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Fall 2004

 

PACS 491 The Contemporary Pacific

 

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00-10:15am

Moore 120

University of Hawai‘i at Mnoa

 

 

Instructor: Dr Terence Wesley-Smith

Office: Moore 211

Telephone: 956 2668 (direct); 956 7700 (main office)

E-mail: twsmith@hawaii.edu

Office hours: Tuesday 10:30-12:00am, Wednesday 2:00-4:00pm, or by appointment

 

Course description

Recent events, including armed coups in Fiji and the deployment of an Australian-led intervention force into the strife-torn Solomon Islands, provide dramatic challenges to the popular image of the Pacific Islands region as an idyllic backwater in a troubled world. The course uses a multidisciplinary approach to analyze some of the critical issues facing Pacific Islands societies today, paying particular attention to the continuing process of decolonization, and the impact of globalization on economic development and human welfare in the region. This course treats Hawai`i as an integral part of the Pacific Islands region, and a central point of reference for discussion of major topics. It emphasizes indigenous experiences, voices, and perspectives, and seeks to foster multicultural respect and understanding.

 

Readings and resources

The required readings for each topic are listed in the course outline. There is no textbook for the class, but required readings will be made available in the form of a xeroxed reader. The reader is available from the Center for Pacific Islands Studies office, Moore 215, at a cost of $5.00. A set of four maps of the region is also available at a cost of $3.00. Students might also consider purchasing the two books they will be required to review (see “Book and video reviews” below).

 

UH has one of the best collections of Pacific Islands materials (including newspapers and periodicals) in the world. The Pacific Collection is located on the 5th Floor of Hamilton Library. The Internet is increasingly useful as a source of information on current events and issues in the islands region. Two sites have particular relevance for this course:

 

Pacific Islands Report                         http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/

Daily news stories, extensive links to other sites and resources, as well as a searchable archive.

 

Carving Out: Development in the Pacific http://www.abc.net.au/ra/carvingout/radio/

A website containing full transcripts from a 13-part series of programs on Pacific development issues broadcast on Radio Australia in 2001. You can listen to the programs or read the transcripts. Several of the program transcripts are listed in the Course Outline as required readings, and will be distributed in your reading packages.

 

Requirement and assignments

The class will meet twice a week throughout the semester. Lectures (sometimes by guests) will be supplemented by video presentations. Classroom discussion will be encouraged. There will be a midterm and final exam, two book reviews, and one video review (see “Book and video reviews” below). Each of these requirements will count towards the final grade as follows:

 

Midterm exam 20 %
Book review I  15 %
Book review II 15 %
Video review 10 %
Final exam 30 %
Attendance/Participation 10 %

 

Examinations

The midterm and final are take home examinations that require essay responses. Questions will be distributed in class two weeks prior to the dates that examinations are due. The midterm should be between 6 and 10 double-spaced pages in length. The final examination should be 10-15 pages in length.

 

The midterm will be distributed in class on 9/30 and is due 10/14

The final exam will be distributed in class on 12/02 and is due 12/16

 

Book and video reviews

Students are required to submit two book reviews plus one video review according to the following schedule:

 

Book Review I, due 9/21

Review the following book:

Epeli Hau’ofa Tales of the Tikongs

 

Book Review II, due 11/16

Choose one of the following books to review:

Cathy Small Voyages from Tongan Villages to American Suburbs

Albert Wendt Sons for the Return Home

 


Video Review, due 12/02

Review any one of the following videos. We will view these videos in class. Normally each video will be on reserve at Wong A/V center in Sinclair Library for three weeks, starting in the week we use it in class.

