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Pacific Island Worlds:

An Introduction to Pacific Studies

UU 104

Course Coordinator: Dr Elise Huffer
Institute of Pacific Studies
University of the South Pacific
Box 1168
Suva
FIJI
email: Huffer_E@usp.ac.fj

Course Objective

The course is designed to provide students of all disciplines and backgrounds with a broad understanding of the Pacific Islands and its peoples. It is an integrated introduction to the world of Oceania that calls upon guest lecturers from the various Schools, bringing together natural, human and social scientists.

The students are required to attend and actively participate in class, and to produce group reports on each part of the course. Students must complete the readings for each topic prior to lectures in order to be prepared to conduct class work.

The first part of the course is entitled "The Land and the Sea". It is divided into two sections. The first section examines the origins of the Pacific islands and their biodiversity, with a focus on land-based flora and fauna. The second section focuses on the marine environment, highlighting the various ecosystems.

The second part of the course looks at our Pacific Island heritage: how the islands were settled, and how Pacific societies live, inform themselves and communicate.

The final part of the course will trace the islands from the local to the global, by looking at political, economic and social developments over time and at future prospects.

 

Schedule

Tuesday: 13.00 - 14.00 014-014
Wednesday: 12.00 - 14.00 014-014
Thursday: 9.00 - 10.00 014-014

 

Assessment Breakdown

Class attendance, participation and group reports

(Oral participation

Part 1 group report

Part 2 group report

Part 3 group report)

40%

(10%

10%

10%

10%)

Individual Research Project 20%
Exam 40%

 

Course Outline

Part 1. The land and the sea

Part one of the course focuses on the land and the sea. In section 1, students learn about the biodiversity of the Pacific and investigate how the plants and animals that surround us are thought of, talked about and utilised, and how they can be sustainably managed. Students then investigate the marine environment with its various ecosystems and look at how peoples from the different islands across Oceania view and make use of the ocean.

In part 1 of the course students will visit a nearby coastal village and go on a reef trip.

Week 1 Introduction to the world of Oceania

Dr Elise Huffer

Class work: Item 1: Lecture: "An Introduction to the Pacific"
  Item 2: Group work and presentation on creation stories of island countries (see readings below)
Readings: Ocean Resources Management in the South Pacific, MS301, Course Book 1, University Extension, USP, Revised edition April 1999, pp.2.4-2.15, 2.17-2.33, 2.37-2.40.
  Kauraka K., 1989. Oral Tradition in Manihiki. University of the South Pacific, (pp.12-23 and 45-54).
  Beiabure, M, Teraku, T., Uriam, K., 1984. "The Work of the Gods", in Sister Alaima Talu et al. Kiribati: Aspects of History. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific.

 

Week 2 Forming Landscapes: The Physical Structure of the Pacific

Guest Lecturer: Professor Patrick Nunn

Class work: An examination of the formation, evolution and structure of the Pacific Islands.
Reading: Nunn, P. 1997. Pacific Island Landscapes. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific.Chapter 1.

 

Weeks 3 and 4 Pacific Biodiversity

Guest Lecturer: Professor Randy Thaman

Class work: An examination of Pacific Island Ecosystems and the importance of these ecosystems and their plants and animals to Pacific Island people and the impact Pacific Island peoples have had on them.
Reading: Thaman, R., R. Land, Plants, Animals and People: Community-Based Biodiversity Conservation (CBBC) as a Basis for Ecological, Cultural and Economic Survival in the Pacific Islands. Pacific Sciences Association Bulletin, 46 (1-2): 1-15.
Activity: Outing to a coastal village to conduct research on local knowledge of biodiversity.

 

Weeks 5 and 6 Marine ecosystems of the Pacific

Guest Lecturer: Professor Robin South

Class work: An examination, through lectures and group discussions, of marine ecosystems (Coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses) and their sustainable management.
Reading: Lobban, C.S. and Schefter, M. 1997. Tropical Pacific Island Environments. University of Guam Press (pp.178-188 and 194-223) (The book will be on reserve in the library during the month of March)
Activity: Reef outing

 

Part 2. Pacific Heritage

Topic 1 of the second part of the course looks Pacific Education, particularly the conflicting emphases between Pacific (Indigenous) Education and Schooling. Topic 2 examines when and how Pacific peoples came to settle the islands and how they move around today. It will also discuss how Pacific societies organise themselves. Topic 3 will discuss Pacific literature and orature.

