Instructor: Julie Walsh
Department of Anthropology
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Honolulu, HI 96822
Course Description: The islands of the Pacific have played a tremendous role in the discipline of Anthropology. From Mead, Malinowski, and Bateson to Goodenough, Sahlins, and numerous others, the people of the Pacific have taught us more of what it is to be human, and destroyed many limited Western conceptions of personhood and society with the variety of their cultural expression. It is with a sense of curiosity and gratitude that this course will consider the histories, cultures and people of the most tremendous area of our world. Together we will explore the origins, settlement, and technological innovation of these great sea-faring peoples. We will examine the impact of Western explorers, merchants, missionaries, and the variety of experiences under the representative colonial administrations. We will consider political development and the contemporary dilemmas that leaders and residents of these islands face today as they continue to forge new connections in a rapidly changing world. Course materials will be supplemented by Pacific Islander writings, for it is my view that the voices of Pacific Islanders must be included in any representation of their cultures and lives. With a greater understanding of Pacific Island cultures, we will arrive at a fuller appreciation of the great contributions that Pacific Island people have made to our understanding of our humanity.
Course Objectives: My goals for this course are that you learn about Pacific peoples, including the geography, history, economics, cultures, and politics of the region; that you are able to apply what you have learned to help others understand and appreciate the Pacific; that you study with diligence and independence.
Course Requirements: As instructor, I consider myself as a facilitator among fellow students of the Pacific. Class attendance and participation are absolutely essential to the success of this course. Students are expected to come to class prepared (having read the material) and ready to share their knowledge and experiences with other members of the class and the instructor. I frequently like to start class with a brief question from the readings or a literary passage for analysis. These "quizzes" will count toward class participation as they help students organize their thoughts prior to class discussions. Additionally, students will learn the geography of the Pacific islands, namely their location in relation to one another and the Pacific rim nations. Students will be responsible for one book review of Pacific fiction, (I will offer and be open to suggestions) and one in-class presentation as part of a panel of presentations on contemporary issues in Oceania. There will also be two exams, both of which will be cumulative. Exams will follow a format of identification, short answer questions, and a longer essay.
While this course is designed as an overview of the great variety of island peoples and cultures, student presentations will allow us to focus on particular island groups, and nations. I would like to see students with particular interests become "specialists" for class purposes. I am open to suggestions on how to counter the generalist nature of this course with a narrower scope at times.
Your final grade will be calculated as follows:
This course is designed to encourage independent reflection and analysis of materials. I believe in the creative process and the personal and intellectual growth that occurs when students engage in producing original material. For this reason, using anothers ideas or writings as ones own, (i.e. plagiarism) will not be tolerated. Plagiarized work will receive a failing grade.
No late papers or assignments will be accepted unless permission is granted in advance by the instructor. Similarly, make-up exams will not be given, unless permission is given in advance of the exam by the instructor, and only in the case of extenuating circumstances.
Attendance will be taken at each class so credit can be given toward class participation. As we have only 20 classes together, excessive absences (more than 3) will affect you ability to do your best work and will be reflected in the class participation component of your final grade.
Having explained these policies, let me now say that I look forward to getting to know you personally so that if we should have any difficulties or should problems meeting these expectations arise, we can work together to solve them. I will be available in my office in the Anthropology Department (Social Science Building, rm. 330) every day of the week. We can decide on convenient office hours for all of us during class. Feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org in advance for appointments outside of regular office hours. Also, you may leave a message for me in the Anthropology Dept. office (956-8415), and I will call you back.
1993Contemporary Pacific Societies: Studies in Development and Change. Ed. by Victoria S. Lockwood, Thomas G. Harding, and Ben J. Wallace. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Oliver, Douglas L.
1989 Native Cultures of the Pacific Islands. Illustrations by Lois Johnson. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
1989 The Pacific Islands. Third Edition. Illustrated by Sheila Mitchell Oliver. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
1989 Nest in the Wind: Adventures in Anthropology on a Tropical Island. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.
** Readings in packet for Identity unit:
Lawson, Stephanie. (1996) "Introduction" Tradition versus Democracy in the South Pacific: Fiji, Tonga, and Western Samoa. Cambridge Press. pp 1-9.
Linnekin, Jocelyn. (1992) "On the Theory and Politics of Cultural Construction in the Pacific." Oceania 62
Lutkehaus, Nancy Christine. (1991) "Excuse Me, Everything is Not All Right: On Ethnography, Film, and Representation. An Interview with filmmaker Dennis ORourke " Cultural Anthropology 4(4): 422-437.
Hauofa, Epeli (1994) "Our Sea of Islands" Contemporary Pacific 6(1): 148-161.
Hereniko, Vilsoni (1994) "Representations of Cultural Identities." In Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the 20th Century. ed, by K.R. Howe, Robert C. Kiste, and Brij V. Lal. pp. 406-434.
Trask, Haunani-Kay. (1993) "Lovely Hula Hands: Corporate Tourism and the Prostitution of Hawaiian Culture: In From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press.
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