The Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Faculty and Staff Updates
A number of CPIS core and affiliate faculty played key roles in the latest annual meeting of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania (ASAO), which was held 4–8 February 2014 in Kona, Hawai‘i.
The Distinguished Lecture was given UHM Ethnic Studies Department Chair Ty Kāwika Tengan, who is also associate professor in the UHM Anthropology Department and a member of the CPIS affiliate faculty. As with all ASAO Distinguished Lectures since 2009, Ty’s talk will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Oceania.
CPIS Affiliate Faculty Member Lisa Uperesa, who is an assistant professor with the UHM Ethnic Studies and Sociology Departments, is incoming ASAO Board Chair; she organized a session titled “Theorizing Race and Culture in the Pacific.”
CPIS Assistant Professor Alexander Mawyer is the ASAO Program Coordinator; he also presented a paper in a symposium, “The Social Life of Rivers” and a presented an emerging paper titled “Nature’s Empires” in the working session “Naturalist Histories.”
CPIS Assistant Professor Moana Nepia participated in the session on “Pacific Spaces and Sacred Buildings” with a presentation titled “Pacific Spaces of Invisibility.”
CPIS Faculty Specialist Julianne Walsh co-organized a session on “Ethnic Tensions in Hawai‘i” with UH Hilo Assistant Professor Joe Genz.
CPIS Affiliate Faculty Alex Golub, associate professor in the UHM Anthropology Department, organized a session on “Order in Melanesia.”
CPIS Managing Editor Jan Rensel and Emeritus Professor Alan Howard (UHM Anthropology Department) copresented a paper on “The Rotuman Experience with Reverse Migration” in a working session titled “Mobilities of Return.” Jan is the association’s archivist, and Alan is the ASAO website manager and membership coordinator. Alan also co-organized a session on “The Pacific in the Digital Age.”
CPIS Associate Professor Tarcisius Kabutaulaka also attended the meeting, as did a number of graduate students from CPIS and other UHM departments.
Terence Wesley-Smith was an invited speaker at a conference called “Sino-Pacific Relations: New Spatialization of Order in the Pacific Islands?” held on 14 March 2014 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The conference was organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies and sponsored by the Institute of Chinese Studies at CUHK, and the speakers included Dr Stewart Firth (Australian National University) and Professor Katherine Hannan (University of Wollongong). The topic of Wesley-Smith’s paper was “China, the Pacific Islands, and New Structures of Power and Influence.”
Alexander Mawyer has been busy since joining the center in January. In addition to presenting at ASAO this spring, he gave a talk on ecology and semantics for the UHM Anthropology Colloquium series. In April, Alex was invited to join the Editorial Board of Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing as a corresponding editor for New Zealand and the South Pacific. As part of this year’s Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival (4–5 May), along with Manoa’s editor Frank Stewart and managing editor Pat Matsueda, and novelists Shawna Yang Ryan and Katharine Beutner, Alex read selections in celebration of the journal’s 25th anniversary and brought the poetry of Tahitian activist and writer Henri Hiro to the stage. In June, he is traveling to Papeete, Tahiti, for the 2014 Pacific Islands Political Science Association (PIPSA) conference. The topic of this year’s meeting is “Challenges of Political, Economic and Legal Governance in a Changing Pacific” and Alex will be speaking on witness, reconciliation, and the legacies of French Pacific nuclear testing.
The center congratulates Alex on his appointment as associate editor for The Contemporary Pacific; he will also continue as the journal’s books and media reviews editor.
Julie Walsh attended the Australian Association of Pacific Studies (AAPS) conference at the University of Sydney, 22–26 April 2014. She represented the center in the panel entitled “Travelling, Anchoring: Shared and Place-based Approaches to Pacific Studies.” Julie highlighted new pedagogical approaches at the center, particularly in the BA program, that engage students in contemporary issues through extensive service-learning opportunities. A renewed emphasis on creativity with the development of the “Culture, Arts, and Performance” track was represented as a hallmark of the growing BA program at CPIS. Additionally, the PACS bachelor’s degrees at UH now require three foundational courses in (1) Contemporary Regional Issues, (2) Community Development/Public Policy, and (3) Culture, Arts, and Performance. These are described as integral and essential components of Pacific Islands studies at UH Mānoa. Three years into the BA program, new issues have garnered faculty attention—namely, the need for undergraduate teaching materials that are interdisciplinary in nature and accessible to lower-division students. Discussion during the AAPS sessions focused on collaborations among our regional institutions that would (1) support student exchanges, (2) result in the development of regionally accessible and relevant teaching materials for undergraduate students, and (3) further discussions about the goals and purposes of Pacific Studies regionally and at specific locales. Other Pacific studies programs highlighted methods for reaching student target audiences for courses and programs, development of environmental strands/concentrations of study within the degree, and site-specific institutional supports and barriers. Besides Julie, participants included Frank Thomas (University of the South Pacific), Damon Salesa (University of Auckland), and CPIS alumni Katerina Teaiwa (Australian National University) and April Henderson (Victoria University, Wellington).
Julie also participated in the 17th Annual Continuums of Service conference (Honolulu, 2–4 April). She joined Dr Ulla Hasager, Kat Lobendahn, and Kanaloa Shrader (all UHM Department of Ethnic Studies) in a panel presentation, “Oceania Connecting,” to demonstrate how service learning can create lasting impacts that diminish ethnic tensions in Hawaiʻi.
Best wishes to Eleanor Kleiber (Hamilton Library Pacific Collection) and her husband Gabriel Amos on the birth of their daughter Margot Frances, born on 4 April.
We also send warm wishes to Brandy Nālani McDougall (UHM Department of American Studies) and Craig Santos Perez (UHM Department of English), who welcomed Kaikainaliʻi Håle’ta on 28 April.
Congratulations to affiliate faculty on promotions this year. David Chappell (UHM Department of History) was promoted to professor. Craig Santos Perez (UHM Department of English) was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor.
Alice Te Punga Somerville (UHM Department of English) was awarded tenure. Alice has taken leave from UH Mānoa to spend eighteen months at Warawara Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney. We wish Alice well and look forward to her return in 2016.
A hui hou Raukura Roa. In 2012, Raukura joined the UHM Māori program as a Fulbright scholar-in-residence and continued as an instructor through the 2013–2014 academic year. Raukura introduced new Māori language and culture courses and collaborated across campus on many arts and culture programs. As Raukura prepares to return to the University of Waikato, we wish her the best and look forward to many returns.
See the publications section for new books by affiliate faculty members Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, Alex Golub, kuʻualoha hoʻomanawanui, Jonathan Osorio, and Craig Santos Perez, as well as a new film by Vilsoni Hereniko.