Instructor: Rebecca Hogue
Meeting time: Wednesday, 12:45-2:45 pm
This course examines the Pacific, not as an object of exploration, but as an agent of oceanic relations. We will begin with the ancestral connections between Pacific Islands, travel through the 18th and 19th centuries as we interrogate the entanglements of European imperialism and native Pacific sovereignty, through to the role of the Pacific in World War II and the Cold War, before landing in the 21st century and the modern Indigenous Oceanic connections of environmental movements. Inspired by Banaban-scholar/activist/poet Teresia Teaiwa’s notion of the “polygenesis” of the Pacific, course texts will be drawn from oral histories, navigational charts, paintings, photographs, poetry, fiction, personal narratives, film, carvings, tattoo, and regalia. Working in collaboration with the Peabody Museum’s Pacific collection, we will have a heightened emphasis on material culture as methods of transit, commerce, exchange, storytelling, histories, and futures. How does navigation, as metaphor and material practice, inform our understandings of historical and contemporary ecological relationships, like climate change and the protection of sacred sites?