• The complete subject handout is to be found in "Open Reserve" at W 1362

  • Key Tutorial Reading

    Week 1

    1 March

    Topic: What is this subject about?

    Key Reading: Ron Crocombe. 1989. The South Pacific. Fifth Revised Edition. Suva, Institute of Pacific Studies. Chapter One, pp 3-19.

    Keesing, Roger M. 1989. "Anthropology in Oceania: Problems and prospects". Oceania 60: 55-59

    Week 2

    8 March

    Topic: Main principles for analysis in the subject

    Key Reading: Terrell, John Edward, Terryh L. Hunt, and Chris Gosden. 1997. "The dimensions of social life in the Pacific: Human diversity and the myth of the primitive isolate". Current Anthropology 38: 155-196.

    See also: Goodenough, Ward H. (ed). 1996. "Prehistoric settlement of the Pacific". Transactions of the American Philosophicdal Society Vol 86.

    Week 3

    15 March

    Topic: Cultural and historical characteristics of the Pacific Islands

    Key Reading: Grant McCall. 1994. Rapanui. Tradition and survival on Easter Island. Second Edition. Sydney, Allen & Unwin. Ch. 1, 16-29

    K.R. Howe. 1984. Where the waves fall. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press. Ch 2, 25-66.

    Week 4



    Topic: Rapanui, a case study

    Key Reading: Grant McCall. 1990. "Rapanui and outsiders: The early days". Circumpacifica. Festschrift für Thomas S. Barthel (edited by Bruno Illius & Matthias Laubscher). Volume 2. Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang. Pp. 165-225.

    Grant McCall. 1998. "Rapanui wanderings: Diasporas from Easter Island". In Christopher M. Stevenson, Georgia Lee & F. J. Moran (eds), Easter Island in Pacific context. South Seas symposium. Procedings of the Fourth International Conference on Easter Island and East Polynesia. Los Osos, Easter Island Foundation.

    Week 5

    29 March

    General Topic: What are the main elements of contemporary Oceanic identity? Discuss with relation to both Hau‘ofa and Balme.

    Key Reading: Balme, Christopher. 1998. "Hula and haka: Performance, metonymy and identity formation in colonial Hawaii and New Zealand". Humanities Research 3: 41-58.

    Hau‘ofa, Epeli. 1993. "Our sea of islands". In Epeli Hau‘ofa et al A new Oceania. Rediscovering our sea of islands. Suva, School of Social & Economic Development, University of the South Pacific. Pp. 2-18.

    And, Janet Ikimotu’s poem, "Floating Niu", below.

    MID-SESSION RECESS from 2 to 11 April

    Week 6



    Micronesia: How have Pacific Islanders dealt with outsiders who have come to "discover" them?

    Key Reading: Nero, Karen L. 1992. "Cross-cultural performances: A Palauan hoax? Isla 1: 37-72.

    Week 7



    Melanesia: What is a "Cargo Cult"? What forms do these organisations take? Discuss three principal characteristics.

    Key Reading: Bergendorff, Steen. 1998. "The sky came down: Social movements and personhood in Mekeo society".Oceania 69: 116-131.

    Giay, Benny & Jan A. Godschalk. 1993. "Cargoism in Irian Jaya today". Oceania 63: 330-344.

    Week 8



    Polynesia/Melanesia: How does body, identity and sociality intersect in Samoa and along the Sepik River?

    Key Reading: Mageo, Jeannette Marie. 1994. "Hairdos and don’ts: hair symbolism and sexual history in Samoa". Man (N.S.) 29: 407–432.

    Silverman, Eric Kline. 1996. "The gender of the cosmos: Totemism, society and embodiment in the Sepik River". Oceania 67: 30-49.

    Week 9



    Polynesia: Discuss the presentation of self in everyday (Tongan) life.

    Key Reading: Kavapalu, Helen. 1995. "Power and personhood in Tonga". Social Analysis 37: 15–28.

    James, K. E. 1991. "The female presence in heavenly places: Myth and sovereignty in Tonga". Oceania 61: 287-308.

    Week 10

    10 May

    Micronesia: If all Pohnpeians are liars who is telling the truth? Discuss (truthfully).

    Key Readings: Petersen, Glenn. 1993. "Kanengamah and Pohnpei’s politics of concealment". American Anthropologist 95: 334–352.

    Week 11



    Micronesia: Suicide is an increasingly common feature of life in Polynesia, particularly Samoa; contemporary researchers have noted its presence in some parts of Micronesia as well. What does suicide mean as a "cultural form"?

    Key Reading: Rubinstein, Donald h. 1992. "Suicide in Micronesia and Samoa: A critique of explanations". Pacific Studies 15: 51–76.

    Week 12

    24 May

    General Topic: Tradition, kastom and other similar forms are not straight forward, but complex bargaining sessions and highly political as well as personal. Analyse some conflicts over culture in the Pacific.

    Key Readings: Lawson, Stephanie. 1993. "The politics of tradition: Problems for political legitimacy and democracy in the South Pacific". Pacific Studies 16: 1-30.

    Stevenson, Karen. 1992. "Politicization of la culture ma‘ohi: The creation of a Tahitian cultural identity". Pacific Studies 15: 117-136.

    Wilson, Rob. 1995. "Bloody Mary meets Lois-Ann Yamanaka: Imagining Hawaiian locality from South Pacific to Bamboo Ridge". Public Culture 8: 127-158.

    Last Date for Submission of Final Essay Proposal

    Week 13

    31 May

    General Topic: Kava and power: Why is kava/yaqona such a core part of life in Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, Vanuatu and Pohnpei? How is kava use and identity linked in Oceania?

    Key Readings: Crowley, Terry. 1995. "The national drink and the national language in Vanuatu". Journal of the Polynesian Society 104: 7-22.

    Lynch, John. 1996. "Kava-drinking in southern Vanuatu: Melanesian drinkers, Polynesian roots". Journal of the Polynesian Society 105: 27-40.

    Luders, David. 1996. "Legend and history: Did the Vanuatu-Tonga kava trade cease in A.D. 1447"?. Journal of the Polynesian Society 105: 287-310.

    Week 14

    7 June

    Summary of subject and discussion.

    Video visits to Pacific Islands

    Final Essay due 11 June

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