An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

ʻOtuhaka (2009)


E.L. 102 – 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.

PAC. STUD. 120 – History of Tonga

An account of the development of the Polynesian kingdom from Lapita settlement in the first millennium B.C. to its current transition towards parliamentary democracy. The course mediates the controversy regarding Tonga's purported regional hegemony of the 14th and 15th centuries – i.e., empire or commercial coordinator? It next considers Tonga's adaptation of selected European constructs, including fervent conversion to Christianity from the late 1820s. Special attention is paid to the nation-building of its first monarch, George Tupou I, including the abolition of serfdom in 1862 and introduction of constitutional government in 1875.

PHIL 300 – Advanced 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 thce 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.


PSYCH 200 – Intermediate Psychology

A survey of the basic concepts and assumed objectives of clinical psychology. Neurology is perceived as the “hardware” of the psyche and is evaluated functionally, systemically, and biochemically; particular attention is paid to the processes of emotion and slumber. Behaviour is studied as an interaction of genetics, ethology, and sociobiology. The interaction of perception, sensation, and cognition is explored, with special attention to the process of learning. An inventory of both normal and abnormal personalities is described, as a guide towards clinical attitudes. Finally, key clinical treatments – such as psychotherapy, behaviourism, and biochemical intervention – are critically compared to the objectives of the discipline.

ANTHRO 310 – Advanced 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.

SOC 200 – Intermediate Readings in Social Thought

The course surveys the evolution of sociological theory from its origin in Europe in the early 19th century to the outbreak of the First World War. It initially examines the origin of systematic social theory in the wake of the French Revolution (e.g., from the utopian communism of St. Simon to the “social physics” of Comte), 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. Particular attention is paid to constructs of social fragmentation and alienation (Durkheim, Marx), the interaction between spiritual culture and enterprise (Weber), and the routinisation of bureaucratic, corporate and industrial life (Weber, Marx).


MATH 210 – Intermediate Statistics

Topics covered include frequency distributions, measures of central tendency and variability, issues of populations and samples, reasoning with probability, theoretical distributions, estimating, differences between means and variances, cross-tabulation and chi-square tests, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and other comparison methods, relations between two sets of measures, simple regression analysis, and problems of the combined effect of two variables.


ARCH 100 – Introduction to Architecture

A survey of the techniques of structural design, including material (e.g., wood, stone, brick, concrete, iron, steel); device (e.g., truss, dome, vault); and modality (e.g., building, plaza, mall). The course next focuses on the synthesis of form, space, and arrangement once material, device, and modality have been selected.

T.C. 100 – Tongan Faiva

An online tutorial introducing the student to Tonga’s traditional music and dance forms. Movement component focuses on simplicity of expression, fundamentals of performance, and recruitment of audience participation.