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Changing Environments 2001

Pacific Studies: PASI 201 22 points

Victoria University of Welllington

Wellington, New Zealand


Coordinator:   Teresia Teaiwa (teresia.teaiwa@vuw.ac.nz)

                        6 Kelburn Parade, Room 203                  ext. 5110


Tutor:              Tereora Crane

                        50 Kelburn Parade, Room 210      ext. 5444


Lectures:        Mon, Thurs 3-4                                 HM LT 104

Tutorials:         1 tutorial per week                            times/venues tba


For additional information:            Diana Felagai, 6 Kelburn Parade, Room 101


Course Aims and Objectives: Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Kia orana, Bula vinaka, Yu orait no moa, Fakalofa atu, Taloha ni, Kam na bane ni mauri, Tena Koutou! Welcome to PASI 201 Changing Environments.


With this course we build on PASI 101 to deepen our understanding of Pacific pasts. PASI 201 is essentially a history course that focuses on Polynesian peoples. The title “Changing Environments” refers to both continuities and ruptures in cultural and political developments over time.


The pre-colonial, colonial and “post-colonial” experience of eastern and western Polynesian societies will be compared and contrasted. This course combines a thematic and chronological approach. As much as possible, the writings and creative productions of indigenous Pacific writers, artists and commentators will be discussed.


Students who pass the paper will:


  • Be familiar with dominant characteristics and trends in Polynesian history;
  • Appreciate the similarities and differences between eastern and western Polynesian societies;
  • Be attentive to the details of Polynesian history as represented in our field trips;
  • Be able to summarize and discuss ideas put forward in the assigned texts for this course;
  • Be able to identify and use archival sources in their scholarly work;
  • Be able to ask critical questions about historical sources in terms of their philosophical and ideological biases;
  • Be able to share their own ideas and perspectives on historical issues through written and oral presentations.


Key Texts:


  • Multilith: available for purchase from Student Notes, this is the main required text for PASI 201.
  • All videos listed in the course outline are held in the 9th Floor Audio-Visual Suite of the Library, and constitute required texts for PASI 201; a few of them will be screened in class, but all others must be viewed in student’s own study time. You will be examined on your knowledge and understanding of videos in the same way that you will be examined on your knowledge and understanding of the readings for this course.
  • Library Reserve Readings: a selection of required readings will be placed on Closed Reserve in the Library; optional readings will be placed on reserve for 3-Day Loan.
  • Handouts: occasionally required readings will be handed out in lecture or tutorial.
  • Guest lectures will be recorded and made available for students to borrow and review.
  • Map of the Pacific: a Xerox-copied map will be handed out in lecture, but Pacific Studies majors are encouraged to invest in a good-sized map of the contemporary Pacific.


Assessment:  Coursework 60%
  Field trip report 10%
  Turnbull/Archive Exercise 10%
  Essay 15%
  Class Test 20%
  Seminar 5%
  Final Examination 40%




Written Work  


Field trip report: approx 600-800 words, due any time before Friday 4pm Week 12


Turnbull Library or National Archive Exercise: 600-800 words, due Friday 4pm Week 6

15% Comparative History Essay: 1500 words, due Friday 4pm Week 9




Field trip report: you may choose to submit a report on any one of our class field trips. You may turn your report in at any time during the trimester, preferably before Friday 4pm of Week 12. It is recommended, however, that you do your report as soon after the field trip as possible. The purpose of the field trip report is to focus your powers of observation and allow you to share your reflections—both critical and complimentary—

on these outings.


Turnbull Library or National Archive exercise: Select two comparable sources from either the Turnbull Library or the National Archives--one from Eastern Polynesia and one from Western Polynesia. For example, you could select children's storybooks, constitutions, official documents, biographies or even volumes of newspapers. Provide a full bibliographic entry and 300-400 word annotations for each of your two sources. An annotation provides a descriptive overview of the contents of a source and highlights some of its interesting points.


Comparative History Essay: Please consult with your tutor, lecturer or Liz Richardson if you are not sure about how to go about writing your essay. Building on your Turnbull Library/National Archive exercise, pick a topic or series of questions from the course outline that is relevant to your sources, and write an essay of about 1500 words on it.


