SCHOOL OF SOCIOLOGY, POLITICS AND ANTHROPOLOGY
CLASSES: Fridays 12noon - 3pm,
Dr Helen Morton
Room 479, Martin Building
Consultation times: Monday 2-3pm, Friday 10-11am, or by
Phone (with voicemail): 9479-1476
||1,500 word essay due August
||Literature review due
||3,000 word essay due October
* You may choose to submit
10 weekly worksheets of approximately 150 words each, based on
your seminar readings, instead of the 1,500 word essay.
"postcolonial" world is still dealing with the many
effects of European imperialism and colonisation. In this course
we will focus on the South Pacific region, with its many and
varied experiences of colonisation and its aftermaths. We will
examine the political, economic and social impacts of these
experiences, and explore a range of postcolonial issues including
family and gender relations, migration and transnationalism,
globalisation and nationalism, the "invention" of
tradition, tourism, and postcolonial fiction.
||Going to town: economic
change and urbanisation
||Transforming the family and
||Minor essay due
||The legacy of the missions
globalisation and nationalism
||The "invention" of
||Literature review due
||Rastas and rascals: urban
||Leaving the islands:
migration and diaspora
||Sept. 22 & 29
||NO CLASSES: semester break
||Pan-ethnicity and cultural
||Major essay due
||In a savage land: tourism in
||Welcome to Paradise: tourism
||Once Were Warriors:
WEEKLY TOPICS AND
Each week there
will be a two-hour class with lecture and film, and a one-hour
seminar. One seminar will follow the two-hour class and,
depending on numbers, alternative times will be announced in the
All readings for the
seminars have been compiled into two course-packs, one for the
first few weeks and the other for the later weeks. The first will
be available from the Bookshop from the beginning of semester and
the second a few weeks later. There will also be copies of the
course-packs in the Closed Reserve section of the library.
Each week you are
expected to prepare by reading the set texts, which you should
bring with you to class.
Readings listed as
"Optional further reading" are not in Closed Reserve.
They give more information on the topics and may be helpful in
researching your essays.
(July 21): What does "Postcolonial" mean ?
In order to understand the
term postcolonial, we need to look first at the
process of colonisation. This week, after an overview of the
course, we will take a brief tour of the South Pacific, tracing
the colonisation of the many scattered islands in this vast area
of ocean. The concepts of decolonisation and
neocolonialism will be introduced.
* Ashcroft, B., G.
Griffith, and H. Tiffen (1998) Key concepts in postcolonial
is a useful primer in the concepts and terminology used in
sources on the Pacific:
Howe, K. (1984) Where the waves fall: a new South Sea
Islands history from first settlement to colonial rule.
Howe, K., R. Kiste and B.
Lal (1994) Tides of history: the Pacific Islands in the
Oliver, D. (1989) The
Week 2 (July
28): Postcolonial Politics
During the colonial period
dramatic changes often occurred in the political structures and
organisation of the colonised nations. This week we look at some
of those changes and their ongoing impact on Pacific societies -
particularly in view of recent events such as the coups in Fiji
and the Solomon Islands.
Kaplan, M. (1993)
"Imagining a nation: race, politics and crisis in
postcolonial Fiji" in V. Lockwood, T. Harding and B.
Wallace, eds, Contemporary Pacific societies: studies in
development and change, 34-54. Englewood Cliffs, NJ,
van Meijl, T. (1997)
"The reemergence of Maori chiefs: devolution
as a strategy to maintain tribal authority" in G. White
and L. Lindstrom, eds. Chiefs today: traditional
leadership and the postcolonial state", 84-107.
Stanford, Stanford University Press.
Both of the books from which this weeks readings have
been taken have a number of excellent chapters on political
(August 4): Going to Town - Economic Change and Urbanisation
The kinds of political
changes we discussed last week went hand in hand with significant
economic changes; as with the influx of Indians to Fiji to grow
sugar cane. This week we look at the economic situation of the
postcolonial Pacific, focusing on internal migration to the urban
centres and its repercussions.
Connell, J. and J. Lea.
(1995) Pacific 2010: Urbanisation in Polynesia.
Canberra, National Centre for Development Studies, ANU. Chapter
One: "Managing urbanisation in Polynesia",
Nage, J. (1987)
"Immigrant settlements in Honiara, Solomon Islands"
in L. Mason and P. Hereniko, eds, In search of a home,
93-102. Suva, University of the South Pacific.
