Tatala (Assembled boat) of Pongso no tao


THE SVARTÁRKOT CULTURE – NATURE (SCN) programme focuses on the diverse interactions between humans and nature, inspired by the Svartárkot farm in Bárðardalur valley, northern Iceland. The programme is managed by a group of independent scholars and scientists partly affiliated with the Reykjavik Academy, in cooperation with Svartárkot’s farmers. Most of the programme’s courses and lectures take place in the Kiðagil guesthouse and community centre in Bárðardalur valley near the Svartárkot farm.

The project has no secure funding but is supported by tuition fees and occasionally by research grants obtained by group members. The SCN courses offer unique learning experiences combining high-quality academic lectures with the spectacular local landscapes. The Svartárkot farm, the Bárðardalur Valley and the neighbouring Lake Mývatn region are situated in areas of diverse natural features: lakes with unique bird-life, wilderness, lava fields, glacial rivers, and waterfalls. The history, literature and folklore of the area are fascinating, containing stories of ghosts and trolls as well as a long history of human resilience and innovation. The climatology and unique ecosystems of the area are also presented.

The spring of life, a hidden secret in Bárðardalur valley. Photo Viðar Hreinsson
A well on the deserted farm Brenniás. Photo Viðar Hreinsson

Currently, SCN operates in two arenas with a third under development:

1. Offering summer courses to small groups of international graduate and post-graduate students, professors and scholars looking for new insights and inspirations in post-and transdisciplinary methods.

2. Offering lectures and services to professors and universities who bring their students as a part of their curriculum. This may include travels in Iceland that SCN organizes, and a stay at Kiðagil for a certain amount of time.

Lecturing at Aldeyjarfoss, 2007 demo course

SCN has held 6 annual academic courses: One in 2007, two courses in 2009 and one in each year of 2014, 2015 and 2018. Furthermore, SCN has received a number of student groups from the USA and United Kingdom in this period.

Originally posted by Svartárkot Culture — Nature

HfE Series: Recrafting Environmental Communication in The Circumpolar North

Joni Adamson, Director for Humanities for the Environment North American Observatory on speed-writing as a tool for humanists at the 2018 HfE leadership conference in Sweden.

By Joni Adamson, Professor of English and Environmental Humanities, Arizona State University Published 05 February 2019

Every year since the 2013 launch of the Humanities for the Environment network, representatives from HfE have met at Observatories all over the world. In October 2018, the meeting was held in Sigtuna, Sweden, hosted by the Circumpolar Observatory, the Stefansson Arctic Institute, the Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and the Sigtuna Foundation. Representatives came together for three days of presentations and updates about the ongoing work and projects from each HfE Observatory, along with strategic discussions about the development of the network.

The group also wanted to use the meeting to tackle some of the larger issues surrounding communication, knowledge and action that are emerging in all the HfE Observatories. Participants were asked to consider how knowledge from scientists, humanists, artists, indigenous peoples, and partners from civil society could be communicated and mobilised to greater effect in response to sustainability challenges. The assembled group was led in a speed-writing activity (adapted from the Book Sprint concept) by the meeting’s co-organizers, Steven Hartman, Director of the Circumpolar Observatory, and Dr. Lea Rekow. Each attendee was asked to write a short article about one project or issue important to their own Observatory, with the goal of learning strategies for producing effective communication in compressed timeframes. The participants were challenged to produce a feature story for publication by the end of the weekend.

Hartman and Rekow are co-curators of BifrostOnline, an international, open-access channel promoting education for sustainability and climate change awareness through short documentaries, interviews, feature articles, events and public interventions. Dr. Rekow brings a wealth of communications experience to her roles at both BitfrostOnline and the Circumpolar Observatory. She served as the founding director of Green My Favela, an urban restoration project based in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Over the years she has worked extensively in co-production with ethnic minorities, Indigenous peoples, and marginalized communities in several contexts around the globe, using media as a foundational component of her broader praxis. She has also drawn on her experience to curate and craft media-rich educational programs for several cultural institutions.

