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University of Washington

U.S. Pacific Islander Contemporary Culture

 Spring Quarter 2002

5 credits

MW 9:30-11:20  

 

 

Instructor : 

Barbara Burns McGrath, RN, Ph.D

office:  T522A Health Sciences Building

phone:  685-0834

email:   bbmcgrat

hours:  by appointment

 

 

Teaching Assistant

Tevita O. Ka'ili

email:  tkaili2

office:  T519 Health Sciences Building

hours:  by appointment

 

 

 

Course Description

The experience of U. S. Pacific Islanders is the focus of this course.  Known for its vast geographic and cultural diversity Oceania is witness to some of the most dramatic stories of decolonization and postcolonial development anywhere in the world.  Using a multidisciplinary approach, the place of history, tradition, culture, religion and role of social forces are examined as they inform contemporary issues of significance to U.S. Pacific Islanders.  This course includes analysis of the concept of diaspora and transnationalism, and the emergence of Pacific scholarship addressing these topics.

 

 

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

·        Describe the relationship of Pacific history to contemporary experience

·        Analyze Pacific cultural values in U.S. context

·        Critically examine the effects of globalization on diaspora communities

·        Explore native scholarship addressing issues of history, culture, and politics

 

 

Readings

Required readings are available at AVE Copy Center. 

 

Films

Films will be shown several times throughout the quarter and are an integral part of the course. 

 

Course Requirements

A seminar discussion format is used in this course, which means its success is based on your effort and participation both individually and as a group.  A number of different perspectives are presented in the lectures, the readings and the films.  While we will follow a style of conversation described as "civil speech" this will be accompanied by a critical approach as we analyze the issues before us.  For this reason, it is important to attend class sessions and be prepared to discuss the assigned material.  The assignments are designed to encourage critical thinking and to enhance your reading comprehension skills, writing ability, and competence in oral presentations. 

 

 

Reading Notes

Each week we will be reading a number of articles, book chapters, or discussing a film.  You will be asked to write about these.  You may choose to write about the general topic of the week, or to respond to a specific argument presented by the author.  Summarizing an article will not meet the requirements for this assignment.  You are being asked not only to comprehend, but to critically evaluate.  On some occasions a specific question will be posed, other times a more reflective assignment will be made.

 

Although the notes must be typed, the format can be casual—somewhere between stream of consciousness and short essay.  The minimum length is 2 pages, the maximum is 4 pages.  Notes are due each Friday and will be graded:  check plus = 10 points, check = 8 points, or check minus = 6 points, according to the following criteria:

·        turning in on time

·        demonstrating familiarity with material

·        using critical thinking skills in integrating material with what has been presented in class and with personal knowledge and experience

·        demonstrating good effort--the complexity of the responses increases over the quarter.

 

Midterm Exam

A midterm examination is scheduled for the 5th week of the quarter.  With instructor approval, upper division undergraduate, or graduate students may substitute an additional paper or more comprehensive final paper for the midterm exam. 

 

Final Paper

One 5-7 page paper is required.  The topics will be handed out during the first weeks of the quarter, and be based on the readings and class discussions.  The paper must be typed, with references cited using a consistent format (ie., APA or MLA).  Points may be taken off for late assignments.  If you anticipate having difficulty in meeting this or any other requirement of the course, please discuss this with the instructor before the assignment is due. 

 

Oral Presentation

The final two weeks of the class will be devoted to individual or small group student presentations.  The topic will focus on a contemporary issue such as, effect of changing family relations on child rearing practices, role of the Mormon church in the Pacific and among US Pacific Islanders, Polynesian music as it reflects cultural identity, educational achievement of US Pacific Islanders, health disparities, etc.  A range of styles of presentation is acceptable (poetry, story telling, video, lecture, etc.).  These will be evaluated on the content of material presented and the quality of the presentation. 

