024: 001 Freshman Seminar

Instructor: Patrick Kirch

Term: Fall 2017

Time: W 11:00am – 11:59am

The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics may vary from department to department and semester to semester.

The Polynesians make up a family of related cultures whose ancestors discovered and settled the islands within a vast triangular region of the Pacific Ocean, with apices at Hawai'i, New Zealand, and Easter Island. The origins and migrations of the early Polynesians puzzled explorers and scholars during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and became the subject of serious anthropological study in the twentieth century. Bringing to bear the different perspectives of archaeology, comparative ethnography, biological anthropology, and linguistics, scholars have shed an increasingly clear light on the story of the remarkable Polynesian diaspora—and of the subsequent evolution of these island cultures. This seminar will explore these different approaches within anthropology and how they have unraveled the history of the Polynesian peoples.

Requirements Class Fulfills:

  • Meets the Humanities & Environment Course Thread
  • Meets the Old Things: Past & Present Course Thread