Introduction to linguistic anthropology, focusing on the role of language in the creation and maintenance of society and culture and on a person's concept of self within that culture. Demonstrates how language use within a community can serve as the foundation for the analysis of cultural practices. Same as LING 104.

The Global Pacific / The Pacific Global

This course is a survey of the peoples and cultures of the Pacific Islands region through a consideration of both historical and contemporary forces of globalization but also indigenization (hence the second part of the course title that qualifies or conditions the kind of globalization as an indigenous form). Thus, if globalization – defined variably in terms of hyper economic, especially capitalist “penetration” and consolidation/reconsolidation into previously remote regions of the world, as well as significant demographic and social transformations, including what has been described as time/space “compression” – has come to signify unprecedented levels of economic, political, social and cultural change on account of multiple factors (think of digital technology, climate change) in local or regional places like the Pacific islands region,  the changes that have been wrought everywhere have also been prompted and influenced by local political and cultural forces. An important form of such local forces is that of aboriginal or indigenous persistence, which we will be following as so-called processes of “indigenization,” or the refusal by indigenous people to give up being indigenous, especially in the face of intense globalization. In this class, as a way to get introduced to the peoples and cultures of the Pacific, we will follow both external economic, political, and social forces of globalization as they collide with internal forces of localization and indigenization to help us understand the complexity of “culture” in the Pacific (and elsewhere.  To wit, forces of globalization and indigenization in the Pacific Islands region have also led to major transformations outside the region, for example within the United States, and therefore requires us to rethink how we understand not only Pacific nativeness, but also what constitutes “America” or the “globe.”


The objectives of this class are three:

  1. To gain a working familiarity with the peoples and cultures of the Pacific Islands region as they are studied in academic conventions, and how some of these are implicated in and in turn help transform the United States and the globe;
  2. To deepen our understanding of cultural complexity and ethnic, racial, national, and other forms of individual and collective identity, especially that of “indigenous” identity and culture in and from the Pacific Island region;
  3. To whet our appetites for more courses focused on Pacific Islands and/or indigenous subject matter.
Introduction to Anthropology Graduate Study at the University of Illinois, with a focus on how funding has shaped careers.