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Anno accademico 2022/2023

Codice attività didattica
Emanuela Borgnino (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Corso di studio
Corso di laurea magistrale in Antropologia culturale ed etnologia (LM-1)
Master's Degree Course in Area and global studies for international cooperation
2° anno
Primo semestre
Caratterizzante, Affine/Integrativa
SSD attività didattica
M-DEA/01 - discipline demoetnoantropologiche
Tipologia esame

Preparazione di base nelle discipline demoetnoantropologiche

Basic training in cultural anthropology

Propedeutico a
Altri corsi del settore M-DEA/01

Sommario insegnamento


Obiettivi formativi

The course focuses on the geographical area of Oceania (including Japan and not Australia). In particular, it calls into critical view the situation of the region and of Indigenous and island-worlds in the Anthropocene. Specifically, it introduces students to the geography, societies, histories, cultures, economies, ecology, and contemporary issues of this region. It emphasizes Pacific Islander perspectives and experiences on a range of topics including biogeography, culture and history (the great migrations and settlements of the Pacific, European contact era, 19th century, colonial era, 20th century and decolonization process); arts (film, literature, poetry); and contemporary politic issues (DSM, Marine Governance, Blue Economy, sovereignty).


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

The student will become familiar with key themes in contemporary Pacific anthropology, gaining a critical knowledge of multiple case studies. The course will also provide students with an advanced vocabulary of anthropological and cultural studies. At the end of the course the students will be able to: a) locate and name the island groups, geographic regions, and political entities of Oceania; b) Discuss critical theoretical and conceptual frameworks centered in Pacific Studies and the anthropology of Oceania; and c) Demonstrate empirical knowledge of the historical, cultural, environmental and political issues in the contemporary region.



The course will be centered around the following themes: (i) Place, Indigenous knowledge, conservation, and management of natural resources; (ii) Indigenous peoples and local communities' responses to climate change, (iii) Indigenous Sovereignity and sustainable/Indigenous futurities. However, in the course, papers covering topics such as Pacific people's issues, contemporary ecological and Indigenous issues, Indigenous politics, Pacific history, Pacific religions and ecology will be offered to students. The focus of the course is within the Pacific countries themselves and presents Indigenous local, historical and contemporary perspectives. Pacific Islanders inhabit a vast oceanic realm encompassing fully one-third of the surface of the Earth, marine Plants like Phytoplankton, Kelp and Alga`s living in the ocean are responsible for 70% of the oxygen in the atmosphere. The Islands are also home to some of the most ancient and some of the most recent human settlements. Oceania is thus characterized by enormous ecological and cultural diversity; a human history rich in epic ritual, travel, narrative, and innovation. In the manner of their ancestors, Pacific peoples today have adopted a number of creative survival strategies in the face of rapid cultural, social, political, and economic changes. Among these are abilities to navigate multiple worlds that might incl ude both Christian and indigenous spiritual practices, Western and indigenous lifestyles, and Western and “traditional” political and economic structures, while still maintaining a commitment to culture and community.


Modalità di insegnamento

The course will combine lectures, discussion, student’s presentation and documentary or film viewings.The course will be carried out in presence at the Campus, compatibly with the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic. However, studens are allowed to follow the lessons in streaming as an integrated mode with respect to the delivery in presence.

The course is divided into a first theoretical part; and in a second thematic and ethnographic part (with students presentations). 


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Oral exam

Only for studens regulary taking part in the course: a presentation on a topic agreed among those relating to the course will also be evaluated in the final grade.


Attività di supporto

Tutoring on basic concepts of anthropology of the Pacific

Testi consigliati e bibliografia

Volume 6 of Teaching Oceania Series, Introduction to Pacific Studies (open source)
Anno pubblicazione:  
Honolulu: Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa
Aikau, Hokulani Auelu, Roni Barcham, Manuhia Boeger, Zakea Dawrs, Stuart Ehmes, Delihna Enomoto, Joy Fermantez, Kali Ganivet, Mililani Genz, Joe Hattori, Mary Hereniko, Vilsoni Kabutaulaka, Tarcisius Ka'ili, Tēvita O. Kava, Leora Kuper, Kennet Gofigan LaBriola, Monica Losch, Kealalokahi Mawyer, Alexander Morris, Teoratuuaarii Robinson, Angela Szadziewski, Henryk Teaiwa, Katerina Tellei, Patrick Tiatia-Seath, Jemaima Tovo, Finausina Tupou, Patricia Uipi, Joshua Uperesa, Lisa Vai, Andrew Viernes, James Perez Walsh, Julianne Wesley-Smith, Terence
Note testo:  
ScholarSpace at University of Hawaii at Manoa: Volume 6 of Teaching Oceania Series, Introduction to Pacific Studies) 


One text to choose from:  (for students not regulary taking part in the course both texts)

2) Borofsky, R. ed., 2000. Remembrance of Pacific Pasts: an invitation to remake history. University of Hawaii Press. 2 sections between 1-2-3-4 at student choice (open source)

3) The Contemporary Pacific, A journal of Islan Affairs, Special Issue: Experiencing Pacific Environments:Past, Present, Futures, Volume 32, Number 1, 2020. Only articles from page 1 to 174. (bibliopassUnito)

1 Paper to choose from: (for students not regulary taking part in the course 2 papers)

  • Borgnino, E., Giordana, L., The disregarded weight of the ancestors: Honouring the complexities and cultural subtleties of islandscape, Island Study Journal, 2022
  • Winter, K.B., Beamer, K., Vaughan, M.B., Friedlander, A.M., Kido, M.H., Whitehead, A.N., Akutagawa, M.K., Kurashima, N., Lucas, M.P. and Nyberg, B., 2018. The Moku System: Managing biocultural resources for abundance within social-ecological regions in Hawaiʻi. Sustainability, 10(10), p.3554.
  • Jolly, M., 2019. Engendering the anthropocene in oceania: Fatalism, resilience, resistance. Cultural Studies Review, 25(2).
  • Borgnino, E., G. Cottino, 2021, Pacific Perspectives of the Anthropocene: Trees and Human relationships, in “Trees in Literatures and the Arts: Humanarboreal Perspectives in the Anthropocene”, Lexington Books, chapter II.
  • Chandler, David & Pugh, Jonathan. (2018). Islands of relationality and resilience: The shifting stakes of the Anthropocene.
  • Borgnino, E., Mākua Valley. An anthropocenic story of restoration and reconnection, in Shima, special issue Islands and Aquapelagos in the Anthropocene Era, 14.2.XX, pp. 81-101.
  • Mawyer, A., Jacka, J.K., Sovereignty, conservation and island ecological futures, in «Humans and Island Environments», Volume 45, Issue 3, September 2018, pp. 238-251.
  • Erin O’Donnell, Anne Poelina, Alessandro Pelizzon, and Cristy Clark, Stop Burying the Lede: The Essential Role of Indigenous Law(s) in Creating Rights of Nature.
  • Fujita, Y., 2020, Regional Science from Samll Islands: Construction of a New Approach to Island Studies, In Okinawan Journal of Island Studies, 1:11-22. 



The course will start on November 2 2022

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10.00 am to 12.00 

 Campus Luigi Einaudi

  • Students from Asian Studies in accordance with the professor are allowed to propose an exam program related to Japanese anthropology. 
  • non-attending students should enroll in moodle to facilitate the comunication between professor and students


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