Class Exercise                      5% for seminar presentation


Seminar presentations are scheduled for tutorials between Week 9 and 12. Students will be reminded to sign-up for their seminar dates and times after the mid-trimester break. Seminar presentations must be based on written work done in the course (i.e. field trip report, Turnbull Library exercise or Comparative History essay.) The seminar is an opportunity for you to share, elaborate or reflect on work you have already done in the course. Each seminar is to be 7-10 minutes in length and assessment will be based on organization, accuracy, provision of references, and audience interest.


Class Test                              50 minute test—Thursday August 23

                                                10% identification and short answers

                                                10% summaries of selected course texts


Final Exam                             3 hour Registry Examination—Date and Time tba

                                                10% identification and short answers

                                                15% summaries of selected course texts

                                                15% 2 essays


The test and examination emphasize familiarity with the readings and discussions in lecture and tutorial.


Tagata Pasifika Room


The Tagata Pasifika Room (Rm 102) 6 Kelburn Parade is available for use by Pacific Islands students. It is equipped with two computers that are linked to a printer for word-processing. Pick up the key from 10 Kelburn Parade at the Liaison Office, leave your ID card and return the key to 10 Kelburn Parade after use to pick up your ID card.


The Pacific Islands Liaison officer, Alofa Lale is available to help you with course advice and planning. She is available from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm. Alofa can be contacted by ringing 04 463 5374 or 04 463 5233 ext 8931, dropping in to her office Rm 102B at 10 Kelburn Parade or e-mail Alofa.Lale@vuw.ac.nz


Maori and Pacific Islands Students


Every Friday from 1-4pm, MAPIS is an informal drop-in time to get help in areas like statistics, essay writing, study skills, etc. A great chance to meet other people!


In addition, PASI 201 is piloting a drop-in session especially for Pacific Nations students that will be held weekly at 6KP. For more information contact Liz Richardson, phone 463-5996 or email Liz.Richardson@vuw.ac.nz


Accommodation for Students with Disabilities


Students with disabilities requiring information on support and services, or wanting to discuss any particular concern about studying at the University, should contact the coordinator for Students with Disabilities located at 2 Waiteata Road, phone 472-1000 ext 8231. For matters relating to your participation in PASI 201 please contact the course coordinator in the first instance. Accommodation arrangements for students with disabilities need to be discussed as soon as possible with the course coordinator.


Workloads and Mandatory Course Requirements


To be entitled to sit the final examination students need to meet the following requirements:


  • Attend at least 9/12 tutorials
  • Achieve at least 50% in coursework assignments


The workload for PASI 201 is consistent with other departments within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 22 point courses. You are expected to allow on average 15 hours per week for this course.


Students are encouraged to use the opportunities in tutorials to debate and discuss issues raised in lectures. Tutorials will be held between Week 2 and Week 13.


General University Requirements


Students should familiarize themselves with the University’s requirements, particularly those regarding assessment and course study requirements, and formal academic grievance procedures, contained in the statutes in the Calendar, and should read the requirements of this course outline in this context. The Calendar also contains the Statute on Conduct, which ensures that members of the University community are able to work, learn, study and participate in the academic and social aspects of the University’s life in an atmosphere of safety and respect. The statute contains information on what conduct is prohibited and what steps can be taken if there is a complaint.


Grievance Procedures


If you have any academic problems with your paper you should talk to the tutor or lecturer concerned or, if you are not satisfied with the result of that meeting, see the Head of Department/School or Associate Dean (Students) of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Class representatives are available to assist you with this process.


Avoiding Plagiarism

(Adopted and adapted from SAMO 111 Course Outline 1999 and Auckland University’s 271.201 Pacific Worlds Course Outline 2000)


What is plagiarism? It is copying another student’s essay or work, taking material directly from books and other sources without acknowledgement, and re-using some work you have already handed in to another course. It is a serious offence. Doing this will cost you marks. It may even mean you get your work back ungraded and this means you fail. In extreme cases, university procedures may be invoked.


Of course, everyone uses other peoples’ ideas and information (if not their exact words) to write essays. But it is important that these ideas and words are acknowledged and cited. Different academic disciplines have different conventions for citing sources. You are asked to follow those current in Pacific Studies. The proper formats for citations and references are illustrated below:

The following is a direct quote:


“Most Pacific Islanders are reluctant to make difficult decisions, even if they appear to be the right ones, for fear of giving offence” (Latukefu 1992:30).


