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Anthrcul 458(03), AmCult 496(02)

Navigating Culture and History in the Pacific

WINTER ‘05

Tuesday / Thursday 1:00-2:30 p.m.

1359 Mason Hall, University of Michigan

 

 

Professor Vicente M. Diaz    Professor Stuart Kirsch
Asian/Pacific American Studies,    Department of Anthropology
American Culture Program   207A West Hall
3749 Haven Hall ph. 615-8865   ph. 764-2292
email: vdiaz@umich.edu   email: skirsch@umich.edu
Office hours: T-TH 10:00 a.m. to Noon    Office hours:  Wed 2:00-4:30 p.m
and by appointment   and by appointment

 

 

This seminar examines how culture, identity, and history in the Pacific are produced by movement through space and relationships to place.  It emphasizes the practices of mapping, navigation, and wayfinding.  Topics include the techniques and methods of navigation and seafaring in Micronesia and Polynesia, mythological landscapes and European travelogues about Aboriginal Australia, and spatial forms of history and memory in Papua New Guinea.  We will visit the planetarium on campus to learn how Micronesians navigate by the stars, visit the Museum of Anthropology to learn how Pacific artifacts have circulated around the world, and study videos documenting the revitalization of seafaring traditions in Polynesia.  The course encourages students to think about travel and place-making as complementary forms of knowledge production.  We will also consider the implications of these processes for Pacific experiences of empire, globalization, and diaspora.  Taught by a cultural historian and an anthropologist, this interdisciplinary course will demonstrate how Pacific ideas about places and routes can contribute to our understandings of history and culture. 

 

Course requirements: Readings include several monographs, a travelogue, a short text on maps, and electronic course reserves.   Regular class attendance, informed participation, and four short papers (three of the four topics papers are required, plus one paper based on independent research). Late papers will be penalized. Papers submitted as email attachments will not be accepted.

 

READINGS: 

Available at Shaman Drum Bookstore (311 S. State St.) and on reserve in Shapiro Library:

·         Chatwin, Bruce 1987. The Songlines. New York: Viking.

·         Finney, Ben R. 2003. Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press.

·         Lewis, David 1994. We, the Navigators: The Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific. Second Edition. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

·         Turnbull, David 1993. Maps are Territories; Science is an Atlas. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Available online:

·         Rose, Deborah Bird 1996. Nourishing Terrains: Australian Aboriginal Views of Wilderness. Canberra: Australian Heritage Commission. http://www.ahc.gov.au/publications/generalpubs/nourishing/index.html 

Will be made available at a local copy shop:  

·         Kirsch, Stuart n.d. Indigenous Analysis in Contemporary New Guinea. Unpublished book manuscript.

 

Other articles are available through electronic course reserves and CTools.


 6 Jan:            Introductions

·         Lim, Robin 2000. Mai. Reprinted in Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History, pp. vi. Robert Borofsky, ed. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

·         Balaz, Joseph 2002. Moe’uhane. Reprinted in Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: An Invitation to Remake History, pp. 361. Robert Borofsky, ed. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

 

 

11 Jan:          Mapping the Pacific

·          Maps are Territories, pp. 1-27

·          Ward, R. Gerard 1999. Widening Worlds, Shrinking Worlds? The Reshaping of Oceania. Canberra: The Australian National University. 

 

13 Jan:          Mapping the Pacific

·         Maps are Territories, pp. 28-47.

·         Ingold, Tim 2002. To Journey along a Way of Life: Maps, Wayfinding and Navigation. The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood, Dwelling and Skill, pp. 219-242. New York: Routledge.

 

Optional/Grads:

·         Silverman, Eric Kline 1998. Traditional Cartography in Papua New Guinea. In David Woodward and Malcom Lewis, eds. The History of Cartography, Vol 2, Book 3. Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Australian, and Pacific Societies, pp. 423-442. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

 

 

18 Jan:          Mapping the Pacific 

·         Maps are Territories, pp. 48-62.

