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Framing the Pacific: Theorising Culture and Society

PASI 301 24 points

Victoria University of Welllington

 

Coordinator:     Teresia Teaiwa (teresia.teaiwa@vuw.ac.nz)

                        6 Kelburn Parade, Room 203               ext 5110

 

Lectures:          Wed, Thurs 10am-12pm                      KK 203

 

For additional information: Diana Felagai, 6 Kelburn Parade, Room 101,           ext 5830

 

 

In this paper students will examine a number of critical issues in the contemporary Pacific through a detailed consideration of the work, ideas, and writings of Pacific writers, artists, filmmakers, activists and scholars. They will also discuss established historical and narrative accounts of a range of Pacific societies.

 

Artists and activists are critical in our region's field of intellectual production. However, the work of individual artists as cultural producers often gets displaced in favour of what are accepted as timeless and authorless collective "traditions", while activists' work for political change or historical redress often gets overshadowed by national and state leaders' domination of official memories and the archives.

 

This paper puts artists and activists at the centre of our investigation as a way of both broadening and deepening our understanding of the Pacific; we gain new perspectives on the region that provide alternatives to those more easily accessible through mainstream media, information channels authorized by the nation-state, or dominant academic historiography.

 

As they engage in the work of representing and/or transforming Pacific cultures and society, we can see artists and activists as agents of both theory and praxis. Furthermore, attention to their work gives us a keener understanding of the kinds of rhetorical devices and tropes that are being used to "frame" the Pacific, highlighting the fraught processes and politics of representation.

 

Our questions throughout the course of this paper will include: What kinds of frames for understanding the Pacific have we inherited? How are artists/activists framing the Pacific? How are they reproducing and/or deconstructing inherited frames? How do artists and activists negotiate the tensions between individualism and communalism in Pacific societies? How is the work of artists and activists valued by their communities in relation to that of scholars/professionals/civil servants/religious leaders, etc?

 

This is a reading and writing intensive paper.

 


Course Aims and Objectives

 

Students who pass this paper:

 

·                    will keep up with assigned readings;

·                    will attend seminars regularly;

·                    will bring with them analytical tools and historical/cultural understanding gained from PASI 101, PASI 201, and other approved courses for the PASI major;

·                    will become "close readers" of texts;

·                    will contribute to seminars sincerely and conscientiously, knowing that they are enjoying the privilege of both creating and revising the field of Pacific Studies;

·                    will be able to describe the various contributions of artists and activists to the process of theorizing about the cultures and societies of the Pacific;

·                    will be able to competently research the historical and cultural milieus of particular artists or activists using a variety of sources of information;

·                    will be able to present their research and original ideas in a scholarly fashion both in writing and in formal seminars;

·                    will develop a strong sense of intellectual community with other seminar participants and guest speakers.

 

Workloads

The workload for PASI 301 is consistent with other departments within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 24 point courses. You are expected to allow on average 12 hours per week of reading and engaging with the material for this paper.

 

Required Texts:

v   Sean Mallon and Pandora Fulimalo Pereira, Speaking in Colour: Conversations with artists of Pacific Island heritage. Wellington: Te Papa Press, 1997;

v   Zohl de Ishtar (ed), Pacific Women Speak Out for Independence and Denuclearisation. Christchurch: The Raven Press, 1998;

v   Multilith of course readings (available for purchase from Student Notes);

v   Videos (available for viewing at the 9th floor audio-visual suite, or see class handout regarding video screenings at 6 Kelburn Parade);

v   Class handouts.

 

Recommended Texts:

v   Vilsoni Hereniko and Rob Wilson (eds.), Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics and Identity in the New Pacific. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999.

        Readings on reserve at the Library

v  Pacific News Bulletin, Tok blong Pasifik newsletters available at 6 Kelburn Parade

 


Assessment

Coursework                           100%

Course journal                          30%

Research assignment                 40%

Class seminar presentation        30%

 

v         Course journal                                                (30%)

            Your entries in this journal will be comprised of summaries of all required

readings (including videos) and personal responses to each. It is recommended that you either purchase an exercise book or keep a ring binder in which you may place hand written or word-processed printouts of journal entries. It is expected that each week, you will produce a journal entry of at least 300 words. Journals will be collected in Weeks 5, 9 and 12.