 

Assignment

Grading

Due date

Reading notes

20%

Weekly, Friday noon

Midterm Exam

20%

May 1

Final Paper

30%

May 22

Oral presentation

30%

May 29, June 3, 5

 

 

 

Course Outline

 

 

WEEK 1                     Appeals to the Past:  Creation, Origins, History

 

Monday            Introduction to course; genealogy/connections

 

Wednesday    Read:

        • Ngirakland Malsol, "Preface:  In the Beginning"
        • Oral tradition, "The Origin of Samoa Including Manu'a"
        • Vivian L. Thompson, "Maui-the-trickster"
        • Vilsoni Hereniko, "Indigenous Knowledge and Academic Imperialism"

 

(study questions:  What do you hope to get out of this class?  Do you have any special needs or circumstances that I should be aware of?  What event, words, or action of this week did you find most engaging?  most distancing?  most affirming or helpful?  most puzzling?  most surprising?)

 

 

WEEK 2                                             The Time in Front

 

            Monday          Guest speaker:  Thegn Ladefoged, Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands. 

                                    Read:   

·        Patrick Kirch, "On the Road of the Winds," pp 1-11 and 207-245.

 

            Wednesday    Read: 

·        Epeli Hau'ofa, "Epilogue, Pasts to Remember"

 

(study questions:  Compare a Polynesian creation story with western historical

theory—which is more valid, which is more "true"?  How do you know?)

 

 

WEEK 3                                             Colonial Encounters

 

Monday            Film:  "Act of War—The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation."

Read:           

·        Brenda Luana Machado Lee, "The Relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian People:  A Case of Spouse Abuse"

 

            Wednesday    Read: 

·        Miriam Kahn, "Tahiti Intertwined:  Ancestral land, Tourist Postcard, and Nuclear Test Site"

·        Vicente M. Diaz, "'Fight Boys til the Last…:' Islandstyle Football and the Remasculinization of Indigeneity in the Militarized American Pacific Islands"

·        Albert Wendt, "Inside us the Dead"

 

(study questions: In what ways does colonialism change/create culture?

 Is tourism a type of 21st century post-colonial experiment in the Pacific?)

 

WEEK 4                                 20th Century Voyages:  Transnational Travel

 

            Monday          Read: 

·        A. Ravuvu, "Security and Confidence as Basic Factors in Pacific Islanders' Migration" 

·        Craig R. Janes,  "Migration, Social Change, and Health," pp 21-43.

·        Cathy A. Small, "Voyages:  From Tongan Villages to American Suburbs," pp 30-49 and 57-75.

·        Tupou Hopoate Pau'u, "My Life in Four Cultures"

 

 

            Wednesday    Film:  Chief in Two Worlds

 

(study questions:  Are there points of comparison between Pacific voyaging of the past and modern day travel?  Interview an elder in your family to learn about your personal history of migration/trave/lsettlement.)

 

 

WEEK 5                                             Culture and Identity

                                                                        Midterm

Monday          Read: 

·        Vilsoni Hereniko, "Representations of Cultural Identities"

        • Epeli Hau'ofa, "The Ocean in Us."
        • Melani Anae, "Papalagi Redefined:  Towards a New Zealand-Born Samoan Identity"

                                   

Wednesday            Guest Lecturer:  Rick Bonus, "Ethnicity in America"

Read: 

        • Debbie Hippolite Wright & Paul Spickard, "Pacific Islander Americans and Asian American Identity"
        • Teresia Kieuea Teaiwa, "Mixed Blood"

 

(study questions: Is there such a thing as "Pan-Pacific Identity" in the U.S.?  What are some of the forces that create/maintain cultural identity?)

 

 

WEEK 6                     Enduring Culture/Negotiated Culture:  Polynesian Values

 

Monday         Read: 

        • George H.S. Kanahele, "The Dynamics of Aloha"
        • Bradd Shore, "Mana and Tapu"
        • Barbara Burns McGrath, "Seattle fa'a Samoa"

 

            Wednesday   Film:  "Tatau:  What One Must Do"

 

(study questions:  In what ways have the Polynesian concepts of mana, tapu, and aloha changed over time and across space?  Do you consider these "key values"?  What is the place of religion or the church in urban US society for Pacific Islanders?  What part does it play in everyday life?)