·         Clifford, James 1997. Special Practices: Fieldwork Travel, and the Disciplining of Anthropology. Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, pp. 52-91. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

 

Optional/Grads

·         Leví-Strauss, Claude 1977. Tristes Tropiques. John and Dorreen Weightman, trs. New York: Pocket Books. Part Nine: The Return (Chapters 37-40), pp. 427-474.  

 

20 Jan:          Peopling the Pacific

·         Denoon, Donald 1997. Chapter 2: Human Settlement. The Cambridge History of the Pacific Islanders, pp. 37-79. Donald Denoon, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

·         Kiste, Robert C. 1994. Chapter 1: Pre-Colonial Times. The Pacific Islands in the Twentieth Century, pp. 3-28. K. R. Howe, et al., eds. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

 

 

25 Jan:          Pacific Navigation

·         Brower, Kenneth 1983. “A Song for Satawal” in A Song for Satawal, pp. 67-155. New York: Penguin Books.

·         Flood, William 2002. “Carolinian-Marinas Voyaging: Continuing the Tradition.” Micronesian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 1(1): 48-56.

 

Optional/Grads

·         Feinberg, Richard 1995. Introduction: Theme and Variation in Pacific Island Seafaring. Seafaring in the Contemporary Pacific Islands, pp. 3-13. Richard Feinberg, ed. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University.

·         Goodenough, Ward and Richard Feinberg 1995. Epilogue. Seafaring in the Contemporary Pacific Islands, pp. 219-228. Richard Feinberg, ed. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University.

27 Jan:          Micronesian Navigation  

film: The Navigators

·       We, the Navigators, Introduction; Chapters 1-3.

 

 

1 Feb:            Micronesian Navigation

·         We, the Navigators, Chapters 4-5.

      

3 Feb:            Micronesian Naviagation

              Visit to the Planetarium, Ruthven Museum Building (1109 Geddes Ave.)

·         We, the Navigators, Chapters 6-9

 

 

8 Feb:            Micronesian Navigation

·         We, the Navigators, Chapters 10-11.

                  

                      Optional/Grads:

·         Frake, Charles O. 1985. “Cognitive maps of Time and Tides among Medieval Seafarers.” Man 20(2): 254-270.

·         Gell, Alfred 1985. “How to Read a Map: Remarks on the Practical Logic of Navigation.” Man 20(2): 271-286.

 

10 Feb:          Dreaming Australian Landscapes

·         Songlines, pp. 1-89.     

·         Rose, Deborah Bird 1996. Nourishing Terrains: Australian Aboriginal Views of Wilderness. Canberra: Australian Heritage Commission. Introduction and Chapters 1-3, pp. 1-33. Available online: http://www.ahc.gov.au/publications/generalpubs/nourishing/index.html 

 

 

15 Feb:          Dreaming Australian Landscapes                            Paper on Micronesian navigation due

·         Songlines, pp. 90-162.  

·         Nourishing Terrain, Chapters 4-5, pp. 35-61   

 

17 Feb:          Dreaming Australian Landscapes

                      film:  Bush Mechanics (2001 series, David Batty, see www.bushmechanics.com ). “In this blend of documentary and drama, the bush mechanics from the remote Aboriginal Walbiri community of Yuendumu are presented with a new set of challenges in each episode--catching a car thief, getting a nephew out of jail, racing to an outback rock concert and traveling thousands of miles to gather pearl shells for a rainmaking ceremony. As they traverse the desert in their dilapidated vehicles, they solve multiple car problems with wacky and inventive bush repair techniques.”

·         Songlines, pp. 163-223.

 

Optional/Grads:

·         Ginsburg, Faye (1997). “ ‘From Little Things, Big Things Grow’: Indigenous Media and Cultural Activism” in Richard G. Fox and Orin Starn, Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and Social Protest, pp. 118-44. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

 

 


22 Feb:          Dreaming Australian Landscapes

·         Songlines, pp. 224-294.