Rekow curates a rich selection of material for BifrostOnline’s media archive. To date these resources number approximately a thousand open access sources relating to climate change, including citizen science projects, podcasts, maps, academic papers, policy reports, personal stories and data visualisations, creating a broad, interdisciplinary resource where researchers, educators, academics and others interested in climate change-related issues can access information and ideas that may inform their practice. The goal is to build not only a science-based databank of information, but also to archive works that elicit emotion-based responses or help in the framing of action plans to meet regional and global socio-environmental challenges.

Rekow has learned from her work in environmental communications that people form their beliefs around worldviews held by their communities, rather than around facts they are presented with. Therefore, communicating information is often not enough to impact the way people think and act. Finding positive and active ways to help people realise their own agency and build resilience within different challenging contexts depends on building trust over time and responding to people’s needs, rather than imposing external or academic ideas upon them.

During the writing sprint activity in Sigtuna, Rekow established a structured environment for participants to produce short articles to be featured on the Bifrost website. Individuals were paired into writing and editing teams who supported each other throughout the weekend. Under Rekow’s helpful prompts and guidance they generated texts by harnessing free-thinking and focused freewriting approaches, laying out concepts and developing stories from them in real time, then working together to organize their ideas into edited texts.

The writing sprint was a unique experience, relying on commitment from all participants to collaborate within the limits of a non-negotiable timeframe and a set production schedule. The sprint provided a way of organizing a kindred knowledge community with diverse bodies of work to reflect the concerns and research practices that currently engaging HfE members. For many it was an energizing experience that encouraged cooperation and knowledge sharing within a challenging and unfamiliar situation. The process wasn’t perfect, but it enabled participants to push past the limitations of how busy researchers typically approach writing in a concentrated time frame. The edited articles from this exercise will be appearing throughout spring and summer on BifrostOnline. Some of those that have already appeared include Sea-ice Stories from Iceland and Labrador and Juliana v. United States: the unresolved case already making a difference.

Lea Rekow at Green My Favela

Rekow’s own sprint-written blog, Greening our Planetary Menu, explores the impact of agriculture and the transformational potential of “bottom up” projects. For example, in Brazil she innovated DIY media kits that hack old webcams and produce microscopes to study plants with functionally literate children, conducted farm-to-table workshops, and created children’s gardens from sites that had to be remediated by clearing of tons of garbage.  She offers insights about how these kinds of projects provide increased opportunities for humanists to work “from the bottom-up” as facilitators between formal and informal societal tiers with youth at key vulnerable ages “to help instill knowledge, skills, and a sense of possibility for living healthier, more fulfilling lives.” These projects also provide avenues, she observes, for “community leaders to emerge to recraft environments that are historically marred by conflict, oppression, poverty.”

HfE Observatory members decided that over the course of the next two years the global network will experiment with efforts to scale up projects led by humanists in collaboration with scientists and various societal stakeholders regionally and internationally for greater impact. Above and beyond focusing on their own regional projects, all Observatories will design a food-systems-oriented project and seek to collaborate across the network on the theme of food. The European Observatory has already been awarded a large grant by the Irish Research Council in support the FoodSmart Dublin project and a call for papers for a special journal issue guest edited by HfE members on Food Cultures & Critical Sustainability is expected to be announced in spring 2019.



Joni Adamson is a Secretary General of the HfE and Director of the North American Observatory.  She is Professor of English and Environmental Humanities in the Department of English and Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative at Arizona State University.

Humanities for the Environment (HfE) is a global Observatory network of researchers and projects seeking to answer questions about the role of the humanities in a time in which human activity is significantly reshaping the geological future of the planet. HfE seeks not only enrich our understanding of the human past but also help us understand, engage with, and address global environmental challenges. Rather than defining a single research agenda adequate to these inquiries, HfE has established eight research ‘observatories’ in Africa, Asia, Australia, Circumpolar North, Europe, Latin America, and North America.


