Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



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Literature from the Pacific

English 6365 - Multicultural Literature

Instructor: Dr Sandra Tawake
English Department
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858

Reading List

The Contemporary Pacific - vol. 6, no. 2, 1994 essay by Christina Thompson (on reserve)
Tides of History- K. R. Howe, R. C. Kiste, & Brij Lal (on reserve)
South Pacific Literature: From Myth to Fabulation - Subramani (on reserve)
Introduction to Subjective Criticism - David Bleich
Metaphors and Symbols - Roland Bartel
Maori: The Crisis and the Challenge - Alan Duff (on reserve)
Leaves of the Banyan Tree - Albert Wendt
The Bone People - Keri Hulme
Once Were Warriors - Alan Duff
"Last Virgin in Paradise" - Vilsoni Hereniko
The Birth and Death of the Miracle Man - "Balloonfish..." Albert Wendt (on reserve)
Te Kaihau/The Windeater - "Drift in Dream" Keri Hulme (on reserve)
Flying Fox in a Freedom Tree - "Descendent of the Mountain" Albert Wendt (on reserve)

Course Description

The course will follow a reader-response approach to selected works from one of the new world literatures in English. Students will read selected introductory materials related to subjective criticism, and 3 novels, a play, and selected poems and stories written by Pacific-island writers. Students will keep a reading journal, respond to reading guide instruments, and write a critical paper.


The student will be able

to place works of Pacific Literature within a cultural and artistic context,

to identify and respond emotionally and intellectually to culturally conditioned values and behaviors depicted in texts,

compare and contrast cultural values and behavior depicted in texts with the student's own values and behavior,

analyze and interpret South Pacific literary texts using a reader-response approach,

explore and resolve conflicts defined through engagement with texts and present conclusions clearly and succinctly in writing.


Attendance and Participation   30%
Critical Paper   30%
Reading Guide Response Questions   20%
Reading Journal   20%

Schedule and Assignments

May 17 Wed Introduction to Course
In class: "The Transactional Theory of Literature" - Karolides
May 22 Mon Introduction to Subjective Criticism -Bleich
South Pacific Literature (on reserve) Chapter 1
Books I and II Leaves of the Banyan Tree
Hereniko interview with Albert Wendt - video
May 24 Wed Book Ill Leaves of the Banyan
South Pacific Literature
(on reserve) Chapter 6
Group I - Journals due
Reader-response Questions on Leaves
May 29 Mon Once Were Warriors
Maori: The Crisis and the Challenge
(on reserve) Introduction
Essay: "In Whose Face: An Essay on the work of Alan Duff in The Contemporary Pacific-pp. 398-413. (on reserve)
May 31 Wed Metaphor & Symbols - Bartel
Maori: The Crisis and the Challenge (on reserve) Chap. 13
Reader-response Questions on Warriors
Group 11 Journals due
June 5 Mon Parts I and II The Bone People
Poem: "E Nga Iwi O Ngai Tahu" (handout)
June 7 Wed Part III and IV The Bone People
Reader-response Questions on The Bone People
Group Ill - Journals due
June 12 Mon "Last Virgin in Paradise"
Bring draft of critical paper to class
June 14 Wed "Representations of Cultural Identities" from Tides of History (on reserve)
Talking Past Each Other - Metge and Kinloch (on reserve)
Critical paper due
June 19 Mon All Journals due
"Descendant of the Mountain" in Flying Fox- Wendt (reserve)
"The Balloonfish ..." in The Birth & Death ... - Wendt (reserve)
"A Drift in Dream" in Te Kaihau - Keri Hulme (on reserve)

[Subject: Literature; Pacific/Comparative]

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