Representations of Pacific Islands and Islanders
This course explores images of Pacific Islands and Islanders in an effort to understand the power of representation and its relationship to the construction of knowledge. The aim is twofold: l) to provide information about the Pacific Islands and Islanders and 2) to explore the issue of representation. This will be accomplished through exposure to, and analysis of, written texts (journals, fiction, scholarly writing, travel writing), visual images (photographs, films, art) and a combination of text/image (museum exhibits, advertisements). The course is organized chronologically, looking at representations by early explorers, colonialists, artists, novelists, anthropologists, the tourist industry, and the mass mediaand by both outsiders and Pacific Islanders.
For purposes of focus, examples will be drawn primarily from four areas within the Pacific Islands: Tahiti, New Guinea, Samoa, and Fiji. Examples will be linked to broader issues that deal with the relationship between images, knowledge and power; ideologies of difference and distance; the nature of colonial and post-colonial encounters; and the role of racial and sexual representations in the construction of stereotypes. Today's increasing prominence of indigenous voices and epistemologies, together with current shifts within anthropology, have redirected Pacific Island studies. Issues of power and representation are increasingly seen as pivotal in understanding how various narratives and images influence one another and, ultimately, shape the nature of outsiders' knowledge about the Pacific Islands and frame their encounters with Pacific- Islanders.
The Lure of Tahiti (A. Grove Day, ed.)
In addition, there will be a packet of articles, to be purchased at RAMS Copy Center (4144 University Way). Readings are primarily from primary sources. Class discussion will draw out students' reflections upon, and analysis of, these sources. Please make sure to complete the reading by the day on which it is listed in the syllabus.
Discussion: Completing the reading on time will help guarantee fruitful discussion. Please ensure that discussion will be productive and spirited by being a participant as well as a listener. My decision to limit class enrollment is directly linked to this goal.
Films, Slides: Occasionally, films or slides will be shown in class and are to be treated as integral parts of the course.
Papers: There will be three short papers spaced three weeks apart. Each paper should be 6-8 pages, typed, double-spaced. No late papers will be accepted. Details about the topics will be handed out in class 2-3 weeks before each paper is due. General topics and dates are as follows:
Final Exam: There will be a final exam, consisting of essay questions, on Wed., June 5, 10:30-12:20.
papers (3 papers, 20% each) - 60%
WEEKLY SCHEDULE OF TOPICS AND READINGS
Tues. March 26
Introduction to course
Thurs. March 28
Week 218th C. Explorers: Mapping Mythical Lands
Tues. April 2
Bougainville, Louis Antoine de
Thurs. April 4 (out of context due to guest speaker's
Week 3l9th C. Writers and Artists: The Romance of Earthly Paradise
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Thurs. April 11
letters from Gauguin to Mette, 1891-92
Week 4Colonial Conquest: Displays of Power
Tues. April 16
PAPER # 1 DUE
Leahy, Michael J.
Thurs. April 18
Week 520th C. Writers: Expanding Horizons
Tues. April 23
Discussion groups in class
Maugham, W. Somerset
Michener, James A.
Thurs. April 25
Varawa, Joana McIntyre
Week 6Anthropologists: Dissecting Body and Mind (and the Discipline)
Tues. April 30
Thurs. May 2
Week 7Tourism: The Generation of Desire
Tues. May 7
PAPER #2 DUE
FILM: Cannibal Tours by Dennis O'Rourke (1987, color, 77 min.)
Thurs. May 9
Week 8Pacific Voices
Tues. May 14
Thurs. May 16
Guest panel of Samoan students
Week 9Popular Culture and Mass Media
Tues. May 21
Lutz, Catherine and Jane Collins
Hanley, Charles J.
Thurs. May 23
Class performance of:
Week 10Hollywood and Advertising: Representation or Misrepresentation?
Tues. May 28
PAPER #3 DUE
Discussion of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, 1962), The Bounty (1984)
Thurs. May 30
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