacific and celebrating life with us, and that is something that will always stay with me. And something else that she said to me that will always stay with me, as a filmmaker of color, or a Pacific Islands filmmaker. She said, you have to use your voice or somebody else will use it for you.

Q: What kind of advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers; what kinds of stories should we tell?

A: Well, I wouldn't give advice as to what kind of story one tells, the only thing I would say to aspiring filmmakers is that nobody is going to let you tell your story unless you really believe in it. And every step of the way, and I have learned this more since No. 2 really, because I don't really question how much I believe in No. 2, I absolutely did. But in the aftermath of that, I was kind of at a loss for a while there, trying to figure out what to do next, and I really learnt that if you don't know what to do then nobody is going to figure it out for you. So the overriding thing that I would say is figure out your voice and figure out your story. Voice was something I struggled with for a long time, and I really have Witi Ihimaera and Albert Wendt to thank for that. They were my creative writing teachers at Auckland University, and Witi and Albert did a lot of work encouraging my voice. You know when you come from these mixed-race backgrounds, and it is true of everybody in the contemporary world where I've been, there are so many different influences, it is really easy to lose yourself in the middle of all of that. And I think it is a real challenge for a storyteller of any form to figure out what "I" have to say.

Q: So much of this story is told visually, through looks and reactions, and that fantastic tracking shot of the house at the end of the movie; that is obviously not how you can tell a story on the stage. How did you make that transition from a dialogue-predominant stage production to a visual production?

A: Thank you, that's a real compliment. Talking about getting a movie made, that was probably the biggest obstacle when people asked me how I was going to make it work for the big screen, how I was going to take the play and turn it into a visual story. The first thing I would probably say about that is that I grew up with movies. I feel like I fell into the theater by accident, and my first play, No. 2, even though it is dialogue heavy and driven by one actor, I feel it is quite cinematic, and the fact that it was only one actor playing all the characters meant in a way that it could be . . . to me it felt like a more cinematic form of theater than other forms of theater. I got frustrated trying to write a piece of theater in more traditional form, with lots of actors, because with one actor you can kind of switch between scenes in a lot more cinematic way. So there was that, initially, but at the same time I had confidence in my visual aesthetic, and, as I say, I grew up watching movies—all my earliest influences are Raiders of the Lost Ark and James Bond movies.

But at the same time I worked with an incredible cinematographer, Leon Narbey, who is one of New Zealand's—one of the world's—great cinematographers. And it was a real joy for me to come in at the end [today] and see that on the big screen. I haven't seen it on the big screen for a while, and there are some beautiful pictures in there. He's a real artist, that man. The thing I mentioned about Spike Lee, as well—a lot of people think of his movies as being quite doco-realistic, you know, his subject matter lends that sort of suggestion to his work, but if you look at especially something like Do the Right Thing, they are very theatrical. He'll paint a whole wall red and do very heightened, theatrical tricks with the camera, so I feel like I had a very solid inspiration for my work.

Q: Did you always have in mind making the film, and had you had much experience in film production?

A: No, I had no experience behind the camera—I hadn't directed anything before. I had done a few film papers at university and a video production course, not very much. I had a great friend, Allen Guilford, another cinematographer, who was like an uncle to me growing up, and given that he knew I loved movies, I used to hang around with him on film sets when I was a kid, so moviemaking to me didn't feel like a closed door, if felt like a very accessible thing. But in answer to your question, yes, I always wanted to make it as a movie, from the get-go. And I remember being at my uncle's house—Uncle Albert, just around the corner, he was in the movie, one of the early scenes—I was there with my cousins, we were all having barbeque and stuff, and I remember my cousin Drodrolangi, about fifteen. I was telling her about this movie that I wanted to make, but I was going to write it as a play first, and she was, like, yeah, right. And the reason I wanted to do that from the get-go was that I had sold the option on my first play, Bare, to a production company in New Zealand. I was fresh out of university, and they offered me a little bit of money for the option, so I said, yeah, buy me a new stereo—and I regretted that pretty quick, because I felt like I had signed away my golden ticket.

I think in the Pacific we are really aware that intellectual property . . . all over the world it is important to own your ideas, and knowing that I was going to write No. 2 as a play, I really felt if I was successful and held on to it, that I'd have a chance to make it as a movie.

Q: This is such a moving, and also funny, film; even though there is a lot of drama, there is also a lot of humor.

A: Thank you—I've struggled . . . I think Alexander Mackendrick, the great British film director, said don't try comedy until you've really mastered drama, and I don't feel when I am writing that I'm writing comedy, but I am always delighted when I have written something that I think is funny. . . . I mean it is a joy to have written something that I find I can go back and laugh at. I can say that kind of objectively because, as I say, my inspiration comes from real people, so when I read the script that I have just written back to myself, it is real people that I'm laughing with. I mean anybody that knows Pacific Islands families like the family in No. 2 is aware that where there are tears, there's laughter. It's hard for me to watch No. 2 now. I made it a few years ago—2006—and a lot has changed in that neighborhood since then. People have died, and people got pregnant, and kids have been born. . . there have been a lot of happy stories but a lot of sad stories, too. So I really feel like No. 2 is kind of a little time capsule of a really joyous time in a lot of people's lives, including mine.

Q: How does it feel to get awards for your work?

