Cultural Identities: America and the Pacific
Pacific Islands Studies (PACS) 693
This course explores the significance of cultural identities as imagined, lived and debated in the United States and Pacific Island societies. We will discuss constructions of culture and identity in a variety of contexts where representations of identity make a difference. "Difference" here includes literally marking differences among people, but also creating or disabling opportunities for political action and social well-being--making a difference in everyday life as well as in local, national and global politics. We will discuss a variety of contexts and practices important for identity formation in the contemporary Pacific, including migration, tourism, media, and public performance.
The course combines discussion of relevant theoretical terms such as culture, ethnicity, gender, and nation with comparative study of specific identities in the Pacific and America. We will give particular attention to local identity struggles in HawaiŽi, with its mediating position between America and Pacific Island societies.
Aims: at the end of the course, students should be able to:
-understand concepts of culture and identity and the basis for their contentious nature in contemporary society
-compare particular forms and uses of cultural identity in America and the Pacific
-critically examine representational practices (media, film, exhibits, performances) and historical forces that shape American and Pacific identities today.
-evaluate and justify particular definitions and expressions of cultural identity, including one's own assumptions.
Active engagement with readings and discussions is important for the class. Students will share responsibility for directing discussion of readings, and keep a journal of critical reflections on both readings and discussion. In addition to the collective work of seminar sessions, each student will undertake an individual project in the form of a final paper. Projects may be based on a case study of original material gathered from the media or fieldwork, or on critical assessment of selected readings. Grading will be based on class participation (20%), written assignments--including reading journal--(35%), and final paper (45%).
Required Texts (available in bookstore and on reserve, EWC):
Eric Michaels, Bad Aboriginal Art: Tradition, Media and Technological Horizons
Michael Omi & Howard Winant, Racial Formation in the United States
Cathy Small, Voyages: From Tongan
Villages to American Suburbs
III. Roots & Routes
IV. Representing Cultural Identities
1991 Land Rights and Development: Writing About Kwara'ae Tradition. Cultural Survival Quarterly 15(2):61-64.
1997 Paradise. In Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century. Pp. 147-187. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Desmond, Jane C.
1997 Invoking "The Native": Body Politics in Contemporary Hawaiian Tourist Shows. The Drama Review 41(4):83-109.
1998 Exporting U.S. Concepts of Race: Are There Limits to the U.S.Model? Social Research 65(2):1-31.
1999 Ritual at Uluhaimalama: Re-presenting Hawaiian history through community video. Ethnohistory .
Gewertz, Deborah, and Fred Errington
1991 The New Traditionalism: Tourism and its transformations. In Twisted Histories, Altered Contexts: Representing the Chambri in a World System. Pp. 25-57. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
1993 Aboriginal Media and the Australian Imaginary. Public Culture 5(3):557-78.
Guerrero, M. Annette Jaimes
1996 Academic apartheid: American Indian Studies and "Multiculturalism". In Mapping Multiculturalism. A.F. Gordon and C. Newfield, eds. Pp. 49-63. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.
Hall, Lisa Kahaleole Chang and J. Kehaulani Kauanui.
1996 Same-Sex Sexuality in Pacific Literature. In Asian American Sexualities: Dimensions of the Gay and Lesbian Experience. R. Leong, ed. Pp. 113-118. London and New York: Routledge.
1990 Cultural Identity and Diaspora. In Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. J. Rutherford, ed. Pp. 222-237. London: Lawrence and Wishart.
1998 Remaking Micronesia: Discourses over Development in a Pacific Territory, 1944-1982. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
1983 Tales of the Tikongs. Auckland, N.Z.: Longman Paul.
1993 Our Sea of Islands. In A new Oceania : rediscovering our sea of islands. E. Hau'ofa, E. Waddell, and V. Naidu, eds. Pp. 2-16. Suva, Fiji: University of the South Pacific.
1994 Representations of Cultural Identities. In Tides of History: The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century. K. Howe, R. Kiste, and B. Lal, eds. Pp. 406-434. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
1999 Rotuma on the World Wide Web. The Contemporary Pacific 11(1).
Iamo, Wari, and Jacob Simet
1998 Cultural Diversity and Identity in Papua New Guinea: A Second Look. In From Beijing to Port Moresby: The Politics of National Identity in Cultural Policies. V. Dominguez and D. Wu, eds. Pp. 189-204. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach.
1994 Kastom as Commodity: The Land Dive as Indigenous Rite and Tourist Spectacle in Vanuatu. In Culture, Kastom, Tradition: Cultural Policy in Melanesia. L. Lindstrom and G. White, eds. Pp. 131-146. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies.
1997 From Point Venus to Bali Ha'i: Eroticism and Exoticism in Representations of the Pacific. In Sites of Desire, Economies of Pleasure: Sexualities in Asia and the Pacific. L. Manderson and M. Jolly, eds. Pp. 99-122. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Kauanui, J. Kehaulani
1998 Mapping the Native: Genealogical reterritorialization of land, identity, and sovereign belonging. Paper given at Association of Asian American Studies meeting, Honolulu, June 1998 .
1997 Images of Struggle / Imagining Nations: An Act of War for Off-Island Education on Hawaiian Sovereignty. Paper given at ASAO meetings, February 1997 .
1995 Diaspora and World War, Blood and Nation in Fiji and Hawai'i. Public Culture 7(3):475-497.
1998 Destination Museum. In Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums and Heritage. Pp. 131-176. Berkeley: University of California Press.
1998 Pasin Tumbuna: Culture and Nationalism in Papua New Guinea. In From Beijing to Port Moresby: The Politics of National Identity in Cultural Policies. V. Dominguez and D. Wu, eds. Pp. 141-188. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach.
1992 Images of Micronesia on Film and Video. In Pacific History: Papers from the 8th Pacific History Association Conference. D. Rubinstein, ed. Pp. 385-403. Mangilao: University of Guam Press.
1994 Bad Aboriginal Art: Tradition, Media, and Technological Horizons. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
1983 There's No Need for Women's Lib Here... In The Melanesian Way. Pp. 34-38. Port Moresby: Inst. of Papua New Guinea Studies.
1992 The Breadfruit Story: Mythological Transformations in Palauan Politics. Pacific Studies 15(4):235-260.
1999 Islands in an Information Age. The Contemporary Pacific 11(2).
1998 The Illusion of Paradise: Privileging Multiculturalism in Hawai'i. In Making Majorities. D. Gladney, ed. Pp. 264-284. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant, eds.
1994 Racial Formation in the United States. New York: Routledge.
Populations, UN Working Group on Indigenous
1993 Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In From a Native Daughter. H.-K. Trask, ed. Pp. 279-288. Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press.
Roe, David, et al.
1994 Working with Cultural Lanscapes in Melanesia: Problems and Approaches in Formulating Cultural Policies. In Culture, Kastom, Tradition: Cultural Policy in Melanesia. L. Lindstrom and G. White, eds. Pp. 115-129. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies.
Small, Cathy A.
1997 Voyages: From Tongan Villages to American Suburbs. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
1998 Being Ourselves for You: the global display of cultures. London: Middlesex University Press.
1994 Bikinis and other s/pacific n/oceans. The Contemporary Pacific 6:87-109.
1993 From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai'i. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press.
1991 Village Videos and Custom Chiefs: The Politics of Tradition. Cultural Survival Quarterly 15(2):56-60.
1991 Land and Independence in New Caledonia. Cultural Survival Quarterly 15(2):65-70.
1993 Nationalism and Sexuality in Papua New Guinea. Pacific Studies 16(4):61-97.
© 2005, UHM, Center for Pacific Island Studies. | Site Credits