You could paraphrase the above quote in different ways. Here are two examples:


Many Pacific people fear offending others and as a result, even their beliefs do not seem to help them make difficult decisions (Latukefu 1992:30).


Latukefu suggests that many Pacific people shy away from making choices that are unpopular even if they are right (Latukefu 1992:30).


The following is plagiarism:


For fear of giving offence, most Pacific Islanders reluctantly make difficult decisions, even if they are the right ones.


Note: in the last example, not only was there a very simplistic paraphrasing of the original, but there was also no citation provided.

PASI 201 Changing Environments            Course Outline


Week 1          Approaching Polynesia: I ka wa ma mua, I ka wa ma hope

July 16-20


M                     Introduction and Course Outline

Th                    Approaches to Polynesian History

Reader:            Selections from Sir Peter Buck/Te Rangi Hiroa, Vikings of the Sunrise; and Sir Tom Davis, Island Boy

Reserve:           Epeli Hau’ofa, “Our Sea of Islands” in A New Oceania; Douglas L. Oliver, “The Polynesians” in The Pacific Islands.




Week 2          Pre-colonial worldviews

July 23-27


M                     The Time of Darkness: Ao maksul ta

Th                    Field trip:      Te Herenga Waka Marae

Reader:            Selections from Robert W. Williamson, Religious and Cosmic Beliefs of Central Polynesia;

Reserve:           Selections from Kumulipo; Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa, A Legendary Tradition of Kamapua`a, the Pig God;

Beaglehole:       S.Percy Smith, Niue-fekai (Savage) Island and its People (with appendices by Pulekula and Mohe Lagi)


Tutorial:            Activity: Ice-breakers

Discussion: How useful are these oral traditions? What do they tell us about Polynesian pasts? What do they tell us about Polynesian unity? What do they tell us about Polynesian diversity? How are they relevant to contemporary Polynesians?


Week 3          Pre-Colonial Encounters (Native and Native)

July 30-August 3


M                     Face to face: He alo a he alo

Th                    Guest Lecture: Tereora Crane

Video:             The Navigators (58 min)

Reader:            Selections from Ben Finney, Hokule`a: the Way to Tahiti; Lessin and Lessin, Village of the Conquerors: Sawana: a Tongan Village in Fiji.

Reserve:            Selection from David Chappell’s Double Ghosts


Tutorial             Discussion: Did Polynesians travel between Pacific Islands before the Europeans arrived? How did Polynesians maintain kinship, economic, political and spiritual ties with each other? Did Polynesians have much contact with Melanesians and Micronesians in the pre-colonial period? Why or why not?


Week 4          Pre-Colonial Encounters (Native and European)

August 6-10


M                     On the Beach (and other Liminal Spaces)

Th                    Field trip:            Turnbull Library

Readings:          Selections from the voyaging accounts of Cook and David Chappell’s Double Ghosts.

Reserve:           Greg Dening, The Bounty: An Ethnographic History; E.H. McCormick, Omai: Pacific Envoy; Joseph Waterhouse, The King and People of Fiji; Selections from the voyaging accounts of Wilkes.


Tutorial             Discussion: What were the dominant characteristics of encounters between Polynesians and Europeans? Were there differences between the encounters in Eastern and Western Polynesia? Did it matter whether the encounters were just between elites or between commoners? Where did they tend to meet? How did they communicate? What structured their relationships? Have any of these structures survived into the present? Why or why not?


Week 5          Colonial Collaborations

August 13-17


M                     Liumuri—Betrayal? Or Forward Thinking?

Th                    Field trip:          National Archives

Reader             Roger C. Thompson, “Britain, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand in Polynesia”, in Tides of History; The Works of Ta’unga: records of a Polynesian traveler in the South Seas;

Reserve:           Selections from Colin Newbury, Tahiti Nui: Change and Survival in French Polynesia 1767-1945; Andrew Thornley, Mai kea ki vei? Stories of Methodism from Fiji and Rotuma; Charles W. Forman, “Missions and Churches 1900-1942: The Eastern and Central Islands,” in The Island Churches of the South Pacific: Emergence in the Twentieth Century.