A: It's cool! (laughter) We went to Sundance for this film, and Ruby Dee came from New York. You know, you go to film festivals, and it's a wise thing to do to take some of the actors with you—and we won the Audience Award at Sundance, so we did a good job on the audience. Ruby Dee was there, and she charmed everybody. But Mia Blake, who plays Charlene, also came, and she got all the free stuff! . . . You know those awards are cool, but the real awards—like this one—the reason I am here in Hawai'i is that I'm the visiting writer-in-residence thanks to Fulbright and Creative New Zealand. It's a three-month award, and it gives me the chance to be in a place that is really inspiring. I've just spent the best part of two years in England; I made a film, Dean Spanley, and that was a fantastic journey, too, but it is really fantastic to me to be back in the Pacific. . . .

Q: What was the total budget for the film and how much time did it take to film?

A: The total budget was something like four million New Zealand dollars, and I don't know whether that is much. It was my first movie, and I had a great producer, and a great line producer, and a great AD, people that really kept me on track . . . I am not great with numbers so I am not one of these directors that sit down to figure out how we are going to fit the budget. Having said that, constraints are really important to me; I think that comes from having worked in theater, especially working in the kind of theater I was working in where there was one actor. I really learned that this created an inspirational thing, to work within the boundaries of whatever constraints you have. So whether or not the budget was that big, we worked within it, and I think the shoot was 33 days and we went over by about two days, which didn't seem all that controversial at the time.

We shot everything in Nanna Maria's bedroom on the last day, and, as you know, a lot happens in that room, and it's kind of the real heart, and the emotional core, of the story, including the scene with Charlene and Nanna Maria, which I think is seven minutes long—it's a big chunk of the movie. So we had a lot of work to do on that last day, and I think we finished about three o'clock in the morning, after having started at six in the morning. We had gone from being a very big social activity of the whole neighborhood—people would drive past in cars, boys in the neighborhood would come out and watch the cranes, the floating helium light balloons—but by the time that we got to the bedroom scene, it had shrunk right back down to its theater roots. There were only . . . four guys sitting on the floor watching these two incredible women—actors—portray those characters in that incredibly heart-felt scene . . . it was a real joy for me. We shot that on film, which is a sort of fading piece of technology, but I remember I got hauled out of the bedroom late at night because one of the producers had heard me—I think he must have picked it up on the microphone—he had heard me say to Mia, who played Charlene, take as long as you want, which is a great piece of directorial advice for an actor, for very often actors feel like they have to be in a rush. So I said take as long as you like, we are going to roll this as long as it takes. I think it was a Sunday, like midnight, and Tim White, the producer, was like, we are running out of film and there is no Kodak shop open . . . so we tried not to let that go on too long.

But having that experience informed my work on my next film, Dean Spanley, which we shot on digital. . . . There are lots of pros and cons to digital, but from my point of view, being able to say to the actors, we might shoot this for twenty minutes, is a real asset. For me, as director, I feel like my real passion is performance.

Q: Could you tell us a little bit about the project you are working on now?

A: Yes, I'm writing an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novella The Beach at Falesa, which is a story set in Samoa in the mid-1860s. Alan Sharp, who is a very experienced Scottish screenwriter—he wrote Rob Roy and Ulzana's Raid and The Hired Hand and a whole bunch of cowboy movies in the 70s—has been writing it on and off for about fifteen years or something like that, and I first heard about the project when I started in theater. Philippa Campbell, one of the producers of No. 2, told me about it, and, given my Pacific heritage, it sounded like a fantastic movie, something that I wanted to be involved in. And coincidentally, or through serendipity, I worked with Alan Sharp on Dean Spanley, my last film, so we've kind of come together. I didn't do any writing on Dean Spanley, but one of the things about The Beach at Falesa that was really important to me was that it have a very strong Pacific voice, given that it is set in the Pacific. For some reason I ended up being the one to write that stuff, so now I am engaged in my second draft, I think, of that story. It is a tough thing to get right—so tough that I had to go to Maui, and hang around with a whole lot of beautiful women! (laughter)


The Center for Pacific Islands Studies is pleased to announce two winners of the Norman Meller Research Award for 2009—Andrea Marata Tamaira, a 2009 CPIS MA graduate, and Drew C Gonrowski, who is working on her doctorate in the UHM Department of History. The Meller award is given each year for the best MA research paper produced at the University of Hawai'i in the social sciences or humanities and focused on the Pacific Islands.

In her MA thesis, Making Myth, Making Nation: Maori Symbols and the Construction of Bicultural Identity in Aotearoa New Zealand, Tamaira looked at the efficacy of Māori symbols, in particular the koru (spiral), in carrying the message of biculturalism to Māori and Pākehā. She also looked at the role the symbols might play in concealing the socioeconomic and political disparities that continue to exist between Māori and Pākehā. Gonrowski, in her MA thesis, Challenging the Changes Influenced by Missionaries: Reexamining the Hawaiian Islands in the 1820s through the Presence of Pele, presented the results of her search for evidence of the presence of the akua Pele in the writings of missionaries and in mo‘ōlelo (stories) in Hawaiian newspapers during the early missionary years. Members of the award review committee were impressed by the ambitious nature of both projects, the significance of the topics, and the depth of the research. Both Tamaira and Gonrowski received checks for $250.

The Meller Awards are made possible by a bequest from Dr Norman Meller, a political scientist and founding director of the UHM Pacific Islands Studies Program, who passed away in 2000.


