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Pacific Studies 108WI

Pacific Island Worlds: Today and Tomorrow (Writing Intensive)

Spring 2004, Section 33339


Kumu: Kealalökahi Losch

Class meets:

Office: `Ölapa 226


TR 9:15-10:30pm

Email: losch@hawaii.edu


Mänele 104

Phone: 734-9246 (office)


Ofc. Hrs:

M,T 11:00am-12:00pm

or by appt.



An introduction to the contemporary Pacific islands region and cultures through a survey of the major dilemmas facing its inhabitants now and in the near future.


Prerequisite: Qualification for English 100

Recommended Preparation: Hawst 107 & Eng 100


This class fulfills a Social Science group requirement in degree programs at KCC and it also fulfills a Social Science General Education Core Requirement at the University of Hawai`i at Mänoa.


Goals: By the end of the course students will be expected to:

¨      Discuss the historical origins of current issues and trends.

¨      Discuss cultural persistence and change and the influence of tradition in contemporary life.

¨      Discuss and demonstrate an understanding of contemporary cultural, social, political and economic issues in their local, regional, pan-Pacific, and global contexts through informed analysis and debate.

¨      Discuss issues in Pacific Islander communities in urban centers within the region and on the Pacific Rim.

¨      Identify potential issues and resolutions that the region will face in the near future based on current issues and trends.


Grading: Your semester grade is based on the total number of points you earn from the following totals:

Citation exercise

20 points

20 points

Map test

50 points

50 points

Traditional creation story

25 points

25 points

Pacific foods project

50 points

50 points

Unit summaries

10, 15, 20, 25, 35 points

105 points

Identity essay

25 points

25 points




Total Possible Points


275 points


Your grade will be based on the total number of points you earn in the various activities described above. The final grade-to-points correspondence will be based on the distribution of final scores. You can keep track of your progress by keeping a tally of the points you earn on each assignment.



·        Douglas Oliver, The Pacific Islands.


·        Reilly Ridgell, Pacific Nations and Territories: The Islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.


·        Max Quanchi and Ron Adams, Culture Contact in the Pacific.


·        Additional readings are either on the web or will be handed out in class.

 Written Assignments: All out-of-class assignments will be typewritten, double-spaced with reasonable margins (approx. 1”) in a standard font (Times, Palatino, Courier, etc.) of a normal size (12). Due to the wonders of modern word processing, I expect spelling and grammar to be correct. I will be a bit more lenient on terms from other Oceanic languages. Assignments are due at the beginning of class. Late papers will not be accepted unless excused by a doctor’s notice or by arrangement with me made prior to the due date. As with any course at the university level, plagiarism will not be tolerated and any incidences may be reported to the Dean. I want to hear your thoughts and perspectives, not someone else’s.


Map Test:   In order to gain a better understanding of the places we will be discussing, there will be a map test on all of Oceania, including islands, countries and capitals. We will be doing some exercises in class to help you learn more about where you are and where we will be talking about.


Creation Story:  In addition to the map quizzes, you will also be doing reports on a creation story one of the islands (of your choice) as a way for you to gain familiarity with the cultures of the region. This is also an opportunity for you to practice firsthand the oral tradition that is at the core of Oceanic societies. Your story should be 600-900 words in length and your oral presentation should be 3-5 minutes.


Pacific Foods Project: Food is an integral part of Pacific societies. In recognition of this fact, your research assignment is also food-based. In class, we will have a potluck. Your assignment is to research, prepare, and bring to class an “authentic” food dish for the class. Your food may be traditional or contemporary, however, you may not prepare any foods in a way that is unique to Hawaiÿi. Along with your food, you will turn in a detailed report on the dish, e.g. its origins, ingredients, variations, mythic or legendary significance, social impacts, etc. You will be graded on the thoroughness of your research, not on how well you cook, so don’t worry. You must get your food item approved in advance, so plan ahead. You will be required to present your food and report on its preparation to the class. Be creative. Your report should be 1000-1500 words.


Unit Summary:  Because we cover so much material, it is easy to lose focus on the major issues or points of a unit. The unit summary allows me to see that you “get it.” You will do a cumulative summary for each of the units, one through five. In each successive summary, you need to discuss the relationships between the units covered. Your summary should be about 300-600 words for every 10 points.


Participation:    This class is intended to give you not just knowledge of Oceania, but also experience with its cultures and peoples. To fully appreciate these lessons, you must participate. As an active learner, you will find that you get much more out of this course and you will also find it easier to remember what you have learned.


