1. In a time of language change and shift and loss, this talk speaks to a revaluation of the problems of thisness and whatness (haecceity and quiddity) of everyday natures in the ethnographic contexts of Tahiti and Mangareva. Motivated by a concern with the slipperiness of seemingly non-controversial natural kinds, I examine several contexts including uplands, seascapes, and the historical socioscapes of disease on Mangareva with reference to elsewhere in the eastern Pacific. The status of natural kinds in Oceanic contexts particularly calls for attention given the possibility that the deceptive transparency of everyday nature may mask significant cultural ambiguities and uncertainties in making sense of Pacific island landscapes and ecologies.

    Alexander Dale Mawyer is Assistant Professor at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies. He has conducted fieldwork with the Mangarevan community in the Gambier and Society Islands of French Polynesia focused on language at the intersection of culture and history, and served as one of the co-editors of Varua Tupu: New Writing from French Polynesia, the first anthology of Ma‘ohi literature to appear in English. He is currently the Book and Media Reviews Editor for The Contemporary Pacific: A Journal of Island Affairs.

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  2. FEBRUARY 14TH
    Akira Nishimura Religious Studies, Kagoshima University
    Fulbright Visiting Scholar, University of Hawai`i

    67 years have passed since the end of WWII; the events in that war are two generations ago. A large number of surviving Japanese veterans, who are around 90 years old, have been involved in battlefield pilgrimages and the recovery of the remains of the fallen as if the “spirits” of the dead remained on the sites. Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo is generally regarded as the main memorial site of the war dead on the national level. In this talk, I’d like to introduce two individual cases of veterans who have actively engaged in the battlefield tours in the Northern Mariana Islands and Myanmar. In each case, there appear to be different orientations towards passing on to next generations and of deepening exchange with the local residents in the former battle sites through the commemoration for their deceased comrades. We could understand their long-term commitment for the tours as grassroots efforts of postwar recovery.

    AKIRA NISHIMURA is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Kagoshima University. He earned the Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo. He is the author of Postwar Japan and Spiritual Commemorations for the War Dead: Dynamism of Pacification and Inspiring (Yushi-sha, 2006) and won the 3rd Award of International Institute for the Study of Religions in 2007. He has several papers in English such as “Battlefield Pilgrimage and Performative Memory: Contained Souls of Soldiers in Sites, Ashes, and Buddha Statue” in Memory Connection Journal (online), vol.1, 2011; “Symbiosis or Segregation? : Dealing with the 'foreign' in Nagasaki” in Henn & Köpping eds., Rituals in an Unstable World: Embodiment-Hybridity-Identity, Peter Lang, 2008.

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  3. January 23, 2013

    Dr. Nancy Abelmann

    Drawing on the findings of an interdisciplinary collaborative study, Nancy Abelmann will discuss the University of Illinois's encounter with rapidly increasing numbers of Chinese and South Korean international undergraduate students beginning in the second half of the 2000s (The U of I is the U.S. public university with the largest number of international undergraduates). She considers how this transforming demography is affecting ideas about race, nation, and internationalization in the American university. Dr. Abelmann pays particular attention to the intra-ethnic encounter of Korean Americans and transnational South Koreans.

    Nancy Abelmann
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research -- Humanities, Arts, and Related Fields
Harry E. Preble Professor of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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  4. November 20, 2012


    The Athlete’s Body and the Global Condition: Tongan Rugby Players in Japan

    The mobility of rugby professionals from Tonga to Japan and points beyond poses new questions about the role of the body as a mediator between the subjective and the objective, which anthropologists and other social scientists have generally examined within the confines of specific societies. Increasingly, mobility across different regimes of valuation offers highly skilled bodies both new possibilities for agency and new constraints on agency. The articulation of athletes’ mobility with economic, social, and ideological dynamics provides a window onto the underexplored aspects of the global condition from the ground up.

    Niko Besnier is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. His most recent book, On the Edge of the Global: Modern Anxieties in a Pacific Island Nation, was published by Stanford University Press in 2011. He is currently in the initial stages of a 5-year multi-sited ethnographic comparative project involving five researchers investigating the migrations of professional athletes from the Global South to the Global North in three sports (rugby, soccer football, and cricket).

    Cosponsored with the Department of Sociology and Center for Pacific Island Studies, UHM

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  5. November 8, 2012

    The journals kept by Captain Cook and various of his crew record many instances where English and kanaka maoli misunderstood one another. It is argued that these misunderstandings were due, in part, to philosophical differences in kanaka maoli and English views of exchange and the rights properly exercised with respect to the things they exchanged.

    Thomas Dye graduated with a degree in Anthropology from the University of Hawai`i before earning a Ph.D. at Yale University in 1987. He is an archaeologist who has worked in Hawai`i since 1968 and currently owns and operates an archaeological consultancy in Honolulu. His research interests include the method and theory of Hawaiian archaeology, archaeological chronology, and reproducible research.

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Department of Anthropology

College of Social Sciences PRO

Department of Anthropology (ANTH)
College of Social Science | University of Hawaii at Manoa

Degrees: Minor, BA, MA, PhD
Major academic areas: Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Applied Archaeology, Hawaiian


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Department of Anthropology (ANTH)
College of Social Science | University of Hawaii at Manoa

Degrees: Minor, BA, MA, PhD
Major academic areas: Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Applied Archaeology, Hawaiian Studies, Indigenous Studies, Medical Anthropology, Ecological Anthropology, Discursive Practices, Asia, Pacific Islands, Oceania

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