 

NOTE: Your short seminar presentations will be based on your journal entries.

 

v         Research assignment                                    (40%)

            Your research for this course will help to build the underdeveloped literature

            and scholarship on artists and activists of the Pacific. Your task then, is to

            select either an individual artist/activist or a particular art movement/

            social movement within the Pacific, undertake a review of the surrounding

            literature and provide a) an annotated bibliography of available sources on

the individual or movement; and b) write an essay discussing how the individual or movement expresses and acts on certain theories about society and culture, and how they participate in or resist particular "framings" of the Pacific.

 

            Annotated bibliography                         (15%)

            Your annotated bibliography should contain no less than ten entries and

            should provide annotations of at least 100 words for each entry (which does

            not include the title or other bibliographic information). A format for

            annotating bibliographies will be handed out and discussed in seminar.      

 

            Essay                                                               (25%)

            Your essay should be no less than 2000 words in length and should be

            thoroughly proofread and copy-edited before it is turned in.

 

            Your complete research assignment will be assessed as much on form as it

            will be on content. Assessment will be based on organisation of content, use

            of appropriate academic citation formats, and the effective exposition of your

            topic. Marks will be awarded for the absence of typographical errors.

           


v         Class seminar presentation                           (30%)

            Short seminar presentation                                (10%)

            Sign-ups for short seminar presentations will be taken in Week 1, with the

            first seminars taking place in Week 2. Each student is expected to take

            responsibility for leading a seminar discussion by a) preparing to summarize

            and respond critically to the day's readings; b) leading seminar discussion by

            preparing questions or exercises for the entire class.

 

            Long seminar presentation                                 (20%)

            Since this is the first ever senior class of PASI students and since we have a

            pretty high enrolment this trimester, long seminars will be presented in the

form of our own PASI 301 "conference" in Week 13. This will be held in Porirua/Hutt/Newtown community centers and open to the public. Long seminar presentations will be based on students' research assignments and should be no less than 20 minutes in duration.

 

            It may be possible that one or two students from PASI 301 will be selected

            to participate in this year's SPICOL (Students' Pacific Islands Conference of

            Leaders) at the University of the South Pacific.

 


PASI 301: Framing the Pacific, Theorising Culture and Society--Course Outline

 

Part I: Introduction

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Week 1        The Work of the Intellectual

July 16-20

 

Wed

10am    Introductions

11am    Course Outline and this week’s readings/handouts distributed

 

Thurs

10am    Sign-ups for Seminars and

11am    Discussion of this week's readings

 

Readings for this week: Antonio Gramsci, "The Intellectuals" in Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International Publishers, 1999:3-23 (handout); Edward Said, "Representations of the Intellectual" in Representations of the Intellectual. New York: Vintage Books, 1996:3-23 (in reader).

 

Recommended for this week--Closed Reserve: Edward Said, "Holding Nations and Traditions at Bay" in Representations of the Intellectual. New York: Vintage Books, 1996: 25-46. (Said's Reith Lectures on which these chapters were based are also available as sound recordings in the 9th Floor Audio Visual Suite.)

 

Readings for next week: Kerry Howe, “The Fate of the ‘Savage’ in Pacific Historiography” in The New Zealand Journal of History 11(2): 137-154 (in reader); Epeli Hau'ofa, “Our Sea of Islands” (in PASI 101 reader); Mallon and Pereira pp 9-11; Ishtar pp 5-14.

 

Recommended for next week--Closed Reserve: Jacqueline Leckie, "Introduction: The Silent History of Fiji's Public Sector Workers" in To Labour with the State: The Fiji Public Service Association. Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1997: 11-28.

 

Videos for this week: Half-life: A Parable for the Nuclear Age, Dennis O’Rourke (dir.); SPICOL Documentary, Students of the University of the South Pacific (dir.).