Week 7 Topic 1: Pacific Education Guest Lecturer: Teweiariki Teaero
Class work: An examination through lectures and group exercises of Pacific concepts of learning in Tonga, Fiji and Kiribati.
Readings: Thaman, Helu, Konai. 1995. "Concepts of Learning, Knowledge and Wisdom in Tonga, and Their Relevance to Modern Education", Prospects, vol.xxv, no4.
  Nabobo, Unaisi, 1994. "Exploring Yalomatua: Fijian Education and the Missing Link", Directions 16:1.
  Teaero, Teweiariki, 1997. "Indigenous Education in Kiribati: Process and Concepts".

 

Week 8 Topic 2: Settlement of the Pacific:

Navigation and other achievements of early settlers

Dr Mike Davis

Class work: Group discussions and oral presentations on: "Evidence of settlement in individual island countries"
Activity: Visit of the Sigatoka Sand Dunes archaeological site
Readings: Kiste, R. C., 1994. "Pre-colonial Times", in K. R. Howe, R. C. Kiste and B. Lal, eds., Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century. Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
  Kirch, P. V., 1997. The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, Chapter 3, "The Lapita Dispersal".
  Clarke, W. 1994. "Traditional Land Use and Agriculture in the Pacific Islands", in Morrison, J., Geraghty, P., and Crowl, L. (eds.) 1994. Science of Pacific Island Peoples, Volume 2. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

 

Week 9 Pacific Societies

Dr Mike Davis

Pacific societies and the relationship between leadership, kinship, gender, economics and religion.

Class work: Group discussion and oral presentations on: "The social organisation of Pacific societies"
Reading: Lockwood, V. S., 1990. "An Introduction to Contemporary Pacific Societies", in V. Lockwood, T. G. Harding and B.J. Wallace, eds., Contemporary Pacific Societies: Studies in Development and Change. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.
  Hereniko, V. 1994 "Representations of Cultural Identities", in K. R. Howe, R. C. Kiste and B. Lal, eds., Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century. Allen and Unwin, Sydney

 

Week 10 Topic 3: Pacific Orature and Literature

Guest Lecturer: Professor Subramani

Class work: Group work and short presentations on: "Orature and literature in the Pacific"
Reading: Extension course book
  Marsh, S., T. 1999. "Here our Words" in Rapaport, M. (ed). The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society. The Bess Press, Hawaii.
Recommended reading: Subramani, 1992. South Pacific Literature: From Myth to Fabulation in particular Chapter 3 "The Authority of Tradition and the Influence of Oral Literature", Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

 

 

Part 3. From the local to the global

Part three of the course examines the political, social and economic developments which have come about within the region and looks at how the "global" affects the "local". It covers the institutions and policies that have been set up in the region over time to deal with changes and investigates future prospects.

Week 11 Colonialism and Decolonisation

Professor Stewart Firth

Class Work: An examination of the social, economic, political and legal impacts of colonialism and decolonisation.
Reading: Macdonald, B., 1994. "Britain", in K. R. Howe, R. C. Kiste and B. Lal, eds. Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century. Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
  Chappell, David, A. 1999. "The Postcontact Period", in Rapaport, M. (ed) The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society. The Bess Press, Hawaii.
  Wesley-Smith, Terence. 1999. "Changing Patterns of Power," in Rapaport, M. (ed) The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society. The Bess Press, Hawai'i.
Week 12 Regionalism

Dr Elise Huffer

A look at the essence, origin and function of regionalism in the South Pacific.