 

Advertising Missionaries  13624  Kilim Taem 18783
Half Life 851  Tatau: What One Must Do 14238
Islands on the Edge of Time 12511 Rising Waters 18236
Bougainville: Our Island, Our Fight 16639 Pacific Star 13216

                                             

 

Reviews should be in the range of 4-6 typed, double-spaced pages. Each review must include five items: 1) an indication of the author’s or filmmaker’s background; 2) the author’s or filmmaker’s intent or purpose in producing the work; 3) a capsule summary of the contents; 4) an evaluation of whether or not the author or filmmaker has achieved his/her purpose; and 5) and indication of your reaction to the work, and your assessment of its significance for understanding the Pacific region. Reviews should be organized around these five themes, which may be used as sub-divisions within the written text of the review.

 

Deadlines

The due dates for assignments are indicated in the course schedule. Generally, there will be grade penalties for late work. Please note that incompletes will only be granted under exceptional circumstances, such as documented illness.

 

Disability Accommodations

If you feel you need reasonable accommodations because of the impact of a disability, please 1) contact the KOKUA Program in Room 013 of the Queen Lili`uokalani Center for Student Services (phone: 956 7511 or 956 7612); 2) speak to me privately to discuss your specific needs. I am happy to work with you and the KOKUA Program to meet access needs related to documented disability.

COURSE OUTLINE

 

PART 1: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW

 

8/24 Orientation

A discussion of the course structure, requirements and expectations

 

8/26 Overview of Oceania

An overview emphasizing the enormous geographic and cultural diversity of the region

 

Reading

Robert Kiste “Precolonial times,” Chapter 1, Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century.

Carving Out, Program #1 “People of the Sea”

 

8/31 Bounding the Pacific

Where are the geographic, cultural, and other boundaries that separate “the Pacific Islands” from other regions? What about divisions within the region itself? How were these boundaries established, by whom, and for what purpose?

 

Reading

Victoria Lockwood 1993 An Introduction to Contemporary Pacific Societies. In Contemporary Pacific Societies: Studies in Development and Change, Edited by Lockwood, Harding and Wallace

 

9/02 Imagining Oceania

Representations of this “sea of islands” that range from paradise to purgatory

 

Video: Advertising Missionaries. Aspire Films, 1996 (Wong #13624)

 

Reading

Epeli Hau’ofa Our Sea of Islands The Contemporary Pacific 6(1); 148-161.

Rowan Callick 1993 Pacific 2010: A Doomsday Scenario?”. In Rodney Cole (ed.) Pacific 2010: Challenging the Future. Canberra: National Centre for Development Studies, Australian National University

 

9/07 Contemporary issues                                      ***Map quiz***

A survey of contemporary issues as reflected in the online news service, Pacific Islands Report < http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pirereport/>

 

Reading

William Clarke 2000 Pacific Voices, Pacific View: Poets as Commentators on the Contemporary Pacific. Pacific Distinguished Lecture 2000, Center for The Contemporary Pacific, Australian National University.

 

PART II: DECOLONIZING OCEANIA

 

9/09 Colonialism and violence

A reminder of the nature of colonialism, and its extremely violent impact in some parts of the Pacific

 

Video: Half Life: A Parable for the Nuclear Age. Direct Cinema 1986 (Wong #851)

 

Reading

Robert Milliken 1985 Deadly Snow

US Embassy Responds to “Half-Life” Film, Press Release September 9, 1986

Dennis O’Rourke letter in response to embassy press release

 

9/14 Decolonization: global perspectives

The post-World War II breakup of the great European empires; the role of the United Nations; the principle of self-determination

 

Reading

Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Territories and Peoples. General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV), December 14, 1960.

Johm Isbister 1998 Nationalism and Independence. Chapter 5, Promises Not Kept: The Betrayal of Social Change in the Third World. West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press.

 

9/16 Decolonizing the Pacific Islands                       

A discussion of the process whereby Pacific Island entities have (or have not) achieved political independence from their colonial masters.

 

Reading

Vijay Naidu 1993 The Path to Independence. In Max Quanchi and Ron Adams (eds) Culture Contact in the Pacific: 126-138.

Further reading

Stewart Firth 1989 Sovereignty and Independence in the Contemporary Pacific, The Contemporary Pacific 1(1&2). 75-96.