Goddard, M. (1995)
"The rascal road: Crime, prestige, and development in
Papua New Guinea." The Contemporary Pacific 7,
Emberson-Bain, A., ed. (1994) Sustainable
development or malignant growth?
(August 11): Transforming the family and gender relations
Colonisation affected all
areas of social life, not the least family structures and gender
relations. In some cases radical changes occurred; in others
there was strong resistance to change and precolonial beliefs and
practices have been retained, at least to some extent.
Bradley, C. (1990)
"The law... in PNG" Tok Blong ol Meri: The World
YWCA Pacific Area Office Newsletter, 12-13.
Fife, W. (1995)
"Models for masculinity in colonial and postcolonial
Papua New Guinea." The Contemporary Pacific 7,
Molisa, G. (1987)
"Colonised people" in G. Molisa Colonised
People: Poems by Grace Mere Molisa. Port Vila, Black
Jolly, M. (1991)
"The politics of difference: feminism, colonialism and
decolonisation in Vanuatu" in G. Bottomley, M. de
Lepervanche and J. Martin, eds, Intersexions:
gender/class/culture/ethnicity, 52-74. Sydney, Allen and
Jolly, M. and M. Macintyre, eds. (1989) Family and gender
in the Pacific.
(August 18): The Legacy of the Missions
Colonial expansion was
inevitably accompanied (or preceded) by the work of Christian
missionaries. This week we look at the ongoing influence of the
missions, particularly at the ways in which Christianity has
become so integral to most Pacific societies that it has been
incorporated into the concept of "tradition".
Sinclair, K. (1993)
"The Maori tradition of prophecy: religion, history, and
politics in New Zealand" in V. Lockwood, T. Harding and
B. Wallace, eds, Contemporary Pacific societies: studies
in development and change, 321-334. Englewood Cliffs, NJ,
Gordon, T. (1990)
"Inventing the Mormon Tongan family" in J. Barker,
ed., Christianity in Oceania: ethnographic perspectives,
197-219. Lanham, University Press of America.
"Pacific Island women in the context of Pacific
cultures, Christian theologies and modernisation" South
Pacific Journal of Mission Studies 1, 2: 4-6.
Garrett, J. (1982) To live among the stars: Christian origins
(1992) Footsteps in the
sea: Christianity in Oceania to WWII
(August 25): Islanders Online: Globalisation and Nationalism
The June 2000 coup in Fiji
was announced on the Internet within minutes of Parliaments
takeover; likewise the Solomons coup was also known to the
world almost as soon as it happened. Other signs of the
Pacifics engagement with the world are less dramatic but
just as significant: the Coke and Fosters cans littering the
beaches, the Nike shoes, the reggae and hip hop music, and the
American TV shows beamed in via satellite. This week we look at
the uneasy intersection between globalisation and nationalism in
Marcus, G. (1993)
"Tongas contemporary globalizing strategies:
trading on sovereignty amidst international migration"
in V. Lockwood, T. Harding and B. Wallace, eds, Contemporary
Pacific societies: studies in development and change,
21-33. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice Hall.
Foster, R. (1995)
"Print advertisements and nation making in metropolitan
Papua New Guinea" in R. Foster, ed., Nation making:
emergent identities in postcolonial Melanesia, 151-181.
Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.
Kearney, M. (1995) "The local and the global: the
anthropology of globalization and Transnationalism" Annual
Review of Anthropology 24:547-65.
(September 1): The "Invention" of Tradition
As we saw last week,
globalisation has not put out the fires of nationalism in the
Pacific; if anything it has fanned the flames. This week we look
at a debate in the anthropological literature about the
"invention" of tradition: a hotly contested debate
about the authenticity of cultural practices being revived by
Islanders seeking to assert their national identities.
Keesing, R. (1989)
"Creating the past: custom and identity in the
contemporary Pacific" The Contemporary Pacific 1:19-42.
Trask, H. (1991)
"Natives and anthropologists: the colonial
struggle" The Contemporary Pacific 3:159-167.
Also Keesings reply, 168-171 and Linnekins
Hanson, A. (1989) "The making of the Maori: culture
invention and its logic" American Anthropologist 91,
(September 8): Rastas and Rascals: Urban Youth
The youthful population of
most Pacific nations, combined with continuing internal migration
to urban centres, has left towns and cities across the region
with a high proportion of young people, often unemployed and
reluctant to return to the villages and a life of agricultural
labour. We will look at this phenomenon, and the problems it is
creating for both the youth and the societies in which they live.