Tutorial             Discussion: Why were colonial powers interested in acquiring Polynesian territories? How did Polynesians assist in their own colonization, and the colonization of others? Why did Polynesians so readily accept Christianity?


Week 6          Colonial Conflicts                          Turnbull/Archive Exercise Due

August 20-24


M                     Guest Lecture: Toeolesulusulu Dr. Damon Salesa (National Library Fellow)

Th                    NOTICE:             CLASS TEST

Video:             Act of War: The Overthrow of the Hawaiian Nation (57 min)

Readings:          Selections from H.E. Maude, Slavers in Paradise; Noel Rutherford and Peter Hempenstall, Protest and Dissent in the Colonial Pacific…

Reserve:           Selections from Colin Newbury, Tahiti Nui: Change and Survival in French Polynesia 1767-1945.


Tutorial             Discussion: What were the reasons for conflicts between Polynesians and European colonizers? Are there any similarities between colonial conflicts in Eastern and Western Polynesia? How have Polynesians resisted colonial domination?




Week 7          O Tama Toa

September 10-14


M                     Video:              Fit for a King (51 min)

Th                    Mana

Readings:          Selections from Sir Tom Davis, Island Boy: An Autobiography, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, The Pacific Way: a Memoir;

Reserve:           Fay G.  Calkins, My Samoan Chief.


Tutorial:            Discussion: What are the similarities and contrasts between Sir Tom Davis and Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara? How did Polynesian leaders negotiate traditional and modern values? How are the experiences of chiefly men different from other men? Why is there not much scholarship which analyses Polynesian masculinity? How would we characterize the historical relationship between Polynesian men and Europeans?


Week 8          O Wahine Toa

September 17-21


M                     Mana Wahine

Th                    Mana Wahine (cont’d)

Readings:          Selections from Lili`uokalani, Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen; Elizabeth Ellem, Queen Salote of Tonga: the story of an era;

Reserve:           Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, Tamaitai Samoa; Haunani-Kay Trask, “Mana and Hawaiian Women” in From a Native Daughter; Tupou Posesi Fonua, Malo Tupou: an oral history; Bengt Danielsson, “The Hula Girl as Housewife” in Love in the South Seas.


Tutorial             Discussion: What are the similarities and contrasts between Queen Lili’uokalani and Queen Salote? How did Polynesian leaders balance traditional and modern values? How are the experiences of chiefly women different from other women? What, if any, are the qualitative differences between the dominant outsider interest in Polynesian women, and their own self-representations?


Week 9          Sovereignty and Decolonization                               Essay Due

September 24-28


M                     Guest Lecture: Tereora Crane

Th                    The State of our Pacific States

Video:             The Tribunal (84 min)

Reader:            Selections from Zohl de Ishtar, Daughters of the Pacific;

Reserve:           Nic MacLellan, After Moruroa: France in the South Pacific; Haunani-Kay Trask, From a Native Daughter; Sudden Rush (audio).


Tutorial            Seminar Presentations


Week 10          Diasporas

October 1-5


M                     Video:  New Zealand, An Immigrant Nation: Searching for Paradise (46 min)

Th                    Field Trip:     Te Papa

Readings:          Selections from Toa Luka, Niue Island to New Zealand; Cathy Small, Voyages from Tongan Villages to American Suburbs

Reserve:           Morgan Tuimaleali`ifano, Samoans in Fiji; Logs in the Current of the Sea: Neli Lifuka’s story of Kioa and the Vaitupu Colonists; Te Vaka (audio).


Tutorial             Seminar Presentations


Week 11          Renaissance?

October 8-12


M                     Navel-gazing?

Th                    Guest Lecture: Dr. Peter Brunt (Art History)

Reader:            John Pule, “Tales of Life’s Legends” from The Shark that Ate the Sun

Reserve:           Nicholas Thomas, Oceanic Art; Sean Mallon and Fulimalo Pereira, Speaking in Colour; “TereNeSia” (audio).


Tutorial             Seminar Presentations


Week 12          Revision

October 15-19


M                     Sa rauta? Enough?

Th                    Course Evaluation


Upload: 08/29/2001

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