Pacific Studies Initiative Syllabi & Bibliographies



Syllabi & Bibliographies

Internet Resources

Research Materials and Design

PACS 692, Spring 1997

Dr Terence Wesley-Smith
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
1890 East-West Rd, Moore 215
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-2668

Dr Karen Peacock
Pacific Curator, Hamilton Library
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2550 The Mall
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-2851

The seminar will introduce students in the MA program in Pacific Islands Studies and other interested graduate students to the materials and research skills necessary for successful completion of the thesis, Plan B final paper, or dissertation. It will involve the supervised production of a detailed proposal for research, and include an intensive survey of reference and bibliographic materials.

The seminar will meet once a week throughout the semester. There will be formal presentations, sometimes by invited speakers, and supervised research exercises. The emphasis will be on student participation and group discussion. Attendance is mandatory.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of the completion of an annotated bibliography (see Appendix A), due 3/17, and a research proposal (see Appendix B), final version due 5/5, as well as for their participation in classroom discussion. The final grade will be determined as follows:

Annotated bibliography - 30%
Research proposal - 60%
Participation - 10%

The main texts for the course will be: Catherine Marshall and Gretchen B. Rossman 1995 Designing Qualitative Research. Second Edition. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, and Renato Rosaldo 1989. Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. Boston: Beacon. These will be supplemented by extensive extracts from Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln (eds.) 1994, Handbook of Qualitative Research . London: Sage Publications.

Other related texts include:
David Sternberg. 1981. How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation.. New York: St Martins Press.
Hayden V. White. 1973. Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe.
Peter Novick. 1988. That Noble Dream: The "Objectivity Question" and the American Historical Profession. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Joyce Appleby, Lynn Hunt, and Margaret Jacob. Telling the Truth about History. New York: Norton.
Robert White. 1990. White Mythologies: Writing History and the West.
James Clifford and George Marcus. 1986. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Berkeley: UC Press.



Week 1 (1/13). Orientation
Seminar expectations and requirements

Week 2 (1/20). Holiday

Week 3 (1/27). Rethinking social analysis
Building social analysis on the shifting sands of truth and reality
Rosaldo, Culture and Truth. Entire book.

Week 4 (2/3). Planning and conducting research
Nature of thesis and Plan B research, and associated trials and tribulations.
Marshall and Rossman Preface, Introduction, The Substance of the Study, pp. ix-37.
Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln "Introduction: Entering the Field of Qualitative Research," in Denzin and Lincoln Handbook of Qualitative Research. pp1-17.

Week 5 (2/10). Constructing a research proposal
The purpose and structure of the research proposal, and associated issues.
Marshall and Rossman How to Conduct the Study, pp 38-77.
Valerie Janesick "The Dance of Qualitative Research Design: Metaphor, Methodolatry, and Meaning" in Denzin and Lincoln, pp209-219.
Janice Morse "Designing Funded Qualitative Research," in Denzin and Lincoln, pp. 220-235.
David Sternberg "The Dissertation Proposal, " Chapter 4 in Sternberg How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation. pp.72-107.

Week 6 (2/17). Holiday


Week 7 (2/24). Accessing Pacific Islands library materials
Introduction to the Pacific Collection of Hamilton Library and the on-line catalogue.

Week 8 (3/3). Pacific databases and reference sources
The Hawaii-Pacific Journal index; Expanded Academic Index; Uncover; Trust Territory Archives index; Bishop Museum catalogue.

Week 9 (3/10). Pacific periodicals, newspapers, internet sources, and audio-visual materials
Exploring Pacific periodicals and newspapers. Resources on audiotape, videotape, film, and in digitized electronic storage systems.Bibliographic sources in print; access to Pacific resources via the internet.


