Faculty of Arts


Pacific Literature in English


The course considers recent Pacific literature written in English by authors whose work is characterised by multiple crossings of cultural, political, gendered and geographical borders—crossings particularly acute for writers who are connected in some way to genealogical and ancestral ties to Maori and Pacific communities, but write from other places.

To this end, students will consider the following questions:

  • What are the distinct features of Pacific literature in New Zealand,and other regions of the Pacific?
  • In what ways does this literature reflect and expand wider globaltrends in diasporic writing?
  • How and why have writers reframed their Pacific identities?
  • How and why do they negotiate social and cultural tensions within and between their own communities?
  • How and why have writers reflected, challenged, and redefined stereotypes about their own communities?

Students will learn how to contextualise and critique Pacific creative writing and performance.

There are three genres covered in this course: Poetry, Young Adult Fiction, and Short Story. 6 texts are required for this course and study of all genres are required to fulfil assessment criteria:


Coursework and exam

Availability 2021

Semester 2


Coordinator(s) Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh



Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English, Mauri Ola II. (Eds,Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri, Robert Sullivan, Honolulu: University of Hawai’iPress, 2010).Young

Adult Fiction:

Trilogy by Lani Wendt Young

Short Stories:

  • Black Marks on the White Page. (Ed. Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti, Penguin Random House, 2017.)
  • Niu Voices. (Ed. Selina Tusitala Marsh. Wellington, N.Z. : Huia, 2006). Excerpts made available. 


ENGLISH 204: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage I in English, or 15 points at Stage I in English and PACIFIC 100

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