Pacific Island Studies

William S. Ayres, Program Director
541-346-0668 fax
273 Condon Hall
1218 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1218

The Pacific Island Studies Program, part of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, offers individualized programs of study and research related to islands and island cultures. The University of Oregon’s long-standing educational and scholarly interest in the Pacific islands, involving active researchers and teachers in many fields, was formalized as a program committee in 1987 and it has worked since to coordinate instructional, research, and exchange programs related to the islands. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives essential for understanding natural and cultural environments, cultural history and change, and educational and contemporary socioeconomic issues in the Pacific.

Courses about the Pacific cover a range of topics. Students can enroll in undergraduate courses and advanced degree programs in various departments and through the Asian Studies Program. Students may also work with committee members from Pacific island studies toward an Interdisciplinary Studies: Individualized Program master’s degree (MA or MS). Information is available in the Graduate School section of this catalog.

The Pacific island studies faculty participates in the Asian studies BA and MA degree programs by teaching courses that may be used to satisfy degree requirements (e.g., in developing a secondary cultural or geographical area with Southeast Asia). Undergraduate- and graduate-level courses are available in anthropology and archaeology, art history, biology, earth sciences, international studies, ethnic studies, and sociology. A small number of courses focus solely on the Pacific Islands, but a broader range includes ones related to islands and coastal communities.

The Pacific Islands Archaeological Project, directed by William S. Ayres and Scott Fitzpatrick, offers students opportunities to participate in archaeological and anthropological study in the Pacific. Members of the anthropology faculty offer a field school in archaeology.

Training in selected Pacific island languages is possible through individual study using tutors and materials developed for use at the Yamada Language Center. The center now has language-study modules for Pohnpeian and Kosraen. Tutoring in Samoan and other island languages is possible.


Anthropology. , Pacific Islands Archaeology (ANTH 343), Workshop: [Topic] (ANTH 408) (Archaeology Field Schools: Micronesia and Caribbean), Experimental Course: [Topic] (ANTH 410) (Pacific Island Studies; Polynesian Archaeology), Workshop: [Topic] (ANTH 508) (Archaeology Field Schools: Micronesia and Caribbean)

Earth Sciences. Oceanography (ERTH 307)

Sociology. Sociology of Developing Areas (SOC 450)

Approved Seminars (407, 507) and Experimental Courses (410, 510) are other possibilities in these and other departments.


Program Committee

William S. Ayres, anthropology

Aletta Biersack, anthropology

Scott Fitzpatrick, anthropology

Richard G. Hildreth, law

Judith Raiskin, women's, gender, and sexuality studies

Richard A. Sundt, history of art and architecture

Stephanie 'Lani' Teves, ethnic studies