Week 10 (3/17). Defining the topic
Identifying and defining a suitable topic for research.
Janice Morse Designing Funded Qualitative Research, pp.220-222.
David Sternberg How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation. Chapter 2 The Great Decision: Reordering Priorities and Choosing a (Viable) Topic. pp. 30-56.
Brij Lal Broken Waves: A History of the Fiji Islands in the Twentieth Century. Preface, pp.xv-xviii.
Vilsoni Hereniko Woven Gods: Female Clowns and Power in Rotuma. Prologue: Homeward Bound, pp. 1-11.
Lilikala Kame'eleihiwa Native Land and Foreign Desires: Pehea La E Pono Ai? Acknowledgments and Chapter 1 In the Beginning, pp. xv-16.

Week 11 (3/24). Holiday

Week 12 (3/31). Justifying the topic
Describing the background and significance of the research project
Robert Borofsky Making History: Pukapukan and Anthropological Constructions of Knowledge. Chapter 1 Differing Accounts of the Past, pp. 1-17.
Lamont Lindstrom Cargo Cult: Strange Stories of Desire from Melanesia and Beyond. Chapter 1 What Happened to Cargo Cults? pp. 1-14.

Week 13 (4/7). Planning the methodology I
Identifying needed data and suitable methods for obtaining them.
Marshall and Rossman Data Collection Methods, pp78-107

Week 14 (4/14). Planning the methodology II
Alternative methodologies
Robert Stake Case Studies, in Denzin and Lincoln pp. 236-247
Andrea Fontana and James Frey Interviewing: The Art of Science, in Denzin and Lincoln, pp. 361-376.
Patricia Adler and Peter Adler Observational Techniques, in Denzin and Lincoln, pp. 377-392.
Ian Hodder The Interpretation of Documents and Material Culture, in Denzin and Lincoln, pp. 393-402.


Week 15 (4/21). Data analysis
Organizing and analyzing the data
Marshall and Rossman Recording, Managing, and Analyzing Data, pp108-119
Norman Denzin The Art and Politics of Interpretation, in Denzin and Lincoln, pp. 500-515.
David Sternberg How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation, Chapter 5 The Unfolding Dissertation: Researching and Writing It, pp. 108-137.

Week 16 (4/28).Writing the thesis or Plan B paper
Organizing and presenting the material
Marshall and Rossman, Managing Time and Resources; Defending the Value and Logic of Qualitative Research, pp120-152.
Laurel Richardson Writing: A Method of Inquiry, in Denzin and Lincoln, pp. 516-529.
James Clifford The Predicament of Culture, Chapter 12 Identity in Mashpee, pp. 277-346.

Week 17 (5/5). Reflection and review


The purpose of this assignment is to produce an annotated bibliography of works relevant to the topic of your thesis or Plan B paper.

What is an annotated bibliography?
According to Robert Harmon
In a broad sense an annotated bibliography is a list of books, articles or other materials accompanied by explanatory notes which give some idea of either the content or value (or both) of the items listed.

What works should be included?
You should aim to include all books and journal articles that have direct and indirect relevance for your research topic. For example, if you are writing a history of the Ka Lahui Hawai'i sovereignty movement you should include all books and journal articles that discuss the movement, and would probably want to cite a selection of other works that deal with sovereignty movements in general. If you are investigating the portrayal of women in the works of Albert Wendt, you would need to compile a list of all of Wendt's works, all published analyses of his work, plus a selection of important texts from the area of literary criticism, feminist theory or whatever.

Depending on your topic, you may want to include important articles from periodicals such as Pacific Islands Monthly or Islands Business Pacific. Newspapers may also be important sources of information, especially if you are dealing with contemporary issues. You should at least list the newspaper itself, and it may sometimes be appropriate to list particular newspaper articles or stories .

Unpublished materials, such as government documents or conference papers, are often important and should be listed. Don't forget to list any relevant dissertations or theses. In some cases it may be appropriate to list videotaped or other recorded materials.

