Geography of the Pacific (Geog 365)
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Note: All readings should be read by the date on which they're listed. Our text, The Pacific Islands: Environment & Society (Rapaport 1999), is cited abbreviated as PIES.


Week 1: Introduction: the region, the study

6 July Class overview and introduction to the subject
Sign up: Pacific Islands Report email digest
7 July Orientation & epistomologies
Read: Hau‘ofa (1993) Our Sea of Islands
Bring: a map to analyze
(Note: Free admission day at the Honolulu Academy of Arts)
8 July Oceania & the Academy; Resources for Pacific Studies
Read: Herman (1999) Race Identity and Representation. PIES ch 13:156-164
Visit: Pacific Collection at Hamilton library

Week 2: The physical environment: energy and form

12 July Map quiz. Intro to Physical Environment
See: PIES section 1, chapters 1-6
13 July Geomorphology
Read: Fryer & Fryer (1999) Geology. PIES ch 3 : 33-42
Nunn (1999) Geomorphology. PIES ch 4 : 43-55
Visit: Island models in St. John lobby
14 July Climate and Oceanography
Read: Sturman & McGowan (1999) Climate. PIES ch 1 : 3-18
Talley et al (1999) Oceanography. PIES ch 2 : 19-32
15 July Water and Nutrient Cycles
Read: Depledge (1999) Water. PIES ch 6 : 66-74
Morrison (1999) Soil. PIES ch 5 : 56-65
Note: Lāhaina Noon is Friday, 12:37 pm
Prince Lot Hula Festival is Saturday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Week 3: Life in the Pacific

19 July Introduction to evolutionary and island biogeography
Read: Kay (1999) Biogeography. PIES ch 7 : 76-92
Due: Presentation topics and book to review
20 July Pacific ecosystems
Read: Manner et al (1999) Terrestrial ecosystems. PIES ch 8 : 93-108
Nelson (1999) Aquatic ecosystems. PIES ch 9 : 109-119
21 July Marine ecosystems and traditional fishing
Meet at Waikīkī Aquarium
Read: Johannes (2002) The renaissance of traditional marine community-based marine resource management in Oceania. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33:317-340
Greenberg, P (2010) Tuna's End. New York Times Magazine 27 June 2010
22 July Impacts of settlement and synthetic reorganization of landscapes
Read: Thaman, RR (2002) Threats to Pacific Island biodiversity and biodiversity conservation in the Pacific Islands. Development Bulletin 58:23-27
Hunt, T (2007) Rethinking Easter Island's ecological catastrophe. Journal of Archaeological Science 34:485-502

Week 4: Cultural diversity in the Pacific

26 July Representations of Pacific cultures
Read: Terrell et al (1997) The Dimensions of Social Life in the Pacific: Human Diversity and the Myth of the Primitive Isolate. Current Anthropology 38(2):155-195
Due: Draft bibliography for presentation (10 refs)
27 July Stories of origins and interactions
Read: Thomas (1999) The Precontact Period. PIES ch 10 : 121-133)
Hurles et al (2003) Untangling Oceanic settlement: the edge of the knowable. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 18(10):531-540
28 July Culture groups and linguistic diversity
Read: Pawley (1999) Language. PIES ch 15 : 181-194
Lindstrom (1999) Social Relations. PIES ch 16 : 195-207
29 July Landscapes and social organization
Meet at Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kanewai
Read: Crocombe (1999) Tenure. PIES ch 17 : 208-220)
Watch: McClatchey (2006) Transported Landscapes

Week 5: Political economies in the cosmopolitan era

2 Aug Globalizing economies since the 18th century
Read: Chappell (1999) The Postcontact Period. PIES ch 11 : 134-143
Due: Draft presentation outline
Due: 1st book or film review
3 Aug Contesting empires, 19th & 20th centuries
Read: Wesley-Smith (1999) Changing Patterns of Power. PIES ch 12 : 144-155
4 Aug Circulations of value: religion, tourism, economy
Read: Teaiwa (1994) Bikinis and other s/pacific n/oceans. The Contemporary Pacific 6(1):87-109
Fagence (1999) Tourism. PIES ch 32 : 394-404
5 Aug Resource use and extraction
Read: Bertram (1999) Economy. PIES ch 28 : 337-352
Outline: Clarke et al (1999) Agriculture and Forestry. PIES ch 29 : 353-365; or
Adams et al (1999) Ocean Resources. PIES ch 30 : 366-381; or
Banks & McShane (1999) Mining. PIES ch 31 : 382-394

Week 6: Spatial organization and distributions

9 Aug Human mobility in the contemporary Pacific
Read: Lilomaiava-Doktor (2009) Beyond "Migration": Samoan Population Movement (Malaga) and the Geography of Social Space (). The Contemporary Pacific 21(1):1-32
Rallu & Ahlburg (1999) Demography. PIES ch 21 : 258-269
Rapaport (1999) Mobility. PIES ch 22 : 270-281
10 Aug Student presentations: Nick on Tahiti
11 Aug Student presentations: Ala on Fiji; Maui on Palau
12 Aug Course review: change and continuity in Pacific environments
Due: 2nd review