Student panel
Jenny Sky Fung, Brian Taito Alofaituli, and
Jessica Garlock

Kisha Borja-Kicho'cho' and LJ Rayphand were CPIS's representatives on the organizing committee of this year's very successful School of Pacific and Asian Studies graduate student conference, Crosscurrents: New Directions in Pacific and Asian Studies, held 10–12 March 2010. At the opening, SPAS Dean Edward Shultz paid tribute to the organizers, who did not let this year's financial constraints deter them from putting on an outstanding conference, with three days of panels, guest speakers, and cultural performances (plus food!). CPIS students Jessica Garlock and Chai Blair-Stahn served on the review and hospitality committees, Daniel Maile opened the conference with a Hawaiian ‘oli (welcoming chant), and Patrick Kaiku, Dee Wilson, and Tammy Tabe took part in the closing performance by the Pan-Pacific Club. Rob Wilson, professor of transnational/postcolonial literatures at the University of California-Santa Cruz, gave the keynote address, Towards an Ecopoetics of Oceania: Thinking With, and Beyond, Epeli Hau‘ofa's Asian Pacific Imaginary.

The Pacific papers in the conference included Prutehi yan Difende I Hinengge, I Kottura, I Lengguahi . . . yan I Tano' Chamoru': A Critical Analysis of Chamoru Language Studies on Guåhan, by Kisha Borja-Kicho'cho' (CPIS); O le Lotu Samoa I Amerika: The Role of the Samoan Church as Cultural Educator in the Diaspora, by Brian Taito Alofaituli (CPIS); Space for Samoans in Hawai‘i: The Malae, by Jessica Garlock (Social Welfare, UHM, and CPIS); Seasonal Labor Experience and Economic Decision-Making of the Women in the Kingdom of Tonga, by Natsuko Higa (Anthropology, UHM); US Military Imperialism in the Marshall Islands: Race and Space on Kwajalein following World War II, by Lauren Hirshberg (History, University of Michigan), and The Dancer as Environmentalist: Addressing Environmental Issues through an Exploration of Nature's Role in Hula, by Chai Blair-Stahn (CPIS). A paper by Mary Walworth (Linguistics, UHM), Influence of Tahitian on Language in Rapa Iti, was awarded the prize for the best Pacific-focused paper.


Friends, colleagues, and students of Emeritus Professor of Anthropology Douglas Oliver gathered at the Department of Anthropology on 13 November to remember and to honor one of Pacific anthropology's most prolific scholars. Long-time friend and colleague Robert Kiste, former director of the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, chronicled Dr Oliver's life for the newsletter:

Douglas Oliver was commonly recognized as the leading American scholar in Pacific Islands anthropology. Born on 10 February 1913, he was raised by his widowed paternal grandmother under modest circumstances in Atlanta, Georgia. He died at age 96 on 30 October 2009 in Honolulu.

Oliver was an obviously gifted and highly motivated youngster. By 1928, he had completed high school and had earned the rank of Eagle Scout well before his sixteenth birthday. In a national competition covered by The New York Times, he was one of three Eagle Scouts selected to go on a safari in East Africa. That venture was followed by a scholarship to Harvard where he discovered anthropology by accident. He completed a BA in three years and a DPhil in anthropology at the University of Vienna by 1935. Between 1936 and 1941 he was a research associate at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology and a cofounder of the Society for Applied Anthropology. During that same period he conducted extensive research among the Siuai people of Bougainville in the Solomon Islands. That experience made him an invaluable resource for the US government, and Oliver served as a civilian consultant during World War II and well into the postwar era in the Pacific.

In 1948 Oliver was appointed as a lecturer in Harvard's Department of Anthropology where he eventually became professor of anthropology and curator of Oceanic ethnology. In the following two decades, he organized and played a major role in three research projects in Java, French Polynesia, and the Solomon Islands, involving a substantial number of PhD students.

In 1969, Oliver made a major career change. He joined the Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa on a half-time basis, with fall semesters at Harvard and spring semesters in Hawai‘i. In the early 1970s, Oliver organized a second research project in the Solomons, involving students at the University of Hawai‘i and other universities. By his own estimate, Oliver supervised over 40 PhD students during his career.

Oliver was a remarkably productive scholar. Early in his career, he published a sizable number of journal articles, chapters in books, and museum papers. After 1969, his publication record was solely one of books. Six were published while he was at Harvard and eight were published while he was at the University of Hawai‘i. Several made a significant impact on Pacific studies. Oliver officially retired in 1978. His last book was published in 2002, but he was hard at work on yet another until failing health curtailed his research a few years before his death.

For those wishing to make a contribution in Douglas Oliver's memory, his family suggests that donations be sent to the University of Hawai‘i Foundation (UHF), designating the Pacific Collection Enrichment Fund at Hamilton Library as the beneficiary. The address for the UHF is 2444 Dole Street, Honolulu, HI 96822.


A panel on Pacific Cultural Anthropology at Mānoa was presented on 1 October 2009 as part of the UHM Department of Anthropology 75th anniversary celebrations. Panel participants included Geoff White, Ben Finney, Ty Kāwika Tengan, and student Patricia Fifita. They reviewed the department's long-term involvement with Pacific anthropology and some of the current challenges and opportunities for indigenous anthropology in the Pacific.

The Center for Pacific Islands Studies Fulbright–Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence for 2010, Toa Fraser, visited UH West O‘ahu on 13 October, at the invitation of CPIS alumna and UHWO faculty member, Sa‘ili Lilomaiava-Doktor. Fraser showed some examples of his work and talked about his experiences as a playwright, screenwriter, and film director.

