An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

Lakalaka (2005)


POL. ST. 310/410 – Ideology and Propaganda

A survey of the major competing political and economic ideologies of the 20th century, including democracy, environmentalism, corporate capitalism, monarchy, fascism, racism, imperialism, Marxism, Leninism, anarchism, Islamism, and Christian Reconstruction. The course will next focus on propagation techniques such as appeals to cultural tradition, fundamental theology, nationalism, desire for security, consumerism, freedom, and autonomy … authoritarianism, paternalism, and egalitarianism … and xenophobia, scapegoating and the Big Lie.

POL ST. 320/420 – Diplomatic Communication

A concise history of diplomacy, ministries of foreign affairs, and foreign embassies, focusing on the missions of war and treaty, enforcement of international law and human rights, environmental regulation, commercial agreements, and both the procurement and donation of foreign assistance. The course next focuses on effective negotiation strategies for key political cultures in today’s world, including European, North American, South African, South Asian, and Pacific democracies; East Asian democracies; Latin American social democracies; authoritarian and democratic Islamic cultures; and authoritarian Russian and Chinese cultures.

PSYCH. 320/420 – Psychology of Communication

Guided by the interaction theory of Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh, the course explores the dynamics of both resistance and receptivity to challenging critics, emotions, and ideas. Hanh contends that effective communication requires both “mindful” listening and “authentic” reply; accordingly, special attention is paid to the interference of misunderstanding and misrepresentation, and how to avoid each dysfunction.

SOC. 315/415 – Sociology of Media

A survey of the effective deployment of mass media such as newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, cinema, telecommunications, the Internet, posters and comic books. Deploying the perspective of Marshall McLuhan, each medium will be evaluated according to its capability to disseminate political, social, cultural, and commercial messages and personalities via compelling narrative, image and/or design.


E.L. 402 – Writing Laboratory

Hands-on supervision of written expression in the English language, focusing on clarity, concision, coherence, organization, vocabulary, grammar, and – as the student advances – elegance and captivation.

HIST. 315 • Ancient Greece and Rome

A concise survey of ancient Greek and Roman politics and culture, and rivals in Persia, Carthage, and Germany from the 7th century BC to the 5th century AD. The course focuses on the evolution of democracy in Sparta and Athens, class conflict in Rome, colonial perspectives in the Roman Empire, the development of Christianity, and the founding of the Byzantine Empire.

PHIL. 307/407 – Philosophy of Persuasion

An analysis of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, focusing on logic, dialectic, clarity, precision, and aesthetics. Special attention is given to the tension between emotion and ethics in argument, and the philosopher’s ensuing critique of manipulation and demagoguery. The course concludes with a review of contemporary samples of persuasion from an Aristotelean perspective.

Fr.L. 100 • Elementary French language

Introduction to French as a foreign language – pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Development of communicative skills through the practice of communicative functions, including reading, writing, and dialogue.

T.L. 100 • Conversational Tongan

Introduction to Tongan as a foreign language – pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar.


SCI. 300/400 – History of Natural Science

Jointly taught by an historian and physicist, the course traces the evolution of systematic theory, methodology, and proof regarding both microscopic and cosmic phenomena. It begins with a summary of ancient Babylonian mathematics, progressing to a review of ancient Greek mathematics, engineering, biology, and medicine. It next considers the development of experimental methodology during the Renaissance and its application to physics, astronomy, and medicine. The survey finally examines the elegance – yet imperfection – of contemporary relativity and quantum theory.


MUS. 100 – Introduction to Music

The course examines the fundamentals of music, focusing on identifying tones and pitches (as well as their rhythm and duration), bass and treble clefs, scales, intervals, key signatures, and harmonic analysis. Using these musical building blocks, students develop practical skills in keyboard, ear and sight training, voice leading, and harmony construction.