An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

Meʻelaufola (2008)


E.L. 315 – Literature of Western Polynesia

The course opens with a thematic and stylistic analysis of Alfred Wendt’s depiction of Samoan expatriate life and romance, Sons for the Return Home. Through interpretation of Wendt’s debut novel and its cinematic adaption, students will wrestle with the conflict between traditional Polynesian values and those of pākehā New Zealand. The class will conclude with a review of Tales of the Tikongs, a satire on Tongan development by the late anthropologist ʻEpeli Hauʻofa.

HIST. 322 – Topics in 19th Century Tongan History

An interdisciplinary review of the reign of King George Tupou I, focusing on his military strategy and resulting achievements in politics, law, and religion.

PHIL. 240, 340 – Introduction to Logic

An introduction to systematic inference, with each module of the course addressing both formal and fallacious thinking. The class will cover inductive and deductive reasoning, syllogisms, contrapositives, converse and inverse statements, and Venn diagrams. Common fallacies will be studied through examples of incorrect logic.

PHIL. 350, 450 – Ethics

A systematic study of valid social behaviour comprising meta-ethics (i.e., ethical theory), normative ethics (i.e., methods for determining moral action), and applied ethics (i.e., ethics appropriate for specific theatres or domains). The course will initially review the often opposing ethical thought of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Camus, before focusing on political, scientific, and media ethics.


SOC 300 – Foundations of Social Thought

The course surveys the evolution of sociological theory from its origin in the mid-19th century to the present. It initially examines the origin of systematic theory in the wake of the French Revolution (i.e., the "social physics" of Auguste Comte) and then proceeds to analyse the key contributions of Émile Durkheim, Marcel Maas, and (the young) Karl Marx in France, as well as Max Weber and Georg Simmel in Germany.

PAC. STUD. 422 – Topics in 19th Century Tongan History

An interdisciplinary review of the reign of King George Tupou I, focusing on his military strategy and resulting achievements in politics, law, and religion.


MEDIA 110, 310, 410 – Cinematography Practicum

Under professional supervision, students will attempt a short film demonstrating accessible narrative, dramatic exposition, strategic edition, and directorial vision. The work will then be evaluated from an aesthetic viewpoint by a multidisciplinary faculty committee.


BIOLOGY 320 – Marine Vertebrate Zoology

An in-depth study of vertebrates of the ocean, including the physiology and anatomy of aves, reptiles, pinnipeds, and cetaceans. The key functions of each vertebrate class – hunting, defending, migrating, feeding, nesting, mating, and birthing – are systematically described and, when accessible, observed. Special attention is paid to adaptation to biotic and abiotic components, including rising sea levels and temperature.

CHEMISTRY 230 – Marine Chemistry

An introduction to the basic chemistry of the oceans. The course will review the main chemical elements found in the sea, how they interact, and how they are affected by environmental circumstances like pressure, temperature, acidity, the atmosphere, and biological processes such as photosynthesis.

MATH 210, 310 – Mathematics for Development

The course focus on challenges of developing nations and how mathematics may be deployed to overcome specific difficulties. Units include growth models – linear, exponential, and logarithmic; application of regression to forecasting; and measuring inequality. Students will make extensive use of graphical and spreadsheet analysis.

MATH 280 – Database Management

The course serves as a manual for managing diverse information, including storage and retrieval, queries, filters, pivot tables, and reports. Students are encouraged to apply database techniques to their own vocational objectives.

MATH 325 – Marine Statistics

The quantification of marine phenomena, including variation of temperature, light, wind, wave movement, oxygen, and salinity. The course will next calculate the effect of environmental stress on selected examples of plant and animal life. Special attention will be paid to the measurement of specific deleterious agents, such as carbon dioxide and excessive warmth, as well as radioactive and industrial pollution.