Jourdan, C. (1995)
"Masta Liu." In V. Amit-Talai and H. Wulff, eds. Youth
cultures: A cross-cultural perspective, 202-222. London,
Rubenstein, D. (1995)
"Love and suffering: Adolescent socialization and
suicide in Micronesia." The Contemporary Pacific
Raulla, T. (1981)
"A Port Moresby youth gang" in P. Thomas, ed. Pacific
youth: selected studies on youth and development in the South
Pacific, 65-68. Suva, University of the South Pacific.
Herdt, G. and S. Leavitt, eds. (1998) Adolescence in
Pacific Island societies. Pittsburgh, University of
OCollins, M. ed.
(1986) Youth and society: perspectives from Papua New Guinea.
Canberra, Australian National University.
(September 15): Leaving the Islands - Migration and Diaspora
Since WWII the exodus of
Islanders from their Pacific homes has meant that for many
nations today there are as many, or more, of their citizens
living overseas than remaining at home. This week we look at the
causes of this migration, the varied experiences of the migrants
and their children, and the impact of migration on the island
Francis, S. (1995)
"Pacific Islander young people: issues of juvenile
justice and cultural dislocation" in C. Guerra and R.
White, eds, Ethnic minority youth in Australia,
179-192. Hobart, National Clearing House for Youth Studies.
James, K. (1991)
"Migration and remittances: a Tongan village
perspective" Pacific Viewpoint 32, 1:1-23.
Macpherson, C. (1985)
"Public and private views of home: will Western Samoan
migrants return?" Pacific Viewpoint 26,
McCall, G. and J. Connell, eds. (1993) A world perspective
on Pacific Islander migration.
MID- SEMESTER BREAK -
September 22 & 29
(October 6): Pan-ethnicity and Cultural Identity
The name "Pacific
Islands" was given to the region by outsiders, as were terms
such as "Polynesian", "Melanesian" and
"Micronesian". This week we look at the ways in which
Islanders are themselves incorporating these categorisations into
their identities, particularly young people who have grown up
away from the islands. We will also see that not all Islanders
agree with such pan-ethnic identifications.
Hauofa, E. (1994)
"Our sea of islands" The Contemporary Pacific
(1998) "The ocean
in us" The Contemporary Pacific 10, 2:392-410.
Naidu, V. (1993)
"Whose sea of islands?" in A new Oceania:
rediscovering our sea of islands, 49-55. Suva, University
of the South Pacific.
Borer, D. (1993)
"Truth or dare?" in A new Oceania: rediscovering
our sea of islands, 84-87. Suva, University of the South
Linnekin, J. and L. Poyer, eds. (1990) Cultural identity
and ethnicity in the Pacific.
(October 13): In a Savage Land - Tourism in "Melanesia"
The region dubbed
"Melanesia" by early European explorers has long been
regarded by outsiders as the home of primitive natives with
strange and exotic practices - an image intensified by the fact
that some areas of Papua New Guinea were not contacted by
Europeans until the mid-twentieth century. This week we look at
the issues of tourism and cultural appropriation in relation to
Otto, T. and R. Verloop
(1996) "The Asaro mudmen: local property, public
culture?" The Contemporary Pacific 8, 2:349-386.
Errington, F. and D.
Gewertz (1989) "Tourism and anthropology in a
post-modern world" Oceania 60: 37-54.
(October 20): Welcome to Paradise: Tourism in
In stark contrast to the
images of Melanesia we discussed last week, Polynesia is
represented as a Paradise, with images of hula dancing, tropical
beauty, and sensuality. We will focus on Hawaii, home of
hula, and in particular on the Polynesian Cultural Center: gaudy
tourist attraction or site of cultural maintenance?
Helu-Thaman, K. (1993)
"Beyond hula, hotels, and handicrafts: a Pacific
Islanders perspective on Tourism development" The
Contemporary Pacific 5, 1:104-111.
Buck, E. (1993) Paradise
remade: the politics of culture and history in Hawaii.
Philadelphia, Temple University Press. Chapter 7:
"Contending representations of Hawaiian
Webb, T. (1994) "Highly structured tourist art: form and
meaning of the Polynesian Center" The Contemporary
Pacific 6, 1:59-85.
(October 27): Once Were Warriors - Indigenous Representations
representations of the Pacific by outsiders in the past two
weeks, in this final week we focus on Islanders
representations of themselves through poetry and fiction. We take
as a case study the controversial book and film Once Were
Warriors, and its equally controversial author, Alan Duff.