How should the bibliography be organized?
There are several different ways of organizing the entries, and you should select the one that appears to be the most useful. In some cases it may be appropriate to use one alphabetized list. In others it may work better to group your references topically by subject e.g, works on Ka Lahui, works about sovereignty movements, etc. or works by Albert Wendt, critical analyses of Albert Wendt, etc. Some people separate published and unpublished works, and books from articles, but there is usually no clear advantage to this approach.

How should materials be cited?
Consistency is the key when it comes to citation style. Consult a reputable style manual (e.g. Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term papers, Theses and Dissertations).

What about the annotation?
The purpose of the annotation is to briefly summarize the contents of the cited work, and to indicate its usefulness for your topic. A typical entry might be

Buck, Elizabeth 1993. Paradise Remade: The Politics of Culture and History in Hawai'i. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Uses a wide range of critical theories to discuss the transformation of Hawaiian culture under the impact of Western imperialism. Provides a theoretical and historical context t for he emergence of sovereignty movements.

Berger, Sidney E. 1991. The Design of Bibliographies: Observations, References and Examples. Mansell.
Harmon, Robert B. 1989. Elements of Bibliography: A Simplified Approach. Metuchen, N.J. and London: The Scarecrow Press.
Harner, James L. 1985. On Compiling an Annotated Bibliography. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.


The purpose of this assignment is to produce a research proposal. You can select any topic that relates to the Pacific islands. You are not asked to do the research. Rather, you are asked to describe what you would like to investigate, why you wish to investigate it, and how you intend to organize the research and writing. Your purpose is to convince the reader (and yourself!) that your topic is worth pursuing, that the project is feasible, and that all aspects are well thought out.

The proposal should be 15-20 pages in length, and consist of the following section: 1) purpose, 2) background, 3) significance, 4) methods, 5) outline, and 6) bibliography.

Before embarking on the proposal proper, there will be some assignments designed to help you identify a suitable topic.

Pre-proposal task

Concept paper --- rough draft due Week 3 (1/27); final version due Week 7 (2/24)
A short (1-3 pages) preliminary description of your project. What is the proposed topic? Why is it worth pursuing? How do you intend to research it? What books and articles are relevant?

The research proposal

The proposal should include the following sections:

1. Purpose -- due Week 9 (3/10)
This is the first section of the proposal. It consists of a brief statement that explains why it is important that the research be carried out; what the topic is; what the question(s) to be answered are, or what the puzzle to be solved is; and what outcome is expected. (2 pages).

This section should be brief, clear, and interesting. It is the first thing readers will read, and the first impression they will have of your work. It is difficult to write. You will probably revise it drastically after you have finished the other sections, when you are in a better position to sum up the main aspects of your project.

2. Background -- due Week 9 (3/10)
In this section, you should provide enough information so that the reader can understand the context, purpose, and need for the research. (2 pages).

Are you applying a theory in a new area, testing a hypothesis, or challenging conventional wisdom? What important gap in the literature will your work fill? What new ground are you breaking? What larger questions will your work throw light on? How have you arrived at this topic? have you worked in this area before? What is it about the topic that makes it important to you personally?

3. Significance -- due Week 12 (3/31)
This section explains the contribution this project will make to an academic discipline, or to solving a practical problem. (1 page).

Show how your work will further our theoretical knowledge or bring new empirical evidence to light. Who might make use of this knowledge? Where might it be published?

4. Methods -- due Week 14 (4/14)
In this section you should discuss exactly how you are going to collect the information necessary to address the research questions you have identified, and how you will go about analyzing it. (3 pages).

Will you conduct a survey? If so, how will it be structured? What questions will you ask? How many people will you interview, and how will you select them? What methods will you use to make sense of the results? Are there alternative methods of collecting the information? Why have you selected these methods? What are the limitations of the approach?

5. Outline
How will you write up the results of your research? Here you should provide an outline of the proposed paper showing the various sections and subsections, with a brief description of what each will contain.

6. Bibliography
List the important books, articles, and documents that relate to your project (see Appendix B: annotated bibliography).

[Subject: Research Approaches; Pacific/Comparative]

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