Ian Conrich, the founding director of the Centre for New Zealand Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, and a well-known writer on New Zealand film, gave a seminar on 21 October 2009 titled New Zealand Cinema: The Best-Kept Secret? Conrich, who was in Hawai‘i to take part in the Hawai‘i International Film Festival, presented clips from the major film genres of New Zealand and discussed important milestones in the history of New Zealand cinema.

CPIS Director Vilsoni Hereniko gave a talk, The Quest for a Post-racial Fiji and the Audacity of Hope, in the UHM/EWC International Cultural Studies Certificate Program on 28 October. He examined the ideal of a post-racial multicultural Fiji in the lig

Issues in the Contemporary Pacific was the topic for a Center for Pacific Islands–sponsored panel presentation for seventh-grade teachers attending a Hawai‘i Department of Education Hawaiian Studies Conference on 14 January 2010. The presentations, by Joseph Brider, Cook Islands MA student in botany; Patrick Kaiku, CPIS MA student from New Ireland, Papua New Guinea; and Joanna Jacob, CPIS alumna from Chuuk and Bilingual School-Home Assistant with the Hawai'i State Department of Education, were quite varied and reflected a cross section of contemporary issues in the Pacific. Brider discussed his work on ciguatera in the Pacific, including its impact on health, diet, the economy, and even migration and culture loss in the Cook Islands. Kaiku reviewed some background on the geography and governmental structure of Papua New Guinea and talked about developmental challenges such as PNG's growing youth population, nation-building hurdles, and the prevalence of HIV and AIDS. Jacob talked about challenges to communication, travel, and, hence, education in Chuuk and gave the teachers a good orientation to the geography of Chuuk state and differences between life in Weno and life on the outlying islands.

Jenny Bryant-Tokalau, human geographer and currently the coordinator of Pacific Islands studies at the University of Otago, gave a talk, Living in the Qoliqoli: Urban Squatting on the Fiji Foreshore, on 20 January 2010. She discussed the squatting situation in Suva in light of current proposed legislation that would ensure that rights to the foreshore are invested in indigenous landowners. She reviewed the likely impacts this legislation would have and questioned whether indigenous Fijians were fully supportive of it.

Maki Mita, a researcher with the National Museum of Ethnology, in Japan, gave a talk on 27 January 2010 titled Remembering Colonial Experiences: Palauan Elders' Stories. She talked about her interviews with Palauan elders regarding their colonial experiences as so-called emperor's children and considered how her ethnicity as a Japanese researcher might have affected the stories she was told.

CPIS joined with other organizations on and off campus to sponsor the Hawai'i premiere of The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands. The film, by Vanessa Warheit, looks at what it means for the people of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas to be colonial subjects of the greatest democracy on earth. Following the screening, a panel, composed of Hope Cristobal Jr, Lino Olopai, Terri Keiko‘olani, Jonathan Osorio, Kisha Borja-Kicho'cho', and Warheit, and chaired by Angela Hoppe-Cruz, discussed the current situation in Guam and CNMI and its relevance to Hawai‘i. The event concluded with an abundance of Marianas food cooked by the UHM Marianas Club.

Windy McElroy, senior archaeologist with Garcia & Associates, in Honolulu, gave a talk, Merging Archaeology with the Local Communty: The Moloka‘i Archaeological Training Program and Wailau Research Project, Moloka‘i Island, Hawai‘i. The talk was part of the UHM Anthropology Colloquium Series and was cosponsored by CPIS.

Ilana Gershon, an anthropologist in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University, gave a talk on her research, The Origins of Māori in Parliament: The 1867 Māori Representation Act in New Zealand." In the talk, cosponsored by CPIS, the UHM Department of Anthropology, and the Māori Language and Culture Program in the UHM Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, Gershon considered possible reasons why the settler New Zealand parliament decided in 1867 to pass a bill that set aside four seats in the House of Representatives for Māori representatives.


CPIS extends a warm welcome to two new MA students who joined us in January:

We would also like to formally welcome Brian Alofaituli into the MA program and congratulate him on being awarded an East-West Center Graduate Degree Fellowship.

And congratulations to our most recent graduates—Wainikiti (Kiti) N Bogidrau and Jesse David Yorck! We would like to say aloha to them and wish them well.

Kiti's thesis, Investing in Success: A Case Study of Rural Development Efforts in Mavana, Fiji, is an attempt to narrate the experiences of a Fijian village and its attempts at rural development. More specifically it is a study of how the members of Mavana Village, on the island of Vanuabalavu in the Northern Lau group, have been able to blend traditional and modern cosmologies to explore development through investment. Kiti is currently manager of public relations and corporate communications for the Fiji National Provident Fund, Fiji's largest financial institution.

Jesse's thesis, Contract Archaeology, the Law, and Indigenous Epistemologies in Hawai‘i, explores the disconnect between historic preservation law and the practices of archaeological firms in Hawai'i, and the impact on Native Hawaiian culture. He is currently working as a historic preservation consultant.

Congratulations to MA student Rachel Miller, who recently received a Hawai‘i Committee for the Humanities grant to produce a video that explores the role of the Marshallese canoe tradition in modern life, for Marshall Islanders living at home as well as abroad. Rachel's film will be based on her thesis, which she just completed and defended.

