Pacific Island Studies

William S. Ayres, Program Director
541-346-0668 fax
273 Condon Hall
1218 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1218

The Pacific Island Studies Program, part of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, offers individualized programs of study and research related to Pacific island cultures. The University of Oregon has a long-standing educational and scholarly interest in the Pacific islands involving active researchers and teachers in many fields. The committee began as a formal body in 1987 and has worked since to coordinate instructional, research, and exchange programs at the university that are related to the Pacific islands. The program emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives essential for understanding natural and cultural environments, cultural history and change, and educational and modern socioeconomic issues in the Pacific.

Courses about the Pacific cover a range of topics. Students can enroll in undergraduate courses and advanced degree programs in various departments and through the Asian Studies Program. Students may also work with committee members from Pacific island studies toward an Interdisciplinary Studies: Individualized Program (IS:IP) master’s degree (MA or MS). Information is available in the Graduate School section of this catalog.

The Pacific island studies faculty participates in the Asian studies BA and MA degree programs by teaching courses that may be used to satisfy degree requirements (e.g., in developing a secondary cultural or geographical area with Southeast Asia). Undergraduate- and graduate-level courses are available in anthropology and archaeology, art history, biology, earth sciences, international studies, ethnic studies, and sociology.

The Pacific Islands Archaeological Project, directed by William S. Ayres, offers students opportunities to participate in archaeological and anthropological study in the Pacific. A field school is offered through the Department of Anthropology.

Training in selected Pacific island languages is possible through individual study using tutors and materials developed for use at the Yamada Language Center. The center now has language-study modules for Pohnpeian and Kosraen. Tutoring in Samoan and other island languages is possible.


Anthropology. Pacific Island Societies (ANTH 234), New Guinea (ANTH 328), Pacific Islands Archaeology (ANTH 343), Workshop: [Topic] (ANTH 408) (Archaeology Field School: Micronesia and Samoa), Experimental Course: [Topic] (ANTH 410) (Pacific Island Studies; Polynesian Archaeology), Old World Prehistory: [Topic] (ANTH 440), Workshop: [Topic] (ANTH 508) (Archaeology Field School: Micronesia and Samoa), Old World Prehistory: [Topic] (ANTH 540)

Earth Sciences. Oceanography (GEOL 307)

Sociology. Sociology of Developing Areas (SOC 450)

Approved Seminars (407, 507) and Experimental Courses (410, 510) are other possibilities in these and other departments.


Program Committee

William S. Ayres, anthropology

Aletta Biersack, anthropology

Shirley Ann Coale, Western Regional Resource Center

Richard G. Hildreth, law

Stephen M. Johnson, Labor Education and Research Center

Judith Raiskin, women’s and gender studies

Richard A. Sundt, history of art and architecture

Richard W. Zeller, Western Regional Resource Center