 

 


Week 2        Framing the Pacific

July 23-27

 

            Wed

            10am    Lecture: Frames

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

            10am    Lecture: Framing the Pacific

            11am    Student Seminars

 

Readings for next week: “Introduction” and excerpt from “Chapter 1: Political Protest” by Peter Hempenstall and Noel Rutherford in Protest and Dissent in the Colonial Pacific. Suva: The University of the South Pacific, 1984:1-17; JW Davidson, " Lauaki Namalau'ulu Mamoe: a traditionalist in Samoan Politics," in Pacific Islands Portraits, edited by JW Davidson and Deryck Scarr. Wellington and Auckland: AH and AW Reed, 1976: 267-299; Brij Lal, "Apolosi Nawai" in 20th Century Fiji: People Who Shaped this Nation. Suva: USP Solutions, 2001: 49-50. (in reader)

 

Video to be discussed next week: The Tribunal, Na Maka o Ka ‘Aina Productions.

 

Part II: Activists

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Week 3        In the Colonial Past

July 30-August 3

 

            Wed

10am    Lecture: The Colonial Past

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

            10am    Guest Lecture: Toeolesulusulu Dr. Damon Salesa

            11am    Student Seminars

 

Readings for next week: “Violent Protest” by Peter Hempenstall and Noel Rutherford in Protest and Dissent in the Colonial Pacific. Suva: The University of the South Pacific, 1984:87-97 (in reader); “Introduction” and “The Forgotten Wars,” from David Robie's Blood on their Banner: Nationalist Struggles in the South Pacific. Quezon City: Malaya Books, 1989: 13-25, 41-65 (handout); Susanna Ounei, “For an Independent Kanaky” in Confronting the Margaret Mead Legacy: Scholarship, Empire, and the South Pacific edited by Lenora Foerstel and Angela Gilliam. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992:159-172 (handout); Ishtar pp15-33.

 

Recommended reading for next week--Closed Reserve: Selections from Laura Marie Torres Souder, Daughters of the Island: Contemporary Chamorro Women Organizers on Guam. Lanham/New York/London: University Press of America and Micronesian Area Research Center, University of Guam, 1992. Second Edition.

 

Video for next week:

 

Week 4        From Colonial Past to Present

August 6-10

 

            Wed               

            10am                Student Seminars

            11am                Student Seminars

 

            Thurs             

            10am                Guest Speaker: Susanna Ounei

            11am                Open Discussion

 

Readings for next week: Haunani-Kay Trask, "Politics in the Pacific Islands: Imperialism and Native Self-Determination" in From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1993: 51-78 (in reader); Jacqueline Leckie, "Union and Nation Building in Post-Colonial Fiji," in To Labour with the State: The Fiji Public Service Association. Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1997:49-72 (in reader); Ishtar pp36-63.

 

Recommended reading for next week—Closed Reserve: Jacqueline Leckie, "Contesting the Workplace: Personal meets Political" in To Labour with the State: The Fiji Public Service Association. Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1997:73-98.

 

Recommended reading for next week—Independent surfing: Te Ahu, "Brown Power" in "The Evolution of Contemporary Maori Protest". http://maorinews.com/writings/papers/other/protest.html

 

Handout: selection from Pulega i Samoa: Governance in Samoa, Asofou So’o et al.

 

Video to be discussed next week:  Uiaki Fono, Taueva Fa’otusia (dir.)

 

 

Week 5        Independence?

August 13-17

 

            Wed

10am                Guest speaker: Dr. Melani Anae (Centre for Pacific Studies, Auckland University)

            11am                Open Discussion

 

            Thurs

            10am                Student Seminars

            11am                Student Seminars

 

NOTE: COURSE JOURNALS WILL BE COLLECTED AT THE END OF SEMINAR ON THURSDAY

 

Readings for next week: “Introduction: Sustaining the unsustainable” (in PASI 101 reader), Vanessa Griffen’s “The politics of sustainable development in the Pacific”, Noumea Simi’s “Putting people first” and Arlene Griffen’s “At the dawn of the ‘Pacific century’: A place for Pacific feminism,” from 'Atu Emberson-Bain Sustainable Development or Malignant Growth? Perspectives of Pacific Island Women. Suva: Marama Publications, 1984:I-xiii, 263-284. (handout)

 

Recommended for next week--Closed Reserve: Vanessa Griffen (ed.), Women, Development and Empowerment: A Pacific Feminist Perspective, A Report of the Pacific Women's Workshop, Naboutini, Fiji 23-26 March 1987. Kuala Lumpur: Asian and Pacific Development Centre, 1989.