Attendance:  Attendance in class is mandatory. You cannot learn if you are not in class. If you are going to be absent from class, then please notify me in advance. According to KCC policy, you must wait 15 minutes for your instructor before the class is considered cancelled. Whenever possible, I will try to let you know in advance if class will be cancelled.


Extra Credit:   I do not give extra credit to make up for missed assignments. I also do not give that many opportunities for extra credit. Bear in mind that you can only increase your grade by one letter with extra credit. I have two major requirements for you to be able to do extra credit work:

1.      You must be passing with a 70% or better for extra credit to count.

2.      You must have completed all of your regular assignments for your extra credit to count.


Miscellaneous Items:  If at any time you have questions about the assignments, this syllabus, or any material covered in the course, please ask. If you need additional help, tutoring, or just a bit of encouragement or moral support, please contact me. If you email me, please put "PACS 108" in the subject heading. The ultimate goal of this course is learning, so I want you to be able to get all the help you need. Please turn off all pagers and cellular phones. You need to focus on what is being presented in class. If you would like to get your final grade prior to the report card, you must give me a self-addressed, stamped envelope. I am not allowed to give grades over the phone.



Lecture and Assignment Schedule:




T Jan 13

Course Standards; Citation Exercise; Analysis Exercise

Syllabus, Maps

Unit I. Oceanic Worlds, A “Sea of Islands”

R Jan 15

Citation Homework due
Geography of the Pacific; Map Activity

Citation Homework
Map locations
R 1-21

T Jan 20

Physical Setting & Biodiversity

O 3-12

R Jan 22

Science & Migrations
Map Test

QA 1-13
R 22-29

Unit II. Cultural Worlds, Ta Pasifik Wei

T Jan 27

Pacific Cosmogonies
Unit I summary due

Summary 1

R Jan 29

Creation Story due
Creation in the Pacific

Creation Story

T Feb 3

Foundations of Pacific Cultures

Lal & Fortune 483-486
QA 15-29

R Feb 5

Pacific Cultures continued

O 17-30
Lal & Fortune 132-147

T Feb 10

Pacific Cultural Adaptations Today


R Feb 12

Food Project due

Food Project

Unit III. Colonized Worlds, Taim blong masta in Pasifik

T Feb 17

Unit II summary due
Video: First Contact

Summary 2
O 35-45
QA 45-51

R Feb 19

Constructing history; "Discovering the Pacific"

QA 32-43

T Feb 24

Oceania in the 18th and 19th Centuries

O 46-75
R 48-49

R Feb 26

Oceania in the early 20th Century

QA 114-123

Unit IV. Sovereign Worlds, Decolonizing Oceania

T Mar 2

Unit III summary due
Post-WWII impacts

Summary 3
O 255-267

R Mar 4

Video: Half-Life, A Parable for the Nuclear Age


T Mar 9

Post-WWII Oceania

O 268-278

R Mar 11

Decolonization and  self-determination
Video: TBA

QA 126-143
Thompson 153-195

T Mar 16

Neo-colonialism in Oceania

QA 145-158

Unit V. Changing Worlds, Contemporary Issues in Oceania

R Mar 18

Unit IV summary due
Urbanization and Globalization of Oceania

Summary 4
Kiste 1-13
Firth 178-192

Mar 22-26

Spring Break – No School


T Mar 30

Global Warming
Video: Rising Waters: Global Warming & the Fate of the Pacific Islands

Video Study Guide

R Apr 1

Mining, Logging, and Fisheries

Pogo 19-20t

T Apr 6

Coups & Conflicts: Fiji and the Solomon Islands

Losch 1-10

R Apr 8

Gangs, Violence and Substance abuse

Vulum 6-9
Marshall 260-272

T Apr 13

Overpopulation and Tourism
Video: TBA

Helu-Thaman 104-111;
Pirie 1-8

VI. Expanding Worlds, The Future of Oceania

R Apr 15

Unit V summary due
Oceanic Diaspora & islander communities overseas

Summary 5
Morton 1-30

T Apr 20

Film: Whale Rider

Mahuika 42-63
Walker 63-77

R Apr 22

Film continued



T Apr 27

Globalization, culture and identity

Gegeo 491-507

R Apr 29

Future Worlds

Hau`ofa 1993: 2-16
Hau`ofa 1998: 392-410

T May 4

Wrap-up discussion



Final Essay due by Noon, Thurs. May 6, 2004
Final Essay



The following abbreviations are used for the reading assignments:

QA          Quanchi & Adams Culture Contact in the Pacific

R             Ridgell Pacific Nations and Territories

O             Oliver The Pacific Islands

upload: 2/19/2004

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