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Spring 2021 Virtual Symposium

Pedagogies for Indigeneity and Diaspora: Pacific Studies at Home and Abroad

What does it mean to teach Pacific Studies in the current moment? What are the pedagogies, both old and new, that Pacific Islander scholars, activists, teachers, and performers are drawing on to educate and foster knowledge relevant to Pacific Islander people? With a host of guests, we look forward to exploring these questions in a two-part event this spring.

The first event, a roundtable titled “To Search for Roots is to Discover Routes”: Pacific Theories of Diaspora,” on March 18, seeks to set the stage by sharing some important approaches to theorizing indigeneity and diaspora among Pacific Islanders. The second, two-day event, taking place on April 8 and 9, will deepen our conversations about Pacific Islander diasporas and pedagogies in relation to four key subthemes: gender and sexuality, the environment, education, and health.

As noted in the quoted portions of our panel titles below, in each of these areas, we take special inspiration from the work of the late scholar and poet Teresia Teaiwa. Her work, which so creatively transgressed disciplinary boundaries, continues to offer a vibrant model of teaching Pacific Studies at home and abroad.

The symposium is intended to support efforts to expand the course offerings associated with the newly launched undergraduate Certificate in Pacific Islands Studies and to contribute to the field of Pacific Studies by converting the panels into an iBook for the Teaching Oceania Series. The symposium is supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation and the University of Utah’s Global Learning Across the Disciplines.

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.

Symposium Agenda

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