Peoples and Cultures of the Pacific

Please note: this is archived course information from 2022 for ANTHRO 104.


The Pacific is a diverse region, linked by a single ocean and encompassing both some of the earliest and the latest movements of modern humans into previously unoccupied land (the occupation of Australia and Papua New Guinea between 60-40,000 years ago and the movement into parts of Remote Oceania less than 800 years ago). The area encompasses great cultural and linguistic diversity and yet also widespread continuities – biologically, historically and culturally.

The course introduces the four subfields of anthropology in relation to the peoples and cultures of the region and explores Pacific peoples’ diverse cultural and biological heritages through disciplinary lenses. Staff from fields such as archaeology, biological and social anthropology, ethnomusicology and development studies draw upon a range of perspectives and techniques to consider some of the issues relevant to past and contemporary peoples. This includes topics such as: connections, engagements and movements between peoples and places; how populations cope with environmental and historical change; and how cultures reproduce and represent themselves in the contemporary environment, among others.

Learning Aims and Outcomes:

By the end of the course, you should

  • Be aware of and understand the perspectives, methods and data used by anthropologists
  • Understand Pacific cultures and histories in anthropological perspective
  • Be able to apply this perspective to a range of issues in Pacific culture and history
  • Have a sense of the historic and contemporary Pacific as a connected yet diverse area
  • Be able to undertake research on Pacific topics and be able to write coherently and in a focused manner about these topics


Coursework and Exam

Availability 2022

Not taught in 2022




Courseworkand exam


ANTHRO 104: 15 points