 

9/21 Outcomes of decolonization             ***Book Review I due***

Independence, integration, and free association as outcomes of the decolonization process in the Pacific. Unresolved claims to self-determination.

 

Reading

Stewart Firth 2000 Decolonization. Chapter 17 in Robert Borofsky (ed) Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History. Honolulu: UH Press. 314-332.

John Henderson 2002 The Politics of Association. Special Issue of Revue Juridique Polynesienne, Volume 2, edited by Stephen Levine and Yves-Louis Sage. 77-86.

 

9/23 Imbalances of power

Prospects for self-determination in Oceania in an era of globalization

 

Video: Islands on the Edge of Time (Palau) (Wong 12511)

 

 

PART III: COUPS, CONFLICTS AND CRISES

 

9/28 Conflict in the contemporary Pacific

Recent events in Fiji and Solomon Islands have led some commentators to predict a “contagion” of violence and instability in the region as a whole. A look at some historical and contemporary factors producing tension and conflict in Oceania.

Reading

Gerard Finin and Terence Wesley-Smith 2000 Coups, Conflicts and Crises: The New Pacific Way? Honolulu; East West Center Working Paper #13.

 

9/30 The Bougainville Crisis              ***Distribute midterm***

A discussion of the factors causing the decade-long secessionist crisis in Bougainville, an island province of Papua New Guinea, which may have cost the lives of more than 10,000 people.

Reading

Sean Dorney 1998 The Bougainville War: A Background History to the Secessionist Conflict (to 1995). Chapter 2 in The Sandline Affair: Politics and Mercenaries and the Bougainville Crisis. Sydney: ABC Books. 37-56.

 

10/05 Bougainville: Our Island, Our Fight

Video about the war in Bougainville (Wong #16639)

 

Reading

Anthony Regan 1998 Causes and Course of the Bougainville Conflict. Journal of Pacific History 33(3). 269-285.

 

10/07 Crisis in Solomon Islands                                               

In June 2000 members of the Malaita Eagle Force took the Solomons Prime Minister hostage and engaged in a series of armed conflicts with a rival militia, the Isatabu Freedom Movement, that left many dead. A discussion of the factors behind the longstanding tensions between local landowners on Guadalcanal (represented by the Isatabu Freedom Movement) and migrants from the nearby island of Malaita (represented by the Malaitan Eagle Force).

 

Reading

Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka 2002 A Weak State and the Solomon Islands Peace Process. East-West Center Working Paper, Pacific Islands Development Series #14.

 

10/12 Solomons: current situation and future prospects

Current efforts to negotiate peace between the warring factions. The Australian-led intervention of July 2003. Social, economic, and political implications of the crisis.

 

Reading

Tarcisius Kabutaulaka 2003 Salvaging the Solomons. Pacific Islands Report, 7 October.

 

 

 

PART IV: GLOBALIZATION, SOCIAL CHANGE

AND HUMAN WELFARE

 

10/14 The Idea of “Development”                                 ***Midterm due***

We often divide the world up into “developed” and “underdeveloped” or “developing” countries without stopping to think where these categories came from and what they actually mean. A brief look the relatively recent origins of these ideas.

Reading

Notes on “The Discovery of Poverty” and “A Primer on Global Poverty and Inequality”

Carving Out, Program #13, “Pacific Perspectives on Development”

 

10/19 Globalization and economic development in Oceania

A survey of some economic issues facing Pacific Islanders in an era of globalization.

 

Reading

Victoria Lockwood 2004 The Global Imperative and Pacific Island Societies. In Lockwood (ed.)

Carving Out, Program #4, “Sailing the Global Currents”

 

Further reading

Stewart Firth 2000 The Pacific Islands and the Globalization Agenda. The Contemporary Pacific 12(1): 178-192.

John Overton 1999 Sustainable Development and the Pacific Islands. Chapter 1 in Overton and Scheyvens (eds.) Strategies for Sustainable Development: Experiences from the Pacific.