Congratulations to MA student Edelene Uriarte, from Palau, who has been appointed to the Language Access Advisory Council for the Office of Language Access, under the Hawai'i State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Congratulations to MA student Ann Marie Nalani Kirk, who was recently honored by the House of Representatives at the Hawai‘i State Legislature for her outstanding service in safeguarding Hawai‘i's natural and cultural resources, educating the youth of Hawai'i, and perpetuating Native Hawaiian oral traditions and history. Ann Marie was honored as a "true daughter of Hawai‘i for her many activities in the service of the Hawai‘i community, including her oral history website,, and her many film and video projects.

Congratulations to alumnus (CPIS MA, 2008) and PhD candidate in the UHM History Department James Viernes, whose paper Chamorro Men in the Making: Capitalism and Indigenous Masculinities under US Naval Colonialism in Guam recently won the Australian National University's Asia-Pacific Week/Asia-Pacific Futures Research Network Prize. Viernes presented the paper at ANU's Asia Pacific Week in Canberra, 8–11 February 2010. The paper will be published in PacificCurrents, an e-journal of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies.

Alumna Sara Lightner (CPIS MA, 2007) visited the center in February. She was on a short break from her job as associate Peace Corps director in charge of community health and small enterprise development, in Vanuatu.

Alumnus Eric Kjellgren (CPIS Certificate), Evelyn A J Hall and John A Friede Associate Curator of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, gave a talk, A Third of the World in Three Rooms: Redesigning the Oceanic Galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on 10 April 2010 at the National Gallery of Australia.

Congratulations to alumnus Keith L Camacho (CPIS MA, 1998) on the publication of his coedited (with Setsu Shigematsu) book, Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific (see Publications).

Congratulations to alumna Michelle Tupou (CPIS MA, 2000) and her husband, Misa Tupou, on the birth of their third child—and second boy—Kamalu Jon Makakoa Hapai Penisimani Tupou, born on 20 October 2009. After a brief leave, Michelle is back teaching, as an instructor in Hawaiian and Pacific studies at Kapi‘olani Community College.


Karen Peacock

Collection and head of the Hawaiian & Pacific Collections. Karen's career with the UH Library spanned more than thirty years. She began in the Pacific Collection, where she briefly worked before accepting a tenure-track position with the library's Social Sciences & Humanities Reference Department. She returned to the Pacific Collection in 1980 as a Pacific specialist and, in 1987, assumed curatorship of the collection upon the retirement of R Renée Heyum.

Raised in the islands of Micronesia, Karen did all of her graduate work at UH Mānoa, where she earned a Masters of Library Science, an MA in Pacific Islands studies, and a PhD in history. As part of the CPIS faculty, she was one of the few librarians at UH with full membership in an academic program. She also served as adjunct faculty for the University's Library and Information Sciences (LIS) program.

Karen has more than twenty publications to her credit, including Micronesian Histories: An Analytical Bibliography and Guide to Interpretations (with Nicholas J Goetzfridt), published by Greenwood Press in 2002; Blue-light Special: The Pacific Collection, Hamilton Library, in Pacific Places, Pacific Histories: Essays in Honor of Robert C Kiste (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004); and several articles in the journal The Contemporary Pacific, among others. She has served on the editorial boards for CPIS's Pacific Islands Monograph Series and The Contemporary Pacific, the BYU–Hawai‘i journal Pacific Studies, and the Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Beyond her work at the university, Karen also devoted a great deal of her time and energy to supporting the work of Pacific libraries and archives, developing and maintaining strong professional and personal ties with colleagues throughout the region. In recognition of this work, in 2006, she was honored by the Pacific Islands Association of Libraries and Archives with its Lifetime Achievement Award. She was only the second person to receive the award (the first being her father, Daniel J Peacock). She has also been honored with an outstanding alumni award by the UH School of Library and Information Studies (1995), the UHM Library's Nina D P Horio Excellence in Librarianship Award (2008), and the LIS Program's Dr Sarah K Vann Professional Service Award (2008).

Karen was officially granted emeritus status in March. We wish her all the best as she enters this new phase of her life, and look forward to many more years of informally tapping her wisdom, wit, and encouragement as we build upon the foundation she helped to lay.

Stuart V Dawrs, Pacific Specialist, UHM Hamilton Library


Professor of Law Jon M Van Dyke gave the keynote address, Protecting Indigenous Knowledge of the Native Hawaiian People, at the Restating Digital Public Domain International Conference in Taiwan in December 2009. The conference examined the best ways of protecting the indigenous knowledge of native peoples.

Congratulations to CPIS Assistant Professor Lola Quan Bautista, who has been awarded an NSF Research Starter Grant, Building Pacific Islander Homes, Households, and Communities. The grant will enable her to continue her research project, Understanding Domestic Space in an Urban Setting: Views from Migrant Women from the Federated States of Micronesia. Quan Bautista's work has focused on migrant settlements on Guan. This research will provide a deeper understanding of the social issues contemporary Pacific Islanders face, in Guam and other diasporic communities. As part of the research, Quan Bautista will produce a documentary that can be used to expand knowledge of these issues in educational settings.

UHM History Professor David Hanlon is continuing his sabbatical year. He will be on Pohnpei from 6–30 April, doing research on Nan Madol in conjunction with the Pacific Alternatives project (a joint project of UH Mānoa, the East-West Center, and the University of Bergen, Norway) and conducting research in support of his biography of Tosiwo Nakayama. For the month of July 2010, he will be a visiting international colleague at the Australian National University.

