Literatures of Oceania (w/Engl 498)
In the wake of the Disney Corporation’s new animated feature film Moana, which has already generated a great deal of pre-release discussion and controversy about popular representations of Hawaiian people and culture, this course will introduce students to contemporary Indigenous literatures of Oceania, in a variety of genres and media: plays, poems, stories, novels, essays, films, video, music, and so forth. This course will also introduce students to relevant ways of conceptualizing and understanding the Pacific Ocean and its Indigenous peoples. We will spend most of the quarter comparing and contrasting contemporary texts produced by Kanaka Maoli (indigenous Hawaiians) with contemporary texts produced by Maori from Aotearoa New Zealand and contemporary texts produced by Pacific Islanders from places such as Guam, Tonga, Samoa, Rotuma, Niue, the Cook Islands, and Fiji. In addition, we will explore one or more texts that engage Indigenous peoples living here in the Pacific Northwest.
Graduate students will follow the undergraduate syllabus for this course, but will have additional opportunities for reading, discussion, and research.