 

10/21 Tourism and its impacts: Pacific Star

 

Video: Pacific Star (Wong # 13216)

Musical that examines issues associated with the establishment of tourism in a remote island in Vanuatu. Wan Smolbag Theatre group.

 

Reading

Regina Scheyvens and Nick Purdie 1999 Ecotourism. Chapter 16 in Overton and Scheyvens (eds.) Strategies for Sustainable Development: Experiences from the Pacific. 212-226.

10/26 Innovative responses to globalization: the case of Tuvalu

A look at one of the region’s (and the world’s) smallest nations, and its attempts to deal with global forces and opportunities.

 

Reading

Gerard Finin 2002 Small is Viable: The Global Ebbs and Flows of a Pacific Atoll Nation. Pacific Islands Development Series #15, East-West Center Working Papers.

 

10/28 Globalization and Social Change in the Pacific

A discussion of the social and cultural implications of globalization or westernization for island societies.

 

Reading

Penelope Schoeffel 1994 Social Change. In Howe, Kiste, and Lal (eds) Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century. 350-380.

 

11/02 HOLIDAY

 

11/04 Health issues

Changing patterns of health and disease in the Pacific Islands

 

Reading

South Pacific Commission 1988 Patterns of Disease and Causes of Death in the Pacific Islands.

South Pacific Commission 1988. Food and Nutrition Issues in the Pacific

Carving Out, Program#6, “A Healthy Outlook”

 

Further reading

Pollock and Finau 1999 Health. Chapter 23 in Rapaport The Pacific Islands. 282-295.

 

11/09 Urbanization and youth

A look at some issues facing urban youth in Vanuatu

 

Video: Kilim Taem (Wong # 18783)

Reading

Carving Out, Program #7, “Changing Times”

 

11/11 HOLIDAY

 

11/16 Islanders on the move                                 ***Book Review II due***

A look at overseas migration and diaspora in Oceania

Reading

Gerard Ward “Expanding Worlds of Oceania: Implications of Migration” in Sudo and Yoshida (eds.) Contemporary Migration in Oceania: Diaspora and Network, 179-196.

11/18  Migration, culture and identity

 

Video: Tatau: What One Must Do. PIC, 1997 (Wong #14238)

 

Reading

Richard Bedford, Cluny Macpherson and Paul Spoonley 2001 Pacific Communities in the Information Age. Paper given at Pacific Vision International conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 27-30 July 1999.

Sepa Sete An American Society. Paper given at Pacific Vision International conference, Auckland, New Zealand, 27-30 July 1999

 

 

PART V: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 

11/23 Disappearing Islands?                                 

A survey of environmental issues in Oceania, with a particular focus on the threat of sea level rise.

 

Reading

Carving Out, Program #10, “Conserving the Future”

 

11/25 HOLIDAY

 

11/30 Rising waters

Pacific Islanders express their fears about global warming and sea level rise

 

Video: Rising Waters (Wong # 18236)

 


12/02 Recolonising Oceania?                    ***Video review due***

                                                                        ***Distribute final***

A survey of recent developments that seem to indicate a reassertion of control in the region by the former colonial powers, with particular reference to the renegotiated compacts between the US and the freely associated states in Micronesia

           

Reading

To be announced

 

12/07 Self-determination and sustainable development

The challenge of finding a locally-rooted “Pacific Way” to sustainable development.

 

Reading

`Atu Emberson-Bain 1994 Sustaining the unsustainable? In Emberson-Bain Sustainable Development or Malignant Growth? i-xiii.

Vanessa Griffen 1994 The Politics of Sustainable Development in the Pacific. In Emberson-Bain Sustainable Development or Malignant Growth? 263-274.

 

12/09 Review and Reflection                              

 

______

12/16                                                               ***Final Exam due by 4:30pm***

 

 

Upload: 9/14/2004


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