Duff, A. (1990) Once
were warriors. Honolulu: University of Hawaii
Press. Chapter 1: "A woman in Pine Block",
(1993) Maori: the
crisis and the challenge. Auckland: HarperCollins. Introduction,
vii-xiii and Chapter One, 1-7.
Thompson, C. (1994)
"In whose face? An essay on the work of Alan Duff" The
Contemporary Pacific 6, 2:398-413.
Hereniko, V. (1995)
"An interview with Alan Duff." The Contemporary
Pacific 7, 2:327-344.
Duff, A. (1992) One night out stealing. St Lucia,
University of Queensland Press.
(1996) What becomes of
the broken hearted? Sydney, Random House.
(1998) Both sides of the
moon. Auckland, Random House.
Some other Pacific authors
include: Heretaunga Pat Baker, Sia Figiel, Patricia Grace, Epeli
Hauofa, Keri Hulme, Witi Ihimaera, Albert Wendt.
There are several collections of Pacific writing in the library,
Powell, G., ed. (1987) Through Melanesian eyes: an anthology
of PNG writing.
James, A., ed. (1996) PNG women writers: an anthology.
Wendt, A., ed. (1995) Nuanua: Pacific writing in English since
Please see the
departments School Rules for details of essay presentation,
Each week you are
expected to read the appropriate section of your course-pack so
that you can join in discussions. As you read, it is a good idea
to take notes, including any questions you have, or other
comments, as this will help you participate in the class. Please
bring your course-pack and notes to class every week.
There will be weekly
worksheets with questions based on the readings. These may help
you with your note-taking. If you wish, you can submit 10 of
these worksheets to be assessed instead of the minor essay.
Please write clearly (no pencil) and allow room for comments.
Worksheets being submitted for assessment MUST be handed in
during the relevant class - they will not be accepted any later.
If you are unable to attend
class please let me know, as unexplained absences will be taken
into account for this part of your assessment.
(30%): 1,500 words, due August 14:
If you choose to do
the minor essay, instead of being assessed on your worksheets,
answer the following question and hand your essay in to the Essay
Box outside the Sociology General Office, including a cover
Choose one example of a
political conflict in a formerly colonised country in the Pacific
or elsewhere that has occurred within the past two years. Some
examples include the Fiji and Solomon Islands coups; the
Bougainville conflict; and the West Papua declaration of
To what extent has this
countrys colonial history contributed to the contemporary
Review (15%): 500 words, due September 4:
This review will
help you with preparation for your major essay.
1) State which topic you have chosen for your essay
2) Choose five of the texts you will use in writing your essay
3) For each of these texts, give the correct bibliographic
information (see School Rules)
4) Under the bibliographic entry for each text, give a brief
(approximately 100 word) summary, explaining why that text will
be useful in writing your essay.
5) Submit this review as you would an essay, with a cover sheet,
into the Essay Box.
It is important that you
hand in this review on time so that you can receive feedback on
your reading for your essay - the aim of the review is not only
to encourage you to begin researching your essay in good time but
also to enable me to give you that feedback.
(45%): 3,000 words, due October 9:
Choose ONE of the
1. Choose one formerly colonised nation.
Briefly describe its history of colonisation and decolonisation.
What are the legacies of this colonial history for the indigenous
people of this nation?
Did these people benefit in any way from colonisation?
2. Choose one of the weekly
topics we have covered in the course to research in more depth.
Your essay should include critical evaluation of the sources you
use (e.g. how and why they are different, what are their
strengths and weaknesses).
3. Devise your own essay
question on a topic related to postcolonialism. You MUST discuss
this with me prior to commencing research (i.e. prior to
submitting your literature review) to ensure it is an appropriate
Researching and writing
(Please come to see me if you have any questions about your
essays. If you have already chosen your topic and begun work on
it, and want to see me to discuss what you are doing, it helps to
have a written essay plan to bring with you.
(In searching for information for your essay, dont just
rely on the library catalogue. Try using some of the databases
available on the library web site, find the area of the library
that has relevant books and browse along those shelves, and
dont forget journals. The library has many journals that
will have relevant material; some are listed below:
The Contemporary Pacific
Journal of Pacific History
Journal of the Polynesian Society
Pacific Islands Monthly (for news and current affairs)
The Australian Journal of Anthropology
Journal of Development Studies
Womens Studies International Forum
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