Pacific History, Environment & Science

Subject 136-506 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2008.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject is taught intensively during the Winter Recess. It comprises a 2.15-hour seminar per day over ten days between 25 June and 6 July 2007
Total Time Commitment: .
Prerequisites: Usually admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours, or a postgraduate coursework program.
Corequisites: .
Recommended Background Knowledge: .
Non Allowed Subjects: .
Core Participation Requirements: .


Assoc Prof Don Garden
Subject Overview:

There are two interwoven streams in this subject: a study of the role of the Pacific as a scientific laboratory, and issues in the environmental history of the Pacific. The Pacific or Oceania has been of central significance for many of the major scientific discoveries, theories and understandings which have shaped Western science. The subject will examine some of these, such as the scientists on the voyages of James Cook, and the work of such people as Charles Darwin, Alfred Russell Wallace, Patrick Vinton Kirch, Bahn and Flenley, and Athol Anderson. In parallel, the Pacific has provided a number of fundamental case studies in the evolution of human understandings of, and interaction, with the non-human environment. Such studies of human interactions with Pacific environments (the environmental history in a broad sense) provide invaluable insights into broader aspects of human settlement and exploitation. This is particularly accessible given that most initial human settlement has taken place within the last 1500 years, and the European wave in the last 250 years. The scholarship about this is new and vibrant, and the subject will contain case studies drawn from such issues as the debates over Polynesian migration, contrasting early settlement interactions in Tikopia and Mangaia, Maoris in New Zealand, the impact of alien introductions in Hawaii and the environmental impact of the sandalwood trade.

Assessment: Written work totaling 5000 words comprising a 1000 word seminar paper 20 per cent (due a week after presentation during semester), a 4000 word research essay 70 per cent (due at the end of semester) and contribution to seminar 10 per cent.
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Book Shop.
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
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Related Course(s): M.A.History & Philosophy of Science (Advanced Seminars & Shorter Thesis)
Master of Arts (Science, Communication and Society)
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (History and Philosophy of Science)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (History & Philosophy of Science)

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