 

Videos for next week: In the Name of Growth, ‘Atu Emberson-Bain (dir.)

 

Week 6        Development?

August 20-24

 

            Wed

            10am    Student Seminars

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

            10am    Guest speaker: Gitanjali Bedi

            11am    Open Discussion

 

Readings for Week 7: Nicholas Thomas, "National Independence, Indigenous Minorities and Migrants" in Oceanic Art. London: Thames and Hudson, 1995:184-208; John Berger, Chapter 1, Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corporation and Penguin Books, 1977:7-33; Frantz Fanon, “On National Culture” in The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1963:206-248. (in reader)  Langi Kavaliku, “Culture and sustainable development in the Pacific” from Culture and Sustainable Development in the Pacific edited by Antony Hooper. Canberra: Asia Pacific Press, 2000:22-31. (handout) "Fatu Feu'u" and "Filipe Tohi" in Mallon and Pereira.

 

Recommended readings for Week 7--Closed Reserve: Vilsoni Tausie, Art in the New Pacific. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies, 1981; Vilsoni Hereniko, “Representations of Cultural Identities” (in PASI 101 reader).

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

MID-TERM BREAK

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Part III: Artists

 

Week 7        Cultural Representations

September 10-14

 

            Wed

            10am    Lecture: Culture and Representation

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

            10am    Lecture: Culture and Resistance

            11am    Student Seminars

 

Readings for next week:  Paul Gilroy, “It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at: The dialectics of diaspora identification,” from Small Acts: Thoughts on the Politics of Black Culture. New York: Serpent’s Tail, 1993: 120-145; Don Long, “In Search of a ‘Written Fagogo’: Contemporary Pacific Literature for Children” from Vilsoni Hereniko and Rob Wilson (eds.), Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics and Identity in the New Pacific. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999:231-246. (handouts) "John Pule" and "Michel Tuffery" in Mallon and Pereira.

 

Recommended readings for next week: tba

 

Week 8        Indigenous Articulations

September 17-21

 

            Wed

            10am    Student Seminars

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

            10am    Guest speaker: Filipe Tohi

            11am    Open Discussion

 

Readings for next week: Christina A. Thompson, “In Whose Face? An Essay on the Work of Alan Duff,” from Vilsoni Hereniko and Rob Wilson (eds.), Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics and Identity in the New Pacific. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999:105-118 (handout); Sean Mallon, “Samoan Art Histories” forthcoming in Art AsiaPacific (in reader); "Lily Laita", "Lyle Penisula" and "Jim Vivieaere" in Mallon and Pereira.

 

Recommended reading for next week—Closed Reserve: bell hooks, “Counter-hegemonic Art: Do the Right Thing,” in Yearning: race, gender and cultural politics. Boston: South End Press, 1990: 173-184.

 


Week 9        Social Criticism

September 24-28

 

            Wed

            10am    Student Seminars

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

            10am    Guest Speaker: Andy Lelei’siuao

            11am    Open discussion

 

NOTE: COURSE JOURNALS WILL BE COLLECTED AT THE END OF SEMINAR ON THURSDAY

 

Readings for next week: Haunani-Kay Trask, “Writing in Captivity: Poetry in a Time of Decolonization,” and Patricia Grace, “Influences on Writing,” from Vilsoni Hereniko and Rob Wilson (eds.), Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics and Identity in the New Pacific. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999:17-26, 65-73. Selected work by Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Audrey Brown…(handouts)

 

Recommended reading for next week:

 

Week 10      Writing Cultures

October 1-5

 

            Wed

            10am    Student Seminars

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

            10am    Guest speakers: Alistair Te Ariki Campbell and Audrey Brown

            11am    Open discussion

 

Readings for next week: Robert Nicole, “Toward a Literature of Liberation,” from The Pen, the Pistol and the Other: Literature and Power in Tahiti. New York: State University of New York, 2001:167-202. (in reader)

 

Recommended reading for next week—Closed Reserve: Paul Gilroy, “Art of darkness: black art and the problem of belonging to England,” from from Small Acts: Thoughts on the Politics of Black Culture. New York: Serpent’s Tail, 1993:74-85; Frantz Fanon, “The Pitfalls of National Consciousness” from The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1963:148-205.

