Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources





Stephen Koletty, Ph.D. (310) 660-3369 (Wk)

California State University, Long Beach (310) 547-2813 (Hm)

Spring 2001 e-mail:

Texts: McKnight, Tom L. Oceania: the Geography of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1995.


Stanley, David. South Pacific Handbook. 7th edition, Emeryville, Calif.:

Avalon Travel Publishing. 2000.


Bier, James A. Reference Map of Oceania. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

Course Objectives: This course explores the physical and human reality of Australia and the islands of the Pacific. Our focus centers on understanding the distinctive character of life in the Pacific. Particular concerns include indigenous knowledges, processes of colonialism, nationalism, social and cultural modifications, economic marginalization, environmental alteration as well as other agents of change that have transformed the landscape and continue to pose unique problems for this region.





Jan 29

Aloha: Introductions

Earth's Empty Quarter

Jan 31-Feb 12

Nature of an Ocean World: Geology, Ecology, Climate and Weather

SP Hndbk pp. 25-38,

Mcknight chap 1, pp. 173-179

Feb 14

Peopling the Pacific, Migrations Ancient and Modern

SP Hndbk pp. 39-44,

Mcknight pp. 180-187

Feb 19



Feb 21,26

Australia au naturel

McKnight chap 2

Feb 28

Peopling Australia

McKnight chap 3

Mar 5,7

Life and Work Down Under

McKnight chap 4,5,

Beyond the Fatal Shore

Mar 12,14

Contemporary Australia

McKnight chap 6,7

Mar 19



Mar 21

Indigenous knowledge/Island tradition

SP Hndbk pp. 45-73

Mar 26-Apr 4 1st Paper due


SP Hndbk pp. 545-928, McKnight pp. 184-196,

About Melanesia,

Apr 9,11

Spring Recess

MIRAB Societies

Apr 16,18


McKnight pp. 200-202, Micronesia

April 23



Apr 25-May 2, 2nd Paper due


SP Hndbk pp. 128-544, McKnight pp. 196-200

May 7-14

Anglonesia (New Zealand and Hawai'i)

McKnight chap 8,9,

Maori Geography,

A New Kind of Sugar

May 16

Oceania in the 21st Century

McKnight pp. 202-203,

Samoan Archipelago,

A Chief in Two Worlds

May 23







5 percent


2 paper assignments

40 percent


2 Tests

30 percent


Final Exam

25 percent




(on library reserve)


Brookfield, H.C. and D. Hart. 1971. Melanesia: A Geographical Interpretation of an Island World. Methuen & Co., London.


Hughes, Robert. 2000. "The Dead Heart" Part 2 of Australia: Beyond the Fatal Shore. Videocassette. BBC and NVC Arts.


Hughes, Robert. 2000. "After Trousers" Part 4 of Australia: Beyond the Fatal Shore. Videocassette. BBC and NVC Arts.


Kent, Noel. 1975. "A New Kind of Sugar" in A New Kind of Sugar: Tourism in the Pacific. edited by Ben Finney and Karen Ann Watson. Honolulu, Hawai'i: East-West Center


Koletty, Stephen. 1995. "Cultural Dimensions of a Hurricane Disaster in Fiji" (handout)


Koletty, Stephen. 2001. "The Samoan Archipelago in Urban America" in Geographical Identities of Ethnic North America: Race, Space and Place, Kate Berry and Martha Henderson, editors. University of Nevada Press, Reno.


Levy, Neal. 2000. Micronesia Handbook. Avalon Travel Publishing, Emeryville, California.


Stokes, Evelyn. 1987. "Maori Geography or Geography of Maoris". New Zealand Geographer. 43:118-123.


Van der Ryn, Micah G., dir. 1992. A Chief in Two Worlds. Videocassette. Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.


Ward, R. Gerard. 1989. "Earth's Empty Quarter? The Pacific Islands in a Pacific Century".

The Geographic Journal 155(2):235-246.


Watters, Ray. 1987. "MIRAB Societies and Bureaucratic Elites" in Class and Culture in the South Pacific edited by Antony Hooper, S. Britton, R. Crocombe, J. Huntsman, and C. Macpherson. Auckland, New Zealand: Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland




To obtain a more complete understanding of the contemporary reality of Australia and the Pacific Islands, you are required to study a portion of the region in some detail and report your findings in two short papers.


Select the subregion you want to study. This can be an island, an island group or a region of Australia. The only constraints are that your selection must be located within the Pacific region covered in this course, and everyone ought to chose a different locality.


Proposal (100-250 words typewritten) Due: Monday, February 26

Prepare a brief statement describing your proposed study area and the reasons why you chose it. Delineate the boundaries of this region as specifically as you can. Include a hand drawn map of the region and preliminary bibliography with at least four references that you plan to use. No encyclopedias, please. So as to avoid duplication, I want you to also identify an alternative study area.


Assignment 1 (3-5 pages typewritten) Due: Monday, March 26

Develop a brief sketch of the physical and human geography of your region. This paper should briefly describe the terrain, the dominant climate, natural hazards, and distinctive weather, plant and animal life. Construct a map showing the prominent landforms. Also introduce us to the island's (or region's) distinctive cultural, economic and political features. Briefly, describe its history, the population characteristics and identify the important population centers. Your map should show important features of this human geography. Include bibliography and be sure to properly cite all your references.



Assignment 2 (5-7 pages, typewritten) Due: Monday, April 30

For this final paper you must identify and analyze a contemporary problem or issue of special concern for the population of your area. This problem ought to be of this same region. However, given the substantial outmigration of Pacific Islander populations, you may also chose to investigate an issue of concern to an overseas settlement of this population. Include an appropriate map and a bibliography. Be sure to properly cite all your references.


Oral Presentation

You may be asked to share your findings with the rest of the class in a brief 7-10 minute presentation. Your report will be a vignette, a special part of our coverage of the larger region which includes your study area. I will give you at least one class meeting's notice, so be ready.



Upload: 08/29/2001

oceania | academic programs | people | outreach | resources | publications
news & events | about the center | contact | home | text only site

2005, UHM, Center for Pacific Island Studies. | Site Credits