Kia ora, Kia orana, Bula vinaka, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Talofa ni, Halo ola keta, Mauri, Aloha. Welcome to the Master of Indigenous Studies blog. This blog is not just for providing information for current and prospective students, but will also provide news and success stories for former students, and anyone else interested in our programme.
Feel free to look at the posts. There is some info on the programme in the “Pages” on the left-hand side. More can be found at the MIndS website.
If you want emails alerting you to new posts, subscribe to the blog – on the top right-hand side.
The comments option has been removed (due to an absolute avalanche of spam) but if you have any news to share, please email it to lachy.paterson[at]otago.ac.nz
After three years in the role, I will be stepping down from the Programme Coordinator position for MIndS, and will be undertaking other roles within Te Tumu. The new PC will be Dr Paerau Warbrick, pictured below.
Check out Paerau’s webpage.
Paerau will be available to answer queries about the academic side of the course from 1 November: Robyn Russell will still be handling administrative matters, such as applications and enrolling. It’s been a great three years for me, a lot of work, but also very rewarding. The best of luck to the new Programme Coordinator.
A new book, The Fourth Eye: Māori Media in Aotearoa New Zealand, has just been published by the University of Minnesota. The editors are Brendan Hokowhitu and Vijay Devadas. Vijay works at Otago in Film and Media Studies: Brendan is the Dean of the Native Studies Faculty of the University of Alberta in Canada, but before that was here at Te Tumu, and was the MIndS Programme Coordinator. Not only are there chapters by Brendan in the book, but also by Te Tumu staff Suzanne Duncan and Lachy Paterson.
More details at publisher’s website.
I have just been informed about a couple of scholarships of $5000 each from the Otago Museum that may be of interest to some MIndS students who are interested in the Museum’s collections.
The Otago Museum Taoka Maori Scholarship
Otago Museum Humanities Scholarship
James Clifford has recently published a new book Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century, which may be of interest to MIndS students. More details here.
Kia ora koutou.
A new paper, EDUX433 Living Indigenous Educational Leadership, will be offered next year in Semester 1. This is a distance paper offered by the College of Education, with Dr Paul Whitinui as the lecturer. Although the paper does have some prerequistes in Education (as does EDUX444) Dr Whitinui has indicated that he is prepared to waive these for MIndS students. More details in “2014 Distance Papers” on the left hand side.
Anyone who will be in Dunedin on Tuesday (20 August) and interested in postgraduate study at Otago should come along to the “Link” (next to the University Library) for the Postgraduate Information Day. Lots of departments will have booths and people there to talk about their programmes. Te Tumu will be there, so come along and here about DipGrad, PGDipArts, MA, PhD – and MIndS. See ODT article about this event.
Matiu Payne and his whānau just before the Māori Pre-graduation Ceremony
Matiu Payne will be graduating with his MIndS degree today at the Dunedin Town Hall, along with hundreds of other graduands in a number of different degrees. The whole ceremony is quite traditional in style, and each graduand gets just a few seconds each as they walk across the stage to get their degree certificate. Because of this, both the Pacific Islands Centre and the Maori Centre hold their own Pre-graduation Ceremonies where the university can honour their Māori and Pacific students, and give them (and whānau) time and space to talk about their university experience, and what it means for the whānau. Matiu completed his MIndS as a distance student, so as his INGX590 supervisor, it was a great opportunity to meet him kanohi-ki-kanohi for the first time. Matiu is now looking at undertaking PhD study. Kia ora, e hoa. He akonga pai rawa atu koe, ā, he reka tāu kōrero ki te huihuinga nei.
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
The University’s Pacific Strategic Framework (2013-2020) was launched with a celebration today.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Vernon Squire says the Framework is the University’s realisation of a commitment made in its Charter to meeting the needs of Pacific Peoples. Read more…
Congratulations to Anita Purcell Sjölund whose MIndS marks are now finalised. Anita’s topic for her research report is “An analysis of Samoan reaction to The Orator (O Le Tulafale)’s Fāgogo defining Samoan identity” looking at the recently released Samoan-language movie. Professor Karen Nero was the supervisor.
Anita, a New Zealander of Samoan heritage, lives in Sweden. This goes to show that the MIndS is a truly global degree, that can be successfully completed from anywhere in the world.
The Orator (O Le Tulafale) was promoted as the first Samoan language film shot in Samoa with a Samoan cast and crew. Written and directed by Samoan filmmaker Tusi Tamasese, the film succeeded at several of the movie industry’s prestigious festivals. The Orator (O Le Tulafale) is about an outcast family of a dwarf (Saili), his wife and her teenage daughter. As the main protagonist, Saili battles to overcome his fears to become a chief to save his family and land. The film’s themes are courage, love, honour, as well as hypocrisy, violence, and discrimination. A backlash by Samoans was predicted; however, the opposite occurred. This raised the following questions: first, what is it about the film causing this reaction? It is a 106-minute film shot in Samoa about Samoans and the Samoan culture. Despite promotional claims about the film, there have been Samoan-produced films in Samoa. Secondly, to what are Samoans really responding? Is it 1) just to the film because it is about Samoa, or 2) are they responding to themselves, and how they reacted during the act of watching the film? This implies levels of reactions in the act of watching, and examining the dominant level of response is important. To explore this, the Samoan story telling technique of Fāgogo was used to analyse the film’s narration and narrative techniques. R. Allen’s (1993, 1997) concept of projected illusion was employed to discuss the relationship between Samoans and the film developed during the act of watching. An examination of the term Samoan and a description of the framework of Fa’a Samoa (Samoan culture) were provided. Also included were discussions of memory and its impact on Samoan cultural identity. The analysis indicated that The Orator (O Le Tulafale) acted as a memory prompt through which Samoans recalled memories confirming and defining cultural bonds. These memories constituted the essence of being Samoan. These memories were awakened, and shared as oral histories as fāgogo. The receivers appeared to interpret the shared memories to create their own memories and stories to suit their contexts, according to Facebook postings. An interpretation is that the organic sharing of memories as fāgogo created a global definition of Samoan that Samoans internationally claimed.
Key Words: Culture, Film, Identity, Memory, Samoan.