Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources



University of Hawai‘i at Manoa

Spring 1997.


Dr Peter Pirie -

1465 Waianuenue Ave

Hilo, HI. 96720

Fax (808) 933 1023 (Hilo)

Home phone (808) 969 3772 (Hilo).


TIME: 1:30-2:45pm Kuykendall 203 (Manoa)

Library Blg Studio 350 (Hilo)


This course introduces students to the variety of demographic situations in the 21 political entities which comprise the island Pacific:


  • • The dispersal of Pacific peoples into the islands, their differentiation, and their subsequent growth in numbers;

    • The varying demographic impacts of later contact by foreigners and by colonizers;

    • Public health, the recovery in population numbers, and subsequent fertility explosion;

    • The tradition of mobility: ancient and modern forms, and Pacific Island communities overseas;

    • Employment alternatives to traditional agriculture;

    • Is "The Doomsday Scenario" inevitable? Clashing schools of thought.


    Krishnan, Vasantha, Penelope Schoeffel, and Julie Warren, 1994. The Challenge of Change: Pacific Island Communities in New Zealand 1986–1993, ISR&D: Wellington, New Zealand.

    Pirie, Peter, 1994. Demographic Transition in the Pacific Islands: The Situation in the Early 1990s, East-West Center Working Papers, Pacific Islands Development Series, No. 5, Honolulu, HI. Pp 90 (supplied free)

    South Pacific Commission, 1994. Pacific Island Populations, Report prepared for the International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt, September, Noumea: New Caledonia. Pp 68 (supplied free)

    Course Requirements:

    Required readings

    One research paper


    Comprehensive final exam

    Knowledge of email or willingness to learn

  • Course Schedule:


    Date Location Topic

    Wed January 15th Hilo Introduction to the course


    Fri Jan17th Manoa Regional background


    Wed Jan 22nd Manoa E-mail demo


    Fri Jan 24th Hilo Some Population fundamentals


    Wed Jan 29th Hilo Population sizes, distributions and densities


    Fri Jan 31st Manoa The origins of Pacific Island populations


    Wed February 5th Hilo Pre-contact populations


    Fri Feb 7th Hilo Mortality and morbidity pre-contact


    Wed Feb 12th Manoa Introduced disease and population decline


    Fri Feb 14th Hilo The beginnings of morbidity control


    Wed Feb 19th Hilo Recent mortality levels


    Fri Feb 21st Hilo Fertility control; ancient and modern


    Wed Feb 26th Hilo The fertility explosion; recent fertility levels


    Fri Feb 28th Hilo Age and sex structures


    Wed March 5th Hilo Schooling and employment


    Fri March 7th Hilo The employment transition


    Wed March 12th Hilo Population mobility; traditional forms


    Fri March 14th Manoa Population mobility; modern forms


    Wed March 19th Hilo Pacific Islanders in towns


    Fri March 21st Hilo Mid term test


    Spring Recess


    Wed April 2nd Manoa Mid-term test return and review


    Fri April 4th Hilo Pacific islander colonies overseas


    Wed April 9th Hilo The Samoan diaspora


    Fri April 11th Manoa Projected populations


    Wed April 16th Hilo The Doomsday Scenario


    Fri April 18th Hilo Case studies - Papua New Guinea


    Wed April 23rd Manoa Case studies - New Caledonia


    Fri April 25th Hilo Case studies - Fiji


    Wed April 30th Hilo Case studies - the Samoas


    Fri May 2nd Manoa Case studies - how do you know you're in Guam and not in Pearl City?


    Wed May 7th Hilo Last day of Instruction. Review.


    Final Exam 12:00 - 2:00pm Thursday May 15th


    Comments: This course is being taught on two campuses on two different islands and transmitted to the other campus through Hawai'i Interactive Television Systems (HITS). The instructor alternates between studios on each campus, teaching approximately two-thirds of the course at the Hilo studio, and one-third at the Manoa studio. Several cameras are used to focus on the instructor, the class, and visual materials, and students from either studio may get the instructor's attention for questions. Extensive use is also being made of email, for communication between the instructor and students, and occasional use is being made of the fax machine to transmit materials between campuses.


    [Subject: Contemporary Issues, Pacific/Comparative]

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