 

 

WEEK 7                                 Role of Family and Sense of Community

 

Monday            Read: 

        • Diana Fitisemanu, et al, "Family Dynamics Among Pacific Islander Americans"
        • Alessandro Duranti, "Indexical Speech Across Samoan Communities."  American Anthropologist 99(2):342-354, 1997.

 

Wednesday    Film:  "Once Were Warriors"

 

(study questions: How is family defined in Polynesian cultures?  Have traditional family roles changed as a result of migration?  In what ways does the internet create a virtual community for diasporic communities?)

 

 

WEEK 8                                 Gender, Identity, Representation

Final paper due

 

Monday          Film:  "Paradise Bent:  Gender Diversity in Samoa"

 

Wednesday    Read:

        • Carol E. Robertson, "The Mahu of Hawai'I"
        • Niko Besnier, "Polynesian Gender Liminality Through Time and Space"
        • J. Kehaulani Kauanui, "  Off-Island Hawaiians 'Making' Ourselves at 'Home':  A [Gendered] Contradiction in Terms?" 
        • Teresia K. Teaiwa, "bikinis and other s/acific n/oceans"

·        Margaret Jolly, "From Point Venus to Bali Ha'I:  Eroticism and Exoticism in Representations of the Pacific

 

(study questions:  compare Polynesian gender identities ( such as  fakaleiti, fa'afafine, mahu, brother/sister/fahu, etc.)  with western images of Polynesians (such as fearsome football players, eroticized women, etc).

 

WEEK 9             Student presentations

 

WEEK 10             Student presentations

 

 

 

Bibliography

U.S. Pacific Islander Contemporary Culture

(ANTHRO 307 & AAS 300)

 

Anae, M. (2002). Papalagi Redefined: Towards a New Zealand-Born Samoan Identity. In P. Spickard, J. Rondilla, & D. Hippolite Wright (eds.), Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press [In Press].

 

Besnier, N. (1994). Polynesian Gender Liminality in Time and Space. In G. Herdt (ed.) Third Sex,Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History (pp. 285-328) New York: Zone Books.

 

Diaz, V.M. (2000). Simply Chamorro: Telling Tales of Demise and Survival in Guam. In D. Hanlon & G.M. White (Eds.), Voyaging through the Contemporary Pacific (pp. 141-170). Oxford, England: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

 

Diaz, V.M. (2002). "'Fight Boys Til the Last': Islandstyle Football and the Remasculinization of Indigeneity in the Militarized American Pacific Islands." In P. Spickard, J. Rondilla, & D. Hippolite Wright (eds.), Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press [In Press].

 

Duranti, A. (1997). Indexical Speech across Samoan Communities. American Anthropologist 99(2): 342-354.

 

Fitisemanu, D., Green, K.K., Hall, D., Wright, D.H., McKenzie, B., Nautu, D. & Spickard, P. (2002). Family Dynamics Among Pacific Islander Americans. In P. Spickard, J. Rondilla, & D. Hippolite Wright (eds.), Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press [In Press].

 

Hau'ofa, E. (1998). The Ocean in Us. The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs, 10. 392-409.

 

Hau'ofa, E. (2000). Epilogue: Pasts to Remember. In R. Borofsky (ed.), Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History (pp. 453-471). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press.

 

Herdt, G. & Leavitt, S.C. Introduction: Studying Adolescence in Contemporary Pacific Island Communities. In G. Herdt & S.C. Leavitt, Adolescence in Pacific Island Societies, ASAO Monograph 16 (pp3-26). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

 

Hereniko, V. (1994). Representations of Cultural Identities. In V. Hereniko & R. Wilson (Eds.), Inside Out: Literature, Cultural Politics, and Identity in the New Pacific (pp. 137-166). Oxford, England: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Hereniko, V. (2000). Indigenous Knowledge and Academic Imperialism. In R. Borofsky (ed.), Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History (pp. 78-91). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press.