 


Part IV: Conclusion

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

Week 11      Culture and Politics

October 8-12

 

            Wed

            10am    Student Seminars

            11am    Student Seminars

 

            Thurs

10am    Guest Speaker: H.E. Wilkie Rasmussen, Cook Islands High Commissioner to New Zealand

            11am    Open discussion

 

Readings for next week: Ngugi wa Thiongo, "The Language of African Literature" in Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London and Nairobi: James Currey and Heinemann Kenya, 1986:4-33; Malama Meleisea, “Ideology in Pacific Studies: A Personal View” in Class and Culture in the South Pacific edited by Antony Hooper et al. Suva and Auckland: The University of the South Pacific and Auckland University, 1987:140-152; Sione Latukefu, “The Making of the First Tongan-born Professional Historian,” in Pacific Islands History: Journeys and Transformations edited by Brij V. Lal. Canberra: The Journal of Pacific History, 1992:14-31. (in reader)

 

Recommended reading for next week—Closed Reserve: Antonio Gramsci, “On Education” from Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci edited and translated by Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith. New York: International Publishers, 1999:2-43.

 

Week 12      Politics and Scholarship

October 15-20

 

            Wed

            10am    Guest Speaker: Toeolesulu Dr. Damon Salesa

            11am    Open discussion

 

            Thurs

            10am    Student Seminars

            11am    Student Seminars

 

NOTE: COURSE JOURNALS WILL BE COLLECTED AT THE END OF SEMINAR ON THURSDAY

 

Week 13      PASI 301 Community Conferences

October 22-26            Venues and Times tba


Pacific art in New Zealand: selected readings         compiled by Sean Mallon

 

Cross, Mark. 1993. Liku and the new hiapo of John Pule. Art New Zealand, 66:43-5

 

Griffin, Jane. 1992. Southern Presence: meeting with Five Pacific artists. Art New Zealand, 64:85-9

 

Feu`u, Fatu. 1995. Samoan Artists in Samoa and New Zealand. Art AsiaPacific Vol2:4.

 

Lay, Graeme. 1996. Pacific New Zealand. Auckland: David Ling.

 

Panaho, Rangihiroa. 1990.Te Moemoea No Iotefa: the dream of Joseph: a celebration of Pacific Island artists. Wanganui:Sargeant Gallery.

 

Stacey, G. 1987. The Art of Fatu Feu’u. Art New Zealand, 45:48-51.

 

Stevenson, Karen. 1996. "Culture and Identity: Contemporary Pacific Artists in New Zealand'. Bulletin of New Zealand Art History, Vol 17:59-68.

 

Te Waka Toi. 1992. The Tongan Arts in New Zealand. Te Waka Toi, Issue 13

 

Thomas, Nicholas. 1994. Lost Gods the Paintings of John Pule. Art AsiaPacific, vol 1(4):96-103.

 

Thomas, Nicholas. 1995. "Pacific Dualities: Bottled Ocean in Wellington and Auckland". Art New Zealand 74:46-50.

 

Vaigro,W. 1995. Bottled Ocean: shape shifting. Art AsiaPacific, Vol. 2 no 4.

 

Vercoe, C. 1999. John Ioane Fale Sa. Auckland Art Gallery, Toi O Tamaki. Auckland.

 

Vivieaere, Jim. 1997. The Island race in Aotearoa. Artlink, Vol 16:4.

 

Walker, Tim. 1994. Everything is Connected: The Art of  Michel Tuffery.

Art New Zealand, 70:64-7.

 

Upload: 08/29/2001

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