Class work: Group discussions and oral presentations on: "The various regional institutions and their role in the region and internationally"
Activity: Visit Forum Secretariat
Reading: Herr, R. A., 1994. "Regionalism and Nationalism" in K. R. Howe, R. C. Kiste and B. Lal, eds., Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century. Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
Week 13 Globalisation and the Pacific Dr Elise Huffer
Class work: Group discussion and oral presentations on: "The impact of globalisation on individual Pacific Island countries"
Reading: TBA
Week 14 Review week

Course Coordinator

 

 

READING LIST

Books, papers and reports

Ali, A. et al. 1981. Pacific Indians. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Asian Development Bank, 1996. Sociocultural Issues and Economic Development in the Pacific Islands. Office of Pacific Operations and Economic Development Division, Manila.

Bakker, M. 1990. Populations of the South Pacific: An Overview of Demographic Levels, Patterns and Trends. Population Studies Progamme, University of the South Pacific.

Bonnemaison, J. 1994. The Tree and the Canoe: History and Ethnogeography of Tanna. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Bryant, J. 1993. Urban Poverty and the Environment in the South Pacific. Department of Geography and Planning, University of New England, Armidale, Australia.

Clarke, W., C. and Thaman, R., R. (eds.) 1993. Pacific Island Agroforestry: Systems for Sustainability. United Nations University Press, Tokyo.

Cole, R. (ed) 1993. Pacific 2010: Challenging the Future. Pacific Policy Paper 9, National Centre for Development Studies, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra.

Cox, P. and Banack, S. (eds.) 1991. Islands, Plants and Polynesians: An Introduction to Polynesian Ethnobotany. Dioscorides Press, Portland, Oregon.

Crocombe, R. 1989. The South Pacific: An Introduction. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Crocombe, R. et al. 1992. Culture and Democracy in the South Pacific. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Crocombe, R. and Meleisea, M (eds) 1994. Land Issues in the Pacific. Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Christchurch and Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Dornoy-Vurobaravu, M. 1994. Policies and Perceptions of France in the South Pacific: New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Institute of Pacific Studies and USP Complex, Vanuatu.

Douglas, N. and N. 1994. Pacific Islands Yearbook. 17th Edition. Fiji Times Ltd., Suva.

Emberson-Bain, 'A. (ed.) 1994. Sustainable Development or Malignant Growth: Perspectives of Pacific Island Women. Marama Publications, Suva.

Fairbairn, T. I. J. 1985. Island Economies: Studies from the South Pacific.Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva in association with Asia Pacific Research Unit.

Fairbairn, T. I. J. 1994. "Pacific Island Economies: Structure, Current Developments and Prospects" In N. and N. Douglas (eds), Pacific Islands Yearbook (17th Edition), pp. 11-24. Fiji Times Ltd., Suva.

Figiel, S. 1996. Girl in the Moon Circle. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Finnegan, R. and Orbell, M. (eds.) 1995. South Pacific Oral Traditions, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana.

Firth, S. 1987. Nuclear Playground. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Garrett, J. 1992. Footsteps in the Sea: Christianity in Oceania to World War II. Institute of Pacific Studies, The University of the South Pacific in association with World Council of Churches, Suva.

Ghai, Y. and Cottrell, J. 1990. Heads of State in the Pacific: A Legal and Constitutional Analysis. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Halapua, S. 1994. "Harmonizing Our Resources for Sustainable Economic Development in the Pacific Island Countries." Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center, Honolulu.

Hampenstall, P. and Rutherford, N. 1984. Protest and Dissent in the Colonial Pacific. Institute of Pacific Studies, The University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Henningham, S. 1992. France and the South Pacific: A Contemporary History. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Hereniko, V. 1995. Woven Gods: Female Clowns and Power in Rotuma. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva, and Center for Pacific Studies, University of Hawaii, Honolulu.

Hiroa, Te Rangi 1966. Vikings of the Pacific. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Howe, K. R. 1984. Where the Waves Fall: A New South Sea Islands History From First Settlement to Colonial Rule. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Howe, K. R., Kiste, R. C., and Lal, B. (eds) 1994. Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century. Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

Irwin, G. 1992. The Prehistoric Exploration and Colonisation of the Pacific. Cambridge University Press.

Kirch, P. V. 1997. The Lapita Peoples: Ancestors of the Oceanic World. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford.

