Faculty of Arts


ENGLISH 700

Pacific Poetry


Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for ENGLISH 700.

Description

Our Pacific region offers globally renown uniqueness and beauty. ENGLISH 700: Pacific Poetry offers insight into these worlds through words. This course holds the poetry and scholarship of Pacific peoples at its centre. Students will be part of a creatively critical and collaborative learning environment that observes Pasifika pedagogy. 

Our exploration of two important anthologies of Māori and Pacific poetry will be structured around weekly critical readings and an allocated range of poets from each anthology. Each week students are required to construct mind-maps on A3 sheets of paper using black markers. These are brought to class and used to discuss connections between poets, poems and critical ideas. The mind-maps are collated and redistributed to the class throughout the semester. Our practice of "Classroom as Waka" pedagogy (Teaiwa) means that the learning environment is collaborative and responsive and will take place in other poetry-relevant places including art galleries and venues of public performance.

The two prescribed anthologies are:

Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poets in English, eds, Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (Auckland: AUP, 2010).      

Puna Wai Korero: An Anthology of Māori Poetry in English, eds, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (Auckland: AUP, 2014).

The anthologies are to be viewed as gateways into the world of Māori and Pacific poetry. They offer a broad range of poets, many of whom have other collections of poetry that you are welcome to include for study and assessment. 

Through the study of Māori and Pacific writing, this course will:

  • Define and critically contextualise key terminology and concepts, including: Pacific research methodologies, Pacific/Pasifika/Oceanic, trans-indigenous, rhetorical sovereignty, aesthetic sovereignty, diaspora, identity politics, Pacific epistemology and bi-languaging.
  • Build upon key postcolonial concepts covered in ENGLISH 112 (Global Literatures), ENGLISH 204 (Pacific Literature) and compliment ENGLISH 702 (formerly ENGLISH 786 Postcolonial Literature)
  • Identify key working metaphors in a select group of poets’ work and transform that metaphor into an aesthetic critical framework to read poetry in order to reposition literary criticism from its eurocentric bases and bias and address an Oceanic audience and readership
  • Consider the politics of insider/outsider critical positioning
  • Consider the role literature plays in reconfiguring the nature of cultural identities in the Pacific, especially literary challenges to colonial representations of identity in the Pacific
  • Articulate the social, cultural, political and historical contexts of different genres within Pacific poetry and the central arguments surrounding its critical appreciation.
  • Close read a poem by identifying key literary and aesthetic techniques according to both indigenous and western literary traditions
  • Practice the Samoan concept of "Teu le Va’" by "nurturing and adorning the space" between poetry and people

This is a text-based class. The anthologies are used as a springboard from which to examine poet’s other works and collections. Field trips will extend the learning environment (pertinent Art Gallery exhibitions/poetry readings/community events).

Course outcomes

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Identify key critical issues and scholarly works in the field of Pacific literary studies
  • Identify key postcolonial concepts relevant to the production and reception of Pacific literature
  • Identify instances of indigenous literary criticism and employ culturally-specific aesthetics and critical tools of literary appreciation
  • Examine texts using Pacific research methodologies with specific reference to key feminist ideas, relevant identity politics and developments in Pacific epistemologies
  • Close read a poem by identifying key literary and aesthetic techniques according to both indigenous and western literary traditions
  • Gain a nuanced understanding of the current states of de/colonisation in the Pacific from the perspective of its literature
  • Engage in an environment shaped by Pasifika pedagogy

Availability 2018

Not taught in 2018

Lecturer(s)

Lecturer(s) Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh

Reading/Texts

  • Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poets in English,  eds, Albert Wendt, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (Auckland: AUP, 2010).      
  • Puna Wai Korero: An Anthology of Maori Poetry in English, eds, Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan (Auckland: AUP, 2014).

Points

ENGLISH 700: 30.0 points


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