Originally posted by Sydney Environment Institute


30 June–2 July 2018, Hohenkammer and Rachel Carson Center (Germany)

Environmental Humanities (EH) is a new and innovative field of study that engages interdisciplinary scholarship from across the humanities spectrum to study the relationship between humans and the physical world they inhabit. In summer 2018, the Rachel Carson Center convened a meeting of leaders in Environmental Humanities—those who have set up networks or taken steps to institutionalize the subject at their home universities—from across the globe to discuss best practice and find ways of cooperating and sharing expertise in our shared moment of planetary crisis. The summit was also attended by eleven international young scholars who are forging their academic careers in this new field.

At the summit, over two days of discussion in diverse ways and in many voices, participants acknowledged the following four principles for scholars in the Environmental Humanities:


As pioneers in our new and still-emergent field and with precarious university structures, we are especially dependent on our community of like-minded thinkers. What binds us together are our shared concerns, which arise out of the entanglement of our personal trajectories and experiences with our scholarly research. We care viscerally, emotionally, and politically about the topics we work on and feel a deep sense of responsibility to engage as global citizens. Our community is intergenerational and international and we need ensure it is resilient across space and across time.


Environmental Humanities is a new assemblage of interdisciplinary approaches and tools. Its diversity is invigorating, but we are all engaged in a process of questioning and changing existing paradigms, and this can create conflict with previous generations of scholars and uncertainty for young scholars who do not yet have established paths to tread. EH scholars need resources of humility, respect, and trust to work with scholars from different disciplines and from different generations.


Understanding interlinked environmental issues requires a holistic, networked approach: creating a broad front in Environmental Humanities that can enable cultural shifts in the wider world requires us to forge alliances with partners outside of academia. We want to cultivate relations with the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) sector, creative and media industries, community and activist groups, local government and political parties, private sector corporations/foundations, schoolteachers and children, religious organizations, and farms and botanical gardens; and also take opportunities to collaborate across disciplines and hierarchies within our own institutions.


The EH toolbox needs skills that facilitate interdisciplinary project work and outreach—digital and multimedia literacy, filmmaking, ethnographic methods, intercultural skills, fundraising and budget management—and also build our capacities to listen well, to tell stories engagingly, to speak multiple languages, and embrace diversity in all its forms. EH needs to do as much as possible to break out of its Euro-American comfort zone, to learn new languages and reach new places, to become truly diverse and inclusive.

To learn more about the event, and for access to the full report and participant list, click here .

Courtesy of Rachel Carson Center posted November 21, 2018

An Island Dynamics and Indigenous Knowledge –based International Conference

Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Spaces

Tradition and Change in a Globalising World

1-5 October 2018, Pongso no Tao/ Orchid Island, Taiwan

This international conference explores the connection between Indigenous communities and Indigenous spaces in an age when the very conceptions of space, place, and territory are undergoing a rapid change due to globalization. Is indigeneity only found in and through place, or can we envision non-situated and deterritorialized indigeneities? Can Indigenous rights and livelihoods be asserted without being simultaneously reinforced or played by the rules of the coloniality?

The conference considers tradition and change in the context of the Indigenous spaces where lives are lived and - globalization occurs: local communities and connections across continents, sacred sites and secular spaces, Indigenous villages and Indigenous cities, traditional territories and political spaces within and beyond the state. It also provides spaces to discuss and reflect on and engage with intercultural and trans-collaborative political approaches by indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and scholars. Many of these approaches are working towards ensuring long-term sustainability for indigenous people, increasing social and environmental justice in their respective territories, and decolonizing structures, relations and ways of being.