UHM History Associate Professor David Chappell presented a paper, "Envisioning the Pacific: Dynamic Rim and Empty Void, or Sea of Islands and Littoral Frontier?" at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in San Diego, California, on 10 January 2010.

Congratulations to Terence Wesley-Smith, associate professor of Pacific Islands studies, and Edgar A Porter, former interim dean of the UHM School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Studies, whose new, coedited book, China in Oceania: Towards a New Regional Order, has just been published by Berghahn Books. And congratulations to Terence and CPIS affiliate faculty member Jon Goss on the publication of their coedited book, Remaking Area Studies: Teaching and Learning Across Asia and the Pacific (see Publications for both books).

Congratulations to Yuko Otsuka, associate professor of linguistics, and her husband, John Beal, whose baby, Hana Sophia Beal, was born on 25 December 2009. Yuko is on leave and will return to the Linguistics Department in August 2010.


The Contemporary Pacific cover

Issue 21:2 of The Contemporary Pacific includes an article and dialogue pieces on modernity and the emergence of middle class in Tonga (by Niko Besnier), the kava trade (by Nancy J Pollock), and a tribute to Greg Dening (by David Hanlon, Ben Finney, Marshall Sahlins, Vicente M Diaz, Katerina Martina Teaiwa, and Greg Dvorak). It also includes political reviews on the Pacific region and Melanesia, book and media reviews, and an index to volumes 11–20.

The artist featured on the cover and throughout the issue is Papua New Guinean artist Daniel Waswas, whose work has been shown in major exhibitions around the world, including the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, at Queensland Art Gallery, in Brisbane, Australia. In 2007, he was a research scholar-in-residence at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Available from UH Press

Remaking Area Studies: Teaching and Learning Across Asia and the Pacific, edited by area-studies specialists Terence Wesley-Smith and Jon Goss, identifies the challenges facing area studies as an organized intellectual project in this era of globalization, focusing in particular on conceptual issues and implications for pedagogical practice in Asia and the Pacific. The collection makes the case for more culturally sensitive forms of area studies and indicates how these ideas can be translated into effective student-centered learning practices. 2010, 272 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3321-3, cloth, $45.00.

Mary, the Devil, and Taro, by anthropologist Julianna Flinn, looks at how women practice, interpret, and shape their Catholicism on Pollap Atoll, in Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia. The book focuses, in particular, on how the Pollapese shaping of Mary places value on indigenous notions of mothering that connote strength, active participation in food production, and the ability to provide for one's family. 2010, 208 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3374-9, cloth, US$47.00.

Disturbing History: Resistance in Early Colonial Fiji, 1874–1914, by historian Robert Nicole, focuses on Fiji's people and their agency in responding to and engaging the multifarious forms of authority and power that were manifest in the colony from 1874 to 1914. The book divides the period of study into two broad categories—organized resistance and everyday forms of resistance—to address the continuities and disjunctures in Fiji's interethnic and intra-ethnic relations. 2009, 200 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3291-9, cloth, US$45.00.

Twelve Days at Nuku Hiva: Russian Encounters and Mutiny in the South Pacific, by Elena Govor, is an ethnohistory of the Russian naval officers' revolt that occurred on Nuku Hiva, in the Marquesas archipelago, in 1804, and the complex cross-cultural encounters between Russians and Islanders. 2010, 320 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3368-8, cloth, US$49.00.

Polynesia: The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art, by anthropologist Adrienne Kaeppler, describes and annotates one of the greatest private collections of Polynesian art in the world. Distributed for Mark and Carolyn Blackburn. 2010, 448 pages. ISBN 978-1-8835-2840-9, slipcased, US$150.00. ISBN 978-1-8835-2838-6, cloth, US$100.00.

The Tropical Frontier: America's South Sea Colony, by archaeologist and writer Joseph Kennedy, focuses on the colonization of American Samoa by the United States and chronicles the ongoing relations between the two entities. Distributed for the Micronesian Area Research Center. 2009, 266 pages. ISBN 978-0-9800-3315-1, cloth, US$35.00.

English-Tahitian Tahitian-English Dictionary, a re-sized reprint edition by Sven Wahlroos, provides an extensive introduction to the Tahitian language, with detailed notes on grammar, usage, and pronunciation. Distributed for Eva Wahlroos. 2010, 726 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3473-9, cloth, US$64.00.

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

Militarized Currents: Toward a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific, edited by Setsu Shigematsu and Keith L Camacho, foreword by Cynthia Enloe, foregrounds indigenous and feminist scholarship in analyzing militarization as an extension of colonialism from the late twentieth to the twenty-first century in Asia and the Pacific. It examines former and current territories of Japan and the United States, such as Guam, Okinawa, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, and Korea. Shigematsu is assistant professor media and cultural studies, University of California–Riverside. Camacho is assistant professor of Asian American studies, University of California–Los Angeles. Published by University of Minnesota Press. 2010, 376 pages. ISBN 978-0-8166-6506-8, paper, US$27.50. ISBN 978-0-8166-6505-1, cloth, US$82.50.

China in Oceania: Towards a New Regional Order, edited by area specialists Terence Wesley-Smith and Edgar A Porter, examines China's outreach initiatives towards Oceania as part of a much larger outreach to developing areas in other parts of the world. It explores such issues as regional competition between Taiwan and China for diplomatic and economic ties and the role of overseas Chinese in developing these relationships, and examines various analyses of the benefits and drawbacks of China's growing presence in Oceania. Published by Berghahn Books. 2010, 240 pages. ISBN 978-1-84545-632-0, paper, US$39.95.

