Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources

Peoples and Cultures of the Pacific

Instructor: Mary McCutcheon
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
phone: (703) 993-1457

Texts used:

Quanchi, Max and Ron Adams, Culture Contact in the Pacific
Smith, Michael French, Hard Times on Kairiru Island
McCall, Grant, Rapanui

Map Quiz (mandatory 100% grade)

two in-class tests
two papers
-- first on ethnographic background for an island or a culture -- second on an anthropological problem or contemporary issue that the island/culture of choice has exemplified. (I give a long list in class)

Part I Geographic, cultural, prehistoric and historic background. (I do a lot on linguistics)

Part II Case studies:

Kairiru (good for Melanesian cosmology, cargo cult ingredients, economic change, values)

Palau (good for colonial history, social change, contemporary political and social problems, stories about ex-patriate communities and cultural continuity and compromise)

Rapanui (good for popularization of images, consequences of population growth and politics of habitat conservation)

Part III Contemporary issues to which the Pacific has contributed

Habitat conservation
Anti-nuclear movement
Social problems -- drugs, alcohol, suicide and domestic violence
Emergence from colonialism
Economic development options for the tropics

Comments : If I were doing it again I wouldn't use Quanchi and Adams. I think I would use Douglas Oliver and a reader instead, plus Smith and McCall and maybe other ethnographies.

[Subject: Anthropology; Pacific/Comparative]

oceania | academic programs | people | outreach | resources | publications
news & events | about the center | contact | home | text only site

2005, UHM, Center for Pacific Island Studies. | Site Credits