This conference is a collaboration of:

• The Community of Pongso no Tao/Orchid Island, Taiwan •Tao Foundation, Pongso no Tao • Island Indigenous Science Studio, Pongso no Tao • Lan En Culture and Education Foundation, Pongso no Tao
• National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Geography & Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, Taipei, Taiwan
• National Sun Yet-Sen University’s Center for Marine Policy Studies & Graduate Institute of Marine Affairs, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
• Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland’s Department of Social Sciences, Greenland
• RMIT University’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Melbourne, Australia
• Minstry of Science and Technology, Taiwan
• Council of Indeigenous Peoples, Taiwan
• National Prehistorry Museum, Taitung, Taiwan

Co-Convenors & Organisers

Adam Grydehøj, Huei-Min TSAI, Syaman Rapongan, Syaman Lamuran, Tibusungʉ'e Vayayana, Yaso Nadarajah, Tzu-Ming LIU, Su-Min SHEN, Sendo WANG


The participants came from 15 countries about 130 people, including Canada(4), Maxico (1), UK (1), France (1),Sweden(1), Denmark (1), Greenland (1), teh Netherlands (2), Germany (2), Switzerland (1) Australia (3), New Zealnd (1), Philippine (2), Japan (2) China(1) and Taiwan (40), plus over 70 people from local communities

The Conference Programs

1. Welcome
On October 1st, after a long ride of train and boat, the conference participants arrived at the island and were warm welcomed by the Tao Community,chaired by Si Maraos, Executive Director, Lan En Cultural Foundation; and there were greetings from Representatives of Township and Tao communities. Greetings from Syaman Lamuran (Director, Tao Foundation), Tibusungʉ'e Vayayana (Deputy Minister, Council of Indigenous Peoples), Sinan Mavivo (Tao Representative, Council of Indigenous Peoples), Syapen Kaleywan (Elders, singing and greetings), Adam Grydehøj (Director, Island Dynamics, Denmark & Associated Researcher, Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland, Greenland), Eric Clark (Chair, International Geographical Union Commission on Islands; Lund University, Sweden), Gerard Persoon (Leiden University, the Netherlands). Two dancing performances were followed.
2. Themes
Session 1: Indigenous Spaces and Development
Session 2: Indigenous Research and Methods
Session 3: Indigenous Rights and Representation
Session 4: Indigenous Voices and Presence
Session 5: Toward Indigenous Futures
3. 3. Studies in the Fields:

In order to be engaged with Indigenous knowledge systems on the island, the field studies involve immersion into the life world of the Tao (Yami). It encourages wisdom and local participants to recognize the value of traditional knowledge in environmental management. We observe the mountain, river, and oceanic environment around us and cultivate the ability to identify and solve problems. Actively caring about the original environment and exploring the prudence of traditional culture can bridge traditional knowledge and science.

Map of the conference venues and field study sites:

Conceptual Map of the Island: Indigenous Space-time, Indigenous Knowledge on Pongso no Tao (the Island of People)

(I) angit* – sky – 天空 (II) wawa – ocean – 海洋 (III) vanwa – beach – 部落灘頭 (IV) ili – village – 聚落 (V) kahasan – forest – 山林 (VI) soli – taro field – 芋田
*Tao Language 達悟語

(1) In the Field 1

Vanwa : Ceremony, boat launching and folk singing
Place: Iraraley Beach (Vanwa)
Lecturer: Syapen Meylamney)


As a meeting place between the ocean and the land, the venwa is a very important and sacred ceremonial field in the Tao culture. If the tribe has important public issues, members of the tribe gather here to discuss and -solve the problem together. The tribal beach head is not only the central point of tribal space, but also the core of the cultural, social system and public power operation in the Tao society. It is a sacred space reflecting the social culture of the Tao people.

