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Anthropology 4633/6833


University of Tulsa, Fall 2002

MW 3:30 – 4:45 pm


Lamont Lindstrom

phone:  631-2888; email:  lamont-lindstrom@utulsa.edu

Office Hours:  MWF 9:30 - 11:00, or anytime by appointment


From the classic era of A. E. Haddan, John Layard, Bronislaw Malinowski, and Margaret Mead to the present, the Pacific region—that celebrated "laboratory of culture"—has excited much anthropological debate and theorizing.  This seminar introduces cultures of Oceania, past and present, focusing on anthropological issues that Pacific scholarship has informed.  These issues include personhood and gender, ethnohistory, knowledge/power, the politics of culture, and globalism. We review the Pacific of the past (its prehistory and traditions) and the Pacific of the present where people today face problems of remnant colonialism, weak state structures, uncertain economic development, tourism, urbanization, out-migration, political unrest and military coups.

In addition to course readings, we will also learn as much as possible about Pacific nations and cultures on the Internet.  The McFarlin Library has only a modest collection of Pacific Studies books and journals; the Internet offers different sorts of information about the Pacific that is often more up-to-date than print material. 

Each student will select one Pacific nation or culture, find out what information about this nation or culture is available online, and report on this in class, also turning in an annotated guide to useful websites, newsgroups, lists, etc.  In addition, each student will undertake a research project that will count as the course final exam.  This project may or may not derive from the midterm internet country/culture reports.  We will discuss possible project topics in class.



            Chambers, Keith and Anne                   Unity of Heart

            Figiel, S.                                               Where We Once Belonged

            Gewertz, D. and F. Errington                Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea

            Lindstrom, Lamont                               Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire…

            Stathern, Andrew et alia                      Oceania: An Introduction….

Students will write 3 page response essays (topics to be assigned) after reading the first four of the above books.  



Midterm Internet Nation/Culture Report


Final Research Project


Four Reading Response Essays


Map Quiz




Course Policies:  Late assignments lose points, depending on when turned in.  No extra credit work is possible.  PLEASE be aware of University of Tulsa policies on academic honesty and misconduct as set forth in your Student Handbook.




Aug      26        Introduction: Pacific Studies

            28        Cybersurfing the Pacific

                                    Reading:  Strathern et al. pp. 101-154

Sept       2        LABOR DAY

              4        Pacific Geography/Prehistory

                                    Reading:  Chambers, Unity of Heart

             9         Video:  Voyagers of the Pacific

                                    MAP QUIZ

            11        The Village (Tanna slides)        

            16        Area:  Polynesia

            18        Kinship

            23        CASE:  Girls in Samoa

                                    Reading:  Figiel:  Where We Once Belonged

            25        Personhood and Gender

            30        Pacific Explorers, Anthropologists and Tourists                        

Oct        2        Video:  Margaret Mead in Samoa

              7        Religion:  Ancestors and Gods

              9        Relgion:  Missionaries

Video:  Transformed Isle

            14         Internet nation/culture reports

            16         Internet nation/culture reports

            21        Area:  Melanesia

                                    Reading:  Strathern, et al. pp. 11-78

            23        World War II

                                    Video:  Angels of War

            28        Cargo Cults

                                    Reading:  Lindstrom, Cargo Cult

            30        Video:  Cargo Cult

Nov       4        Nations, Nationalism, and Kastom       

              6        CASE:  Class in Papua New Guinea

                                    Reading:  Gewertz and Errington, Emerging Class in PNG

            11        Rich man, Poor man, Big man, Chief

                                    Video:  Malangan Labadama

            13        Area:  Micronesia

                                    Reading:  Strathern et al. 183-235

            18        Tourists

                                    Video:  Seli Ho

            20        NO CLASS (work on Research Project)

            25        THANKSGIVING

            27        THANKSGIVING

Dec        2        NO CLASS (work on Research Project)

              4        CASE:  Global Kava

              9        Kava Circle and Lu'au (Research Project Presentations)

18                Research Projects Due




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