An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

Meʻelaufola (2008)


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.

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.

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 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.


PSYCH 100 – Introduction to 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.

SOC 100 – 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).


ENGR 100 — Principles of Engineering

An introduction to the methodology and challenges of construction. Process is examined through an evaluation of design, team-building, risk management, and ethical concerns. Challenge is studied through an analysis of permanence, sustainability, health, safety, cultural diversity, leadership, and effective communication.

ENV.SCI. 130 – Fundamentals of Environmental Science

A summary of key challenges to the integrity of the planet in the early 21st century, including air and water pollution, ozone depletion, deforestation, desertification, erosion, radioactivity, and global warming and concomitant rise of sea level and temperature. Special attention is paid to sustainable responses to these challenges including political strategies of prohibition, conservation, and taxation ... and technical manoeuvres such as filtration, irrigation, agricultural hygiene, desalinisation, and production of alternative energy.

MATH 375 – Advanced Calculus

The course explores the ideas and methods of differentiation and integration in obtaining derivatives, optimisation, and related rates, as well as area and volume analysis. Specific attention is paid to how the language of sets and functions enables these calculations.


T.C. 130 – Tongan Dance

APrinciples of Tongan choreography. Definition of haka. Styles: haka hoa, haka fua, haka musu, haka hokohoko-haka, tuli haka, paipaioa, & ao ao. Traditional motifs: haʻota, vete, vahe, tui, tongiʻone, veteloi, musu, osoliliu, & kako. Comparisons with Hawaiʻian, Tahitian, and Sāmoan dance.

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.