(2) In the Field 2

Ili - Living spaces and villages
Group 1 Iraraley Traditional Vahay (House) Lecturer: Tsai, Wu-lun
Group 2 Ivalino Traditional Vahay (House) Lecturer: Syapen Jihan
Background Tao people’s social life interweaves the geographical -and the blood relationships of the tribal community. The tribe is an independent unit composed of all members living in the same tribal area. The fisheries, pastures, and agricultural lands of each tribe are commons, not to be used by others. A complete Tao home must have vahai (main house), makarang (high house) and tagakal (hill table). The vahai faces the sea and is where people live, cook, store, and sleep. The makarang is the place where objects are manufactured. The tagakal is a- - place for daily life, leisure, chatting, children's play, and - singing.

(3) In the Field 3

Angut:‘Eyes of the Sky’ Indigenous ways of star observation
Meeting Place: Iratay
Place: Iratay Syapen Lamuran’s Art Studio
Lecture : Syapen Lamuran Background Flying fish season is the core of Tao culture. A year is divided into three seasons: the rayon, the teyteyka and the amiyan. As oceanic people, Tao is also sensitive to the changing wind, weather and currents. The names of wind show their knowledge on weather observation and risk responses.

The meanings of each season are as follows.


Season Traditional Name Name of Month Month's meaning Western calendar
Spring Rayon
Flying Fish
Kapowan (Paneneb) Closed door, abstinence FEB
Pikawkaod Separation and sharing MAR.
Papatow Fishing Dolphin fish APR.
Pipilapila Netting fish MAY
Summer Teyteyka
End of Flying
Fish Season
Apiavean Good Moon Month JUN
Omood do piavean Harvest festival JUL.
Pitanatana Making pottery AUG.
Kaliman Last flying fish SEP
Winter Amyan
Month of
Waiting fish
Kaneman Bead ash, ghost OCT
Kapitowan a fiesta in honor of a deity NOV.
Kaowan Coolest Month DEC.
Kasiaman JAN

(4) In the Field 4

Wawa: Ocean, currents, and fish
Place: Lanyu High School Conference Room
Lecture: Syaman Rapongan ( presented -via a film ) Background Libangbang (flying fish) culture is an important cultural feature of Tao. They believe that the flying fish is managed by tao do do (the people in the heaven). The time of fishing and the way of cooking should be in accordance with taboos and rituals. The tribe believes that as long as the various ceremonies and taboos in the flying fish season are properly performed, the flying fish will -swim to the beach of the tribe.

The Tao people establish the order and taboos of eating by the mythical story of flying fish. The essence is to grant marine life a chance to breathe and at the same time maintain the balance and sustainability of the marine ecology.

(5) In the Field 5 Kahasan: Forest, Taboo and Materials for Tatala (Traditional Canoe) building
Place: Iraraley tribe’s forest commons
Lecturer: Syaman Macinanao

The tatala, traditional housing construction and paddy farming are closely related to the use of forest plants of Tao. Each tribe has its own irrigation channel system, hillsides, forest areas and pastures.
(5) In the Field 5

Soli: Taro fields and women’s spaces
Place: Iraraley Taro Field
Lecturer: Sinan Manidong

Background The main crop of the Tao people is taro. In order to irrigate the fields, natural mountain streams are adapted and built into irrigation systems. Such major projects are usually completed by a large number of people. Therefore, the construction of canals usually involved mobilization of several families.


(Conference venue: Lanyu High School)

(Opening Ceremony at Lan-En Knderagarden)

(Conference - volunteers)

Humanities for the environment annual meeting at Sigtuna Sweden 2018

Six of the eight HfE observatories were represented at the NIES-arranged Humanities for the Environment conference in Sigtuna, including the African, Asian-Pacific, Circumpolar, European, Latin American, & North American observatories.

Picture of 6 members of the Board of Directors following the business meeting yesterday: (L-R) James Ogude Poul Holm Hsinya Huang Sally Kitch Joni Adamson and Steven Hartman.

Picture of attendees.