·         Nourishing Terrain, Chapters 6-8, pp. 63-87 

 

Optional/Grads:

·          Morphy, Howard 1993. Colonialism, History and the Construction of Place: The Politics of Landscape in Northern Australia. In Landscape: Politics and Perspectives, pp. 205-243. Barbara Bender, ed. Oxford: Berg.

 

24 Feb:          Dreaming Australian Landscapes

Visit to the Anthropology Museum, Ruthven Museum (1109 Geddes Ave).

·         Durkheim, Émile 1912. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, excerpted in Reader in Comparative Religion, pp. 31-35. William A. Lessa and Evon Z. Vogt, eds. Fourth Edition. New York: Harper and Row.

·         Thomas, Nicholas 1991. The European Appropriation of Indigenous Things. In Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture, and Colonialism in the Pacific, pp. 125-184. Cambridge: University of Harvard Press.

 

 

1-3 Mar:                No class:  Winter Break

 

 

8 Mar:         Rediscovering Polynesia

·         Finney, Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors, pp. TBA

 

10 Mar:          Rediscovering Polynesia ; Australian ‘Dreaming’ paper due

                      film: Wayfinders of the Pacific

·         Finney, Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors, pp. TBA

 

 

15 Mar:          Rediscovering Polynesia

·         Finney, Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors, pp. TBA

              

17 Mar:          Rediscovering Polynesia; Proposal for independent research paper due

                     film: The Voyage Home

·         Finney,  Sailing in the Wake of the Ancestors, pp. TBA

                  

 

22 Mar:          Pacific Diasporas

                      film: Sacred Vessels: Navigating Tradition and Identity in Micronesia

·         Diaz, Vicente M. n.d. Sacred Vessels: Carolinian Navigation as Critique and Aesthetic.

 

Optional/grad students:

·         Teaiwa, Teresia. 1997. Yaqona/Yagona: Roots and Routes of a Displaced Native. Dreadlocks in Oceania 1: 7-13. S. Mishra and E. Guy, eds. Suva: Department of Literature and Language, University of the South Pacific.

 

24 Mar:           Pacific Diasporas

·         Diaz, Vicente M. 2001. Fight Boys. Pacific Diaspora: Island Peoples in the United States and across the Pacific, pp. 169-195. Paul Spickard, Joanne Rondilla and Deborah Hippolite-Wright, eds. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

 

29 Mar:          Culture and History in Melanesia                            Paper on Polynesian rediscovery due

·         Kirsch, Indigenous Analysis, Introduction and Chapter 1: Historical Encounters

      

31 Mar:          Culture and History in Melanesia

·         Kirsch, Indigenous Analysis, Chapter 2:  The Enchantment of Place

·         Thoreau, Henry David 1943. Walden. The Ponds, pp. 153-176. New York: E.P. Duttone & Co.

 

 

5 April:          Culture and History in Melanesia

·         Kirsch, Indigenous Analysis, Chapter 3:  Unrequited Reciprocity and Chapter 4:

Sorcery and the Mine                                                       

              

7 April:          Culture and History in Melanesia                                   Independent research paper due

·         Kirsch, Indigenous Analysis, Chapter 5:  Mythical Encounters

Optional/grad students:

·  Van Heekeren, Deborah 2004 ‘Don’t Tell the Crocodile’ An Existentialist View of Melanesian Myth. Critique of Anthropology 24(4): 430-454.

 

12 April:         Culture and History in Melanesia              

·        Kirsch, Indigenous Analysis, Chapter 6:  Divining Violence

 

14 April:         Culture and History in Melanesia

·         Kirsch, Indigenous Analysis, Chapter 7:  Loss and the Future Imagined

 

 

19 April:               Conclusions;                                              Paper on Melanesian culture and history due

·         Hau’ofa, Epeli 1994. Our Sea of Islands. The Contemporary Pacific 6(1): 147-61.

·         Sahlins, Marshall 1993. Goodbye to Triste Tropes: Ethnography in the Context of Modern World History. Journal of Modern History 65: 1-25.

 

 

 

 

Upload: 1/12/2005


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