Approaches to Pacific Islands Studies
PACS 691, Graduate Seminar, Fall 1997
PART 1: THE MA PROGRAM
Week 1 (8/27) Orientation
Week 2 (9/03) The Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Epeli Hauofa "Our Sea of Islands"
Week 3 (9/10) Expectations, structure, and
requirements of the M.A. program
Center for Pacific Islands Studies Brochure, "Degree and Certificate Requirements," pp.15-16. (See also typscript version which includes statement on Plan B paper expectations)
Sternberg, David 1981. How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation. New York: St Martins Press. Chapters 1, 2, 6, and 7.
PART II: RESEARCH SKILLS
Week 4 (9/17) Constructing a research proposal
Sternberg, David,.How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation, Chapter 4.
Examples of research proposals
Week 5 (9/24) Accessing the literature on the
Pacific Islands--Peacock (Meet in Hamilton Library)
Week 6 (10/01) Speaking from experience ***concept
paper #1 due
Week 7 (10/08) Concept papers--student progress
Week 8 (10/15) Concept papers--student progress reports
PART III: KNOWLEDGE AND POWER IN PACIFIC ISLANDS STUDIES
Week 9 (10/22) Anthropology and Authenticity
Keesing, Roger M. 1989. Creating the Past: Custom and Identity in the Contemporary Pacific. The Contemporary Pacific 1/2: 19-42
Trask, Haunani-Kay 1991. Natives and Anthropologists: The Colonial Struggle. The Contemporary Pacific 3: 168-171.
Keesing, Roger M. 1991. Reply to Trask. The Contemporary Pacific 3: 168-171
Linnekin, Jocelyn 1991. Text Bites and the R-Word: The Politics of Representing Scholarship, The Contemporary Pacific 3: 171-177.
Week 10 (10/29) Orientalism ***book review #1
Said, Edward. 1979. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books
Week 11 (11/05) Concept papers--student progress reports
Week 12 (11/12 Orientalism's relevance for Pacific Islands
Week 13 (11/19) Concept papers--student progress reports
Week 14 (11/26) Becoming interdisciplinary: elements
of a new approach
Hereniko, Vilsoni. 1995. Woven Gods: Female Clowns and Power in Rotuma.
Week 15 (12/03) Concept papers--student progress reports
Week 16 (12/10) Reflection and review
Soon (in PACS 692 in the spring!) you will be asked to produce a detailed research proposal. In this course (PACS 691), you are asked to produce a preliminary description of your project in the form of a concept paper. The paper should be 8-10 pages long and address the following questions: What is the proposed topic? Why is it worth pursuing? How do you intend to research it? What books and articles are relevant?
The idea is to capture the core of your project, the central ideas, which will be fleshed out in more detail later. This may sound easy but it isn't. It usually requires a considerable amount of reading and thinking, drafting and redrafting.
Reflections paper (due 9/10)
To help you get started you are asked to write a short essay (1-3 pages) indicating why you have chosen to study the Pacific Islands, and what particular aspects interest you the most. Identify and discuss briefly at least three possible research topics for your MA final paper (thesis or Plan B paper).
The concept paper will be submitted in several drafts:
First draft due 10/01
You are asked to write book reviews of the following books:
1. Said, Edward 1979. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books. Due 10/29
2. Lindstrom, Lamont. 1993. Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire from Melanesia and Beyond. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, South Sea Books #4. Due 11/26
3. Hereniko, Vilsoni. 1995. Woven Gods: Female Clowns and Power in Rotuma. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, Pacific Islands Monograph #12. Due 12/10
Each review should be 4-5 pages long, and should a) summarize the contents of the book, b) identify the author's main themes or arguments, and c) discuss the book's significance.
[Subject: Research Approaches; Pacific/Comparative]
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