Takutea: A Collection of Children's Poems, edited by author and teacher Marjorie Crocombe, includes poems and diary entries from students at Enuamanu School in Atiu, Cook Islands. It is illustrated with the artwork of Cook Islands artist Mahiriki Tangaroa. The writings, the result of a workshop held by Crocombe, portray the lives of birds on the sanctuary of Takutea. 2008, 23 pages. Available in softcover for NZ$16.00, from South Pacific Books, on the Web at

Re-counting Knowledge in Song: Change Reflected in Kaulong Music, by Birgit Drüppel, is a musical ethnography of the Kaulong people near the south coast of West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. It includes a description and structural analysis of traditional Kaulong music, including singsing, large events that established and strengthened family and trade relationships. The evolution of singsing is traced and new music genres, such as kwaia (Christian choir music) are described. Copies are available for PGK20 from the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies (IPNGS). The volume is number 10 in the IPNGS series, Apwitihire: Studies in Papua New Guinea Musics. 2009, 324 pages. ISBN 9980-68-042-3, paper, PGK20.00.

The Arts of Kingship: Hawaiian Art and National Culture of the Kalakaua Era, by Stacy L Kamehiro, associate professor of art and visual culture at University of California–Santa Cruz, offers a detailed account of Hawaiian public art and architecture during the reign of David Kalakaua, the cosmopolitan leader of the Hawaiian Kingdom from 1874 to 1891. The cultural projects, which were part of the monarchy's concerted effort to promote a national culture in the face of colonial pressures, internal political divisions, and declining social conditions for Native Hawaiians, included a statue of King Kamehameha, ‘Iolani Palace, and the Hawaiian National Museum. 2009, 284 pages. ISBN 978-0-8248-3263-6, cloth, US$60.00; ISBN 978-0-8248-3358-9, paper, US$24.00.

Being the First: Stories Blong Oloketa Mere Lo Solomon Aelan, edited by Alice Aruhe‘eta Pollard and Marilyn J Waring, members of the Women in Governance component of the Regional Assistance Mission for Solomon Islands (RAMSI), tells the stories of 14 women who have broken barriers to rise to high positions within the Solomon Islands public service. Published by the Australian University of Technology's Pacific Media Centre. 2010. ISBN 978-1-877314-76-6, paper, NZ$27.00.

E Publications

New publications available online from ANU E Press, at, include


The Hawaiian Journal of History, Vol. 43 (2009), contains articles on Kalanimoku, William Kanui, Hawaiian Kingdom stamps, Foster Botanic Garden, attempts to treat leprosy in Hawai'i, the Grand Army of the Republic in Hawai‘i, annexation debates in the 1890s, and Wally Fujiyama and the University of Hawai‘i. The entire run of Hawaiian Journal of History volumes, beginning in 1967, is now online at

The latest issue of Journal of Pacific History, 44:3 (2009), contains articles on the struggle to establish Islam in Papua New Guinea (1976–1983), management of the environment in the American Pacific (1899–1902), the US Navy's Expulsion of Guam's Spanish Catholic Priests (1898–1900), the development of Haleakalā Highway on Maui, the Republic of Palau and its compact (1995–2009), journeying up the Sepik River in 1887, and constructing a bicultural literary history of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Films, Videos, and DVDs

The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands (2009, DVD, 56 minutes) tells the story of the relationship of the United States with Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas as reflected, in part, in the lives of four islanders—Hope Cristobal, museum director and creator of Guam's Commission on Decolonization; Carlos Taitano, former officer in the US Army; Pete A Tenorio, an activist from Saipan; and Lino Olopai, a former US government employee who is trying to bridge the gap between his Carolinian roots and the freedoms that come with his new American identity. For more information, see


Art and Encounter: Melanesia

The Melanesia Project, at the British Museum, will host Art and Encounter: The Contemporary Significance of Museum Collections from Melanesia, 28–29 June 2010, at University College London. The conference will open with an evening lecture by Ralph Regenvanu. Drawing on the results of a five-year research program at the British Museum and Cambridge University, the conference will explore the different kinds of exchanges, both intellectual and material, that are possible around collected objects today. To register for the lecture and/or conference, please contact Polly Bence at The suggested RSVP date was 9 April 2010./p>

Engaging and ArticulatingRace

Engaging and Articulating ‘Race': Historical Encounters with Race and Racialization, a graduate-student conference, will be held 18–20 June 2010 in Victoria, British Columbia. For information on the conference, see the website at

Islands of History

Islands of History, the 25th anniversary conference of the Professional Historians Association (NSW), will be held on Norfolk Island, 18–25 July 2010. Historians, archaeologists, museum curators, and heritage specialists from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Caledonia will evaluate aspects of South Pacific history in light of recent research. For information, see

Pacific Ecosystem Management Conference

The 18th annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference, Pacific Ecosystem Management and Restoration: Applying Traditional and Western Knowledge Systems, will be held 4–6 August 2010, in Honolulu. The keynote speaker will be Aroha Te Pareake Mead, of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. The conference will highlight successful collaborations in ecosystem management from Hawai'i, New Zealand, Micronesia, and elsewhere in the Pacific. For more information, see

19th Biennial Pacific History Association Conference

Pacific at the Crossroads: Reflecting the Past, Adjusting the Present, and Directing the Future will be held 12–16 September 2010, in Goroka, Papua New Guinea. Hosted by the University of Goroka, it will coincide with the Goroka Cultural Show. For more information, see the website at