Kirch, P. V. 1984. The Evolution of Polynesian Chiefdoms. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Lebot, V., Merlin, M., and Lindstrom, L. 1992. Kava: The Pacific Drug. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Lewis, D. 1994. We, the Navigators: the Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Lindstrom, L. and White, G. M. (eds.) 1997. Chiefs Today: Traditional Pacific Leadership and the Postcolonial State. Stanford University Press, Stanford.

Lindstrom, L. and White, G. M. (eds.) 1994. Culture, Kastom, Tradition: Developing Cultural Policy in Melanesia. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Lobban, C.S. and Schefter, M. 1997. Tropical Pacific Island Environments. University of Guam Press.

Longhurst, A. R. and Pauly, D. 1987. Ecology of Tropical Oceans. Academic Press.

Meleisa, M. et al. 1987. Lagaga: A Short History of Western Samoa. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Meleisea, M. 1987. The Making of Modern Samoa: Traditional Authority and Colonial Administration in the Modern History of Western Samoa. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Molisa, G. 1983. Blackstone. Mana Publications, Suva.

Morrison, J., Geraghty, P., and Crowl, L. (eds.) 1994. Science of Pacific Island Peoples, Volumes 1-4. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Morton, J. 1990. The Shore Ecology of the Tropical Pacific. UNESCO, Jakarta, 1990.

Nayacakalou, R. R. 1975. Leadership in Fiji. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Neemia, U. F. 1986. Cooperation and Conflict: Costs, Benefits and National Interests in Pacific Regional Cooperation. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Nunn, P. D. 1997. Pacific Island Landscapes. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Nybakken, J. N. 1982. Marine Biology: An Ecological Approach. Harper and Row Publishing Inc., N. Y.

Oliver, D. 1989. Oceania: The Native Cultures of Australia and the Pacific Islands. Volumes 1 and 2. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu.

Ong, W. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the World.

Orbell, M. and Finnegan, R. (eds) 1995. South Pacific Oral Traditions. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Powles, G. and Pulea, M.(eds) 1988. Pacific Courts and Legal Systems. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva and Monash University, Melbourne.

Rapaport, M. (ed) 1999. The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society. The Bess Press, Hawaii.

Ravuvu, A. 1983. Vaka i Taukei: The Fijian Way of Life. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Robie, D. (ed) 1992. Tu Galala: Social Change in the Pacific. Pluto Press, Australia.

Routledge, D. 1985. Matanitu: The Struggle for Power in Early Fiji. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva

Sahlins, M. 1963. "Poor Man, Rich Man, Big Man, Chief: Political Types in Melanesia and Polynesia", in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 5, pt. 5.

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme. 1992. Environment and Development: A Pacific Island Perspective. Asian Development Bank, Manila.

Subramani, 1992. South Pacific Literature: From Myth to Fabulation. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Thaman, K. 1987. Hingano. Mana Publications, Suva.

Thaman, R. Environmental Issues in the Pacific Islands: Constraints to Sustainable Island Development. Pacific Circle Consortium, Canberra.

Van Trease, H. (ed) 1995. Melanesian Politics: Stael Blong Vanuatu. Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Christchurch and Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Veitayaki, J. 1995. Fisheries Development in Fiji: The Quest for Sustainability. Institute of Pacific Studies and Ocean Resources Management Programme, University of the South Pacific.

Waddell, E. and Nunn, P. (eds) 1993. The Margin Fades: Geographical Itineraries in a World of Islands. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, Suva.

Waddell, E., Naidu, V. and Hau'ofa, E. (eds) 1993. A New Oceania: Redefining our Sea of Islands. SSED, University of the South Pacific, in association with Beake House.

Watters, R. F. and Mc Gee, T. G. (eds) 1997. Asia-Pacific: New Geographies of the Pacific Rim. Victoria University Press.

 

Journals

Atoll Research Bulletin

The Contemporary Pacific

Islands Business

The Journal of Pacific History

The Journal of the Polynesian Society

The Journal of Pacific Studies

Journal de la Sociètè des Ocèanistes

Mana: A South Pacific Journal of Language and Literature

Pacific Islands Monthly

Pacific Perspective

Pacific Science

Pacific Viewpoint

Web Sites are available for all regional and international organisations that focus on the region

upload: 08/31/2000



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