 

Janes, C.R. (1990). From Village to City: Samoan Migration to California. Migration, Social Change, and Health: A Samoan Community in Urban California (pp. 21-43). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

 

Jolly, M. (1997).From Point Venus to Bali Ha'i: Eroticism and Exoticism in Representations of the Pacific: In L. Manderson & M. Jolly, Sites of Desire, Economies of Pleasure : Sexualities in Asia and the Pacific (pp.99-122).

 

Kahn, M. (2000). Tahiti Interwined: Ancestral Land, Tourist Postcard, and Nuclear Test Site. American Anthropologist 102(1):7-26.

 

Kanahele, G.H.S. (2002). The Dynamics of Aloha. In P. Spickard, J. Rondilla, & D. Hippolite Wright (eds.), Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press [In Press].

 

Kauanui, J. K.(1998). Off-Island Hawaiians "Making" Ourselves at "Home": A [Gendered] Contradiction in Terms? In K. Ram and J. Kehaulani Kauanui (eds.)

Migrating Feminisms: the Asia-Pacific Region. Women's Studies International Forum, 21(6): 681-693.

 

Kirch, P.V. (2000). Introduction. On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Before European Contact (pp. 1-11). Berkley: University of California Press.

 

Kirch, P.V. (2000). Polynesia: Origins and Dispersals. On the Road of the Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Before European Contact (pp. 207-245). Berkley: University of California Press.

 

Lee, B.L.M. (2000). The Relationship between the United States and the Native Hawaiian People: A Case of Spouse Abuse. In R. Borofsky (ed.), Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History (pp. 358-360). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press.

 

Malsol, N. (2000). Preface: In the Beginning. In R. Borofsky (ed.), Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History (pp. xi-xv). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press.

 

McGrath, B. (forthcoming). Seattle Fa'a Samoa. The Contemporary Pacific, xx, xx-xx.

 

Pau'u, T. H. (2002). My Life in Four Cultures. In P. Spickard, J. Rondilla, & D. Hippolite Wright (eds.), Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press [In Press].

 

Powell, T. The origin of Samoa including Manu'a. [On-line]. Available: http://www.samoa.co.uk/creation.html

 

Ravuvu, A. (2002). Security and Confidence as Basic Factors in Pacific Islanders' Migration. In P. Spickard, J. Rondilla, & D. Hippolite Wright (eds.), Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press [In Press].

 

Robertson, C.E. (2002). The Mahu in Hawai'i. In P. Spickard, J. Rondilla, & D. Hippolite Wright (eds.), Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and Across the Pacific. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press [In Press].

 

Shore, B (1989). Mana and Tapu. In A. Howard & R. Borofsky (eds.), Developments in Polynesian Ethnology. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press.

 

Small, C.A. (1997) Voyages:  From Tongan Villages to American Suburbs (3-75).

Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

 

Teaiwa, T.K. (1994, Spring). Bikinis and other s/pacific n/oceans. The Comtemporary Pacific 6(1): 87-109.

 

Teaiwa, T.K. (2000). Mixed Blood. In R. Borofsky (ed.), Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History (pp. 383-384). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press.

 

Thompson, V.L. (1969). Maui-the-trickster. Hawaiian Legends of Tricksters and Riddlers (pp.66-71). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press: 66-71.

 

Wendt, A. (2000). Inside Us the Dead. In R. Borofsky (ed.), Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History (pp. 35-42). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i Press.

 

Wright, D.H. & Spickard, P.  (2002).  Pacific Islander Americans and Asian American Identity.  In. L. Vo and R. Bonus, Contemporary Asian American Communities. (pp 105-119).   Philadelphia, PA: Temple Univ. Press.



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