Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Utah is an interdisciplinary program, housed in the School for Social and Cultural Transformation. In the five years since the U began to invest in Pacific Islands Studies as an important site of research and teaching, we have not only added a number of new Pacific Islands Studies-focused courses to the books, but also established a Pacific Islands Studies certificate (akin to a minor) for undergraduates. We continue to organize programming to support and advance scholarship and build relationships on and off campus that support Pacific Islander communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Our faculty are engaged with initiatives locally and serve on a variety of national and international boards.
Salt Lake City’s Pacific Islander population, which is one of the oldest on the continental US and one of the largest per capita, offers a unique opportunity to explore the intersections of the global and the local. Given our unique position, Pacific Islands Studies at the U focuses on connecting Indigeneity, defined as the relationship of autochthonous peoples to their homelands, languages, ceremonial cycles, and sacred histories, to migration, travel, and diaspora – global processes that structure contemporary Pacific Islander experiences and structure relationships to the past.
For questions about the Pacific Islands Studies Program, please contact our director of Pacific Islands Studies, Maile Arvin.