core faculty
   • tarcisius kabutaulaka
   • terence wesley-smith
   • lola quan bautista
   • alexander mawyer
   • julie walsh
   • managing editor
   • outreach director
   • administrative asst
   • graduate assistants
   • affiliate faculty
   • graduate students

Alexander Mawyer

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Assistant Professor
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
PhD University of Chicago (2006)

Moore Hall 210
(808) 956-2670

Alexander Mawyer joined the CPIS teaching faculty in January 2014. While a graduate student at the center, working on an master's thesis on the history of Pacific film, he compiled the fourth edition of Moving Images of the Pacific: A Guide to Films and Videos. His interest in Pacific films and filmmaking continues, and recently he has been working on redeveloping the online database Moving Images of the Pacific Islands.

Alex earned a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago, for which he conducted fieldwork with the Mangarevan community in the Gambier and Society Islands of French Polynesia, focused on language at the intersection of history and politics. Some of his active research interests include issues of place and space in Pacific homelands, issues of language shift and revitalization in French Polynesia, the language of "nature" in Eastern Polynesia, and legacies of the nuclear experience in French Polynesia.

Alex served as one of the coeditors of Varua Tupu: New Writing from French Polynesia, the first anthology of Ma'ohi literature to appear in English, and he maintains an ongoing interest in Ma'ohi writing and Pacific literature broadly. He is currently the Associate Editor of The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs.


2014 Senses of Space: Multiple Models of Spatial Cognition (with Rick Feinberg). Ethos: Journal for the Society for Psychological Anthropology 42 (3): 243-252.
2014 Oriented and Disoriented Space in the Gambier, French Polynesia. Ethos: Journal for the Society for Psychological Anthropology 42 (3): 277-301.
2011 Review Article: The Game's Afoot, Watson: Culture and Crisis in Play. New Media & Society 13 (5): 843-847.
2008 The Oceanic Drift in Polynesian Linguistics. Language & Communication 28 (4): 363-385.
2006 Varua Tupu: New Writing and Art from French Polynesia, edited by Frank Stewart, Kareva Mateata-Allain and Alexander Mawyer. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.














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