This course considers the origins of Hawaiian oratorical
forms and contemporary practices against backgrounds of Western concepts of
oratory, and those of the Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, and New Zealand. We
will take as our theme the centrality of oral communication in the preservation
of cultural knowledge, beliefs, and ritual in the societies of the Pacific.
Students will be expected to write six brief responses
to the readings (listed below),
three brief papers, and a substantial final
presentation on an issue of importance to the student. We will engage our
subject through debate, discussion, dramatization, and close analysis using
written texts, accounts, and video and audio documents.
Texts: Chun, KAKA‘OLELO;
Mallon, “Oratory” from SAMOAN ART AND ARTISTS; Duranti, FROM GRAMMAR TO
POLITICS: LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY IN A WESTERN SAMOA VILLAGE; Bloch, ed.,
POLITICAL LANGUAGE AND ORATORY IN TRADITIONAL SOCIETY; Shore, SALAʻILUA; A
SAMOAN MYSTERY; Meyer, HO‘OULU: OUR TIME OF BECOMING; Tu‘i, LAUGA; SAMOAN
ORATORY; Cicero, ON THE ORATOR.