Creativity and Climate Change

Oceanic Conference on Creativity and Climate Change—Oceans, Islands, and Skies will be held 13–17 September 2010 at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. The conference will highlight current works of writers and artists as activists with an emphasis on the synergy of creative spirits and scientific and environmental knowledge, particularly as this relates to climate change. Participants will include writers, artists, media specialists, scientists, and conservationists. For more information, see

Future Challenges, Ancient Solutions

Future Challenges, Ancient Solutions: What We Can Learn from the Past about Managing the Future in the Pacific will be held 29 November–3 December 2010, at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. The aim of the conference is to identify possible ancient solutions to contemporary challenges facing Pacific Islands peoples, with an eye toward cultural and environmental sustainability. For more information, see the

The Transmission of Scientific Knowledge in the Pacific

The Transmission of Scientific and Technological Knowledge in Everyday Life and at School in the South Pacific, organized by the Teachers College at the University of New Caledonia and the Victor Segalen University, Bordeaux, France, will be held in Noumea, New Caledonia, 4–8 July 2011. The conference will examine the relationship between indigenous knowledge and teaching and the implications for teacher training in different countries of the South Pacific. For information, or to submit a paper proposal, please contact Eddie Wadrawane, at; Pierre Clanche, at; or Pierre Chaillan, at



Heyum Scholarship at UH Mānoa

The UH Mānoa Center for Pacific Islands Studies is accepting applications for its 2010–2011 Renée Heyum Scholarship competition. Funds are available to support one scholarship in the amount of $3,000. Applicants must be indigenous to the islands of Melanesia, Polynesia, or Micronesia and enrolled full-time for academic credit as graduate or undergraduate students at a campus of the University of Hawai‘i. Applications are due on 18 June 2010. See for application information.

Postgraduate Grants for Tongan Students

Students born in Tongan of Tongan parents, who have already taken a first university degree and who wish to engage in postgraduate study at any university in the world, are eligible to be considered for an award to cover the cost or part of the cost of such study. Awards are made from the Arthington-Davy Fund, which is managed by Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Application deadlines are 31 May and 30 November. For further details, see

New Zealand Development Scholarship

The New Zealand Development Scholarships scheme offers people from selected developing countries the opportunity to undertake development-related tertiary-level studies in New Zealand. This may include study related to education, health, rural livelihoods, governance, human rights, or economic development, depending on the human resource development training needs of the home governments. For more information, see

Postdoctoral Research Positions for Māori and Pacific Scholars

Te Wheke a Toi Māori and Pacific Fellowship Programme will enable two new Māori and Pacific scholars to develop their academic skills at the University of Waikato. The appointees to these two-year fellowships will develop their skills under the guidance of senior academic mentors and will participate in a multi-institutional training program during three one-week residencies each year. For more information, see

Virtual Boodstore for Guam and Other Islands

Books, films, local art, and Island products related to Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, as well as books related to other Pacific Islands, can be found at a new website, GuamBooks carries publications of the Department of Chamorro Affairs and will soon carry a series of prints from the Guam Gallery of Art.

Comprehensive Site for Australia Collections

The National Library of Australia has developed a website, Trove, which allows researchers to find information held in Australian collections, including books, theses, reports, research articles, book chapters, sheet music, conference proceedings, papers, records, maps, photographs, artworks, postcards, videos, musical sound, sound recording of interviews, full text of selected Australian newspapers, copies of significant Australian websites no longer available online, and information about specific people and organizations. The website address is .

Marshallese-English Online Dictionary (MOD)

A revised and expanded electronic edition of the Marshallese-English dictionary originally created by Takaji Abo, Byron W Bender, Alfred Capelle, and Tony deBrum in 1976, is now online at Grammatical explanations have been simplified and expanded, and this edition includes over 10,000 example sentences. The MOD is designed to be a living dictionary, which will be modified and expanded. Users are encouraged to send comments and suggestions to the e-mail link at the bottom of each page.

Exhibition on Norwegians in Colonial Africa and the Colonial Pacific

The Bergen Museum, Norway, will host Colonial Times—Norwegians on Adventure and Big Business in Africa and the Pacific, beginning 25 June 2010. Concurrently, the book by the same title, edited by Kirsten Alsaker Kjerland and Knut M Rio, will be launched. The book and the exhibition illustrate Norwegian involvement in colonial trade, shipping, and management of plantations in Africa and the Pacific in the period 1850–1950.

Pacific Contemporary Art Exhibition in California

The C N Gorman Museum at the University of California–Davis will host Niu Pasifik: Urban Art from the Pacific Rim, 6 April–13 June 2010. Niu Pasifik, an exhibition of contemporary art from the personal collection of curator and educator Giles Peterson, includes artwork from Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, Hawai‘i, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. The show features graphic art, painting, drawing, animation, hip-hop video, sculpture, photography, tattoo, embroidery/textile, and street fashion. For more information, e-mail

Call for Entries: 8th Pacific International Documentary Film Festival

Submissions are invited for the 8th Pacific International Documentary Film Festival (FIFO), which will take place in Papeete, Tahiti, 24–30 January 2011. The deadline is 1 October 2010. Documentaries produced or directed in the South Pacific region during the last three years are eligible. For an entry form, see


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

Top of page
Center home page
SHAPS homepage
Universityhome page