ʻATENISI INSTITUTE

An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

Lātūselu hall

HUMANITIES

HST 210 – Global History

Global history not only traces the development of ancient Mediterranean empires but ancient Middle Eastern, North African, sub-Saharan African, Indian, Chinese, and native American civilisation as well. Within the ancient world, the Sumerian and Semitic-speaking civilisations of the Tigris/Euphrates Rivers, the Nile River, and the Levant are contrasted with the Indo-European speaking civilisations of Persia, Greece, and Rome, with the tension between tyranny, oligarchy and populism examined in the latter two. Medieval Islamic and Indian cultures are credited with preserving classical interest in philosophy and mathematics, enabling the European Renaissance. The hegemony of Anglophone capital and liberalism in the late second millennium is detailed whilst the various challenges to liberalism – intermittently by Spain, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and Islamism – are also considered.

PHIL 100 – Introduction to Philosophy

A survey of key philosophers beginning from the Milesian Substantialists of ancient Greece (e.g., Thales, Anaximander) to the European existentialists of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Milesians are examined as the bridge from mythology to naturalism; Herakleitos as the pioneer of a dynamic paradigm of interactive instability; Socrates as the trailblazer of investigative inquiry; Plato and Aristotle as the opposing forerunners of idealist and empirical philosophy. The course next credits Descartes, Spinoza, and Hume with inaugurating rigourous analysis in the 17th and 18th centuries whilst the counterpoint of German idealism (e.g., Kant, Hegel) is studied as a critique of rationalism and empiricism. Finally, 19th and 20th century existentialism (e.g., Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus) is variously considered as an individualist riposte to institutional theology, empiricism, idealism, and social democracy.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

ANTHRO 105 – History of Anthropological Theory

A survey of early anthropological thought, including Franz Boas’ synthesis of archaeology, biology, linguistics, and culture; Bronislaw Malinowski’s participatory observation and functionalist theory; A.R. Radcliffe-Brown’s notion of co-adaptive social behaviour; Claude Levi-Strauss’ structuralist theory; and Ruth Fulton Benedict’s cultural relativism. The course concludes with a critical analysis of Marxian anthropology.

ECON 100 – Introduction to Economic Thought

The economic perspective of ancient Greece – via Aristotle, and medieval Islam – via Ibn Khaldun, frames the ensuing Western European debate between mercantilism, physiocracy, and the simple capitalism proposed by Adam Smith. The course next considers the abuses of industrial capitalism and the catalysis of the Marxian critique.

NATURAL SCIENCE

BIO 270 – History of Medicine

A survey of clinical technique from the shamanic herbalism of some primitive tribes to the organ transplants of contemporary surgical theatres. Early approaches to systemic medicine are located in the therapies of Imhotep in ancient Egypt, Hippocrates in ancient Greece, Galen in ancient Rome, and Avicenna in medieval Persia. Among other catalysts, modern medicine emerges from microbiology, immunisation, radiology, anaesthetics, and breakthroughs in pharmacology, including the discovery of antibiotics. The course concludes with an ethical assessment of medicine employing stem-cell and cloning techniques.

ARTS

MEDIA 290 – Screen Directing

Hands-on instruction covering the fundamentals of directing for video and film, including story analysis, script breakdown, dialogue evaluation, set management, scene blocking, shot design, production logistics, and informed editing.