• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Pacific Studies
  • Areas of interest Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Pacific Studies

This intensive course explores the encounters between Oceanic and Western models, values, and embodied experiences of gender and sexuality. The course examines the debates about universalism and relativism, nature and culture, and personhood and identity, in understanding the differences between women, men, and transgendered persons. The course takes a historical and contextual approach to examine the transformations of patterns of gender and sexuality in the Pacific through the successive encounters of exploratory voyages, Christian missions, labour trade and plantation development, World War II and militarism, and mobility and the diaspora. Key thematic areas will include historic influences on gender and sexuality in the Pacific, historical and contemporary portrayals of gender and sexuality; contemporary debates about women’s influence and participation in church and state; gendered economies, kinship and land; transnational and regional feminisms and human rights; gender violence; gender, sexuality, health and HIV; and gender and sexual identities. The course will integrate readings and performances of literature, drama, and visual media by both Oceanic and foreign authors and artists. Indigenous Pacific Islander approaches to engaging and learning about Oceania are highlighted. The course draws upon the extensive academic expertise at ANU in gender and Pacific studies and is especially suitable for students of anthropology, history, politics, gender, sexuality and culture, Pacific studies, and development studies in both CAP and CASS. It will focus on an examination and comparisons of case studies from countries across Oceania. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Speak and write about theories, contexts, and research approaches relevant to gender and sexuality in Pacific Studies;
  2. Understand and use key concepts from transnational gender and sexuality studies and demonstrate how these concepts engage or not with the Pacific in a critical and original way;
  3. Identify relevant ethnographic, historical, and theoretical literature for understanding models, values, and embodied experiences of gender and sexuality in the Pacific;
  4. Demonstrate advanced analytical understanding of the diversity of perspectives?indigenous, popular, policy, and scholarly?in debates in Oceania on gender and sexuality and the ability to apply to contemporary issues;
  5. Create coherent arguments through scholarly and/or creative forms that engage with perspectival diversity on gender and sexuality in the Pacific.

Other Information

This is a co-taught course. The total number of students for PASI3002, PASI8008 and GEND3002 is capped at 52 students. The undergraduate versions of the course PASI3002 is capped at 42 students and GEND3002 is capped at 5 students. The postgraduate version of the course PASI8008 is capped at 5 students.

This course starts on 19 June, when students can access materials for the course.

The intensive portion of the course will run on:

Monday 3rd July: 9am to 5pm.

Thursday 6th July: 9am to 5pm.

Monday 10th July: 9am to 5pm

Thursday 13th July: 9am to 5pm

Monday 17th July: 9am to 5pm

This course will end on 31 August, when the final assessment is due.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Participation: Class attendance and student led discussion. (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Reflective writing: Two online reflections to online film, documentary or artworks (300-350 words). (20) [LO 1,4,5]
  3. Group project and reflective essay on the group project (1250 words). (20) [LO 2,3,5]
  4. Analytical research writing: Major essay (3500 words). (50) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This is a winter intensive course currently taught over 7 days. Total workload is 130 hours, inclusive of 37 contact hours. 

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

This course is incompatible with PASI3002 and GEND3002.

Prescribed Texts

Kauanui, J. Kehaulani. 2018. Paradoxes of Hawaiian Sovereignty: Land, Sex, and the Colonial Politics of State Nationalism, Durham and London, Duke University Press. (Chapter 4, pp. 153-193: Savage sexualities)

Besnier, Niko, and Kalissa Alexeyeff. 2014. Gender on the edge: identities, politics, transformations. In Gender on the Edge: Transgender, Gay and other Pacific Islanders, edited by Niko Besnier and Kalissa Alexeyeff, pp. 1–30. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. 

Katherine Lepani 2012 Islands of Love Islands of Risk, Culture and HIV in the Trobriands. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press. 

Margaret Jolly and Christine Stewart (with Carolyn Brewer 2012 Engendering Violence in Papua New Guinea. Canberra: ANU E-Press; 

Holly Wardlow 2006, Wayward Women: Sexuality and Agency in a New Guinea Society Berkeley University of California Press. 

Nicole George 2012 Situating Women: Gender Politics and Circumstance in Fiji Canberra: ANU E-Press.Tengan, Ty Kavika 2008. Native Men Remade. 

Upolu Luma Vaai and Unaisi Nabobo-Baba (eds). The Relational Self: Decolonising Personhood in the Pacific, pp.61–78. Suva: University of the South Pacific and the Pacific Theological College. 

Preliminary Reading

The following readings are a selection of readings from the recommended reading list in the course and aim to give a sense of the diversity in case studies and scholarship covered in the course. 


Dwyer, Emily and Lana, Woolf. 2018. Down by the river: Addressing the rights, needs and strengths of Fijian sexual and gender minorities in disaster risk reduction and humanitarian response. Oxfam: Carlton. 

Dvorak, Greg., Delihna Ehmes, Evile Feleti, Tevita 'O. Ka'ili, Teresia Teaiwa, and James Perez Viernes. (2016). Gender in the Pacific. Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai'i–Manoa. (Read pages 1-30). 

George, Nicole. 2010. Just like your mother? The politics of feminism and maternity in the Pacific Islands. The Australian Feminist Law Journal 32: 77-96. 

Jolly, Margaret 2021. Becoming Critically Glocal: Beyond North and South, Individuals and Cultures in Understanding Sexual Literacies. In Gilbert Herdt, Michelle Marzullo and Nicole Polen (eds) Critical Sexual Literacy: Forecasting Trends in Sexual Politics, Diversity and Pedagogy, 195–204. . London: Anthem Press. 

McDonnell, Siobhan. 2018. Selling “Sites of Desire”: Paradise in Reality Television, Tourism, and Real Estate Promotion in Vanuatu. The Contemporary Pacific 30(2): 413-436. 

Naupa, Anna and Joel Simo. 2008. Matrilineal Land Tenure in Vanuatu: “Hu i kakae long basket?” Case Studies of Raga and Mele. In Land and Women: The Matrilineal Factor. The Cases of the Republic of Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, edited by Elise Huffer, pp. 73–122. Suva, Fiji: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. 

Ravulo, Jioji. 2021. Exploring the Role of Sexuality and Identity Across the Pacific: Navigating Traditional and Contemporary Meanings and Practices. In: Hilary N. Weaver (ed.) The Routledge International Handbook of Indigenous Resilience, pp. 108-120. London: Routledge. Routledge. https://doi.org/DOI: 10.4324/9781003048428-10 

Taimara, Marata A. 2010. From full dusk to full tusk: reimagining the “Dusky Maiden” through the visual arts. The Contemporary Pacific 22(1): 1–35. 

Teaiwa, Teresia 1994. Bikinis and Other s/pacific n/oceans. The Contemporary Pacific 6 (1): 87–109. 

Tengan, Ty Kawika. 2008. Re-membering Panala‘au: masculinities, nation, and empire in Hawai‘i and the Pacific. Special Issue, Re-membering Oceanic Masculinities, edited by Margaret Jolly. The Contemporary Pacific 20(1): 27-53.Tusitala Marsh, Selina 1998. Feminism: migrant overstayer or model citizen? In Kalpana Ram and J. Kehaulani Kauanui (eds) Migrating Feminisms: the Asia-Pacific Region. Womens Studies International Forum. 

Choi, Hyaeweol and Margaret Jolly (eds) 2014. Divine Domesticities: Paradoxes of Christian Modernities in Asia and the Pacific Canberra: ANU-E Press, forthcoming July.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $3960
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2023 $5820
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4443 19 Jun 2023 28 Jun 2023 07 Jul 2023 31 Aug 2023 In Person View

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