AMCULT 325 - Pacific Literary and Cultural Studies
Section: 001
Term: WN 2008
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This is a course for students who want to develop their abilities in critical and creative reading, thinking, and analysis. It is an interdisciplinary course that navigates film, fiction, poetry, novels and histories in order to engage with some of the critical processes at work in the modern world. From sunlit beaches, swaying palm trees, and happy tourists to tropical rainforest and menacing natives, the islands of the Pacific have been relentlessly depicted. Perhaps more than any other region of the globe, the Pacific has been “experienced” beforehand through the image-making of Hollywood, television, and advertisement. The huge success of films such as Whale Rider, The Piano, Lord of the Rings, and Once Were Warriors builds upon the early images of the region in films such as Blue Hawaii, Mutiny on the Bounty, and South Pacific. This course puts such texts into dialogue with the extensive body of historical and literary representations. What connections and contradictions emerge when we read popular culture in relation to fictional representations by authors such as Hermann Melville and Jack London, and indigenous authors such as Patricia Grace, Albert Wendt, and Keri Hulme? What other histories and experiences are obscured or misrepresented in these popular representations, including the emergence of indigenous self-determination movements, nuclear testing and U.S. military supremacy, and the multi-ethnic societies which emerged as a result of colonization? To answer these questions, we will read texts from a range of perspectives: EuroAmerican authors (Melville, London, Cook), indigenous Pacific islanders (Hulme, Wendt, Grace, Figiel, and Hau’ofa), as well as non-natives (Yamanaka and Murayama). Requirements include quizzes, 7-8 page paper, final exam, and presentation.

AMCULT 325 - Pacific Literary and Cultural Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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