International Symposium on Humanities for the Environment

19 Nov. 2018
LA7006, College of Liberal Arts,
National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung


2018.11.18    Arrival/Registration


9:00-9:20 Opening Ceremony
TEE Kim Tong (Convener, Organizing Committee, ISHE)
Ping-Chen Hsiung (President, ANHN, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
9:20-10:10 Keynote: Adaptation of Assimilation:
Humans Facing the Challenge of Being Humans for the First Time Ever

Speaker: Luiz Oosterbeek (Polytechnic Institute of Tomar)
Moderator: Ay-Ling Wang (National Sun Yat-sen University)
Discussant: Chen-Hsing Tsai (Tamkang University)
10:10-11:00 Panel: East Asian Environment in Perspective
Speakers: Harold Sjusen (New York University)
                   Whei-Ming Chou (National Chengchi University)
Moderator: Mu-Chou Poo (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
11:00-11:15 Tea Break
11:15-12:15 Writers’ Workshop: 熱帶雨林與原住民書寫
Speakers: 瓦歷斯·諾幹Walis Nokan (Writer of Atayal)
                   田思Tian Si (Malaysian Writer)
                   田欣穎Xin-Ying Thian (Malaysian Journalist)
Moderator: TEE Kim Tong (National Sun Yat-sen University)
12:15-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:10 Plenary: A New Order of Knowledge: The Anthropocene and the Environmental Humanities
Speaker: Hannes Bergthaller (National Chung Hsing University)
Moderator: Shu-Li Chang (National Cheng Kung University)
Discussant: Iping Liang (National Taiwan Normal University)
14:10-15:10 Panel: Transpacific Poetics and Environmental Humanities
Speakers: Anurag Bhattacharyya (Dibrugarh University)
                   Yu-Lin Lee (National Chung Hsing University)
                   LIM Kar Loke (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman)
Moderator: Huei-Min Tsai (National Taiwan Normal University)
Discussant: Hsiu-Li Juan (National Chung Hsing University)
15:10-15:30 Tea Break
15:30-16:10 Roundtable: Asian Humanities
Moderator: Ping-Chen Hsiung (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Speakers: Harold Sjusen (New York University)
                   Luiz Oosterbeek (Polytechnic Institute of Tomar)
16:10-16:20 Closing Remarks
17:00-19:30 Banquet

2018.11.20 Departure

【Contact】Ms. IYun Huang, at

池上秋收 - 稻穗藝術節

Call for Papers
International Symposium on Humanities for the Environment
National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
November 18- November 19, 2018

Never in human history as now in the 21st century has our species’ ability to cope with planetary change been so urgent. Although the Anthropocene as an official geological epoch is still under debate, the concept has been widely used to describe the pervasive human impact on the planet since Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutizen proposed that we were “living in the Anthropocene”. An Anthropocene Working Group has been commissioned to investigate the possibility of formally adding the Anthropocene to the Geological Time Scale. Referring to the Anthropocene and its most discussed consequence, climate change, the historian Dipesh Chakrabarty has suggested that humanities as a discipline needs to envision the way the human beings become an agent of historical change. Recently Joni Adamson, Poul Holm, and other scholars across the globe have established The HfE Observatories (Humanities for the Environment: Observatories for Environmental Humanities Researchers) through which to observe, explore and enact the crucial ways humanistic and artistic disciplines may help us understand and engage with global ecological problems by providing insight into human action, perceptions, and motivation. They have collectively publicized “Humanities for the Environment: A Manifesto for Research and Action” as an invitation to the “Humanities for the Environment” open global consortium of humanities observatories. This Symposium presents cutting-edge researches and voices from the HfE Global Network to examine how the humanities and arts contribute to understanding the challenges of global environmental change. Through observing and exploring human actions and motivations, values, priorities, and habits, we propose an agenda that focuses on global humanities research in response to the challenges of planetary environmental change. This Symposium explores the role of the humanities in a time in which human activity is significantly reshaping the geological future of the planet. It demonstrates our continuous effort to expand the network and develop a shared agenda for research and action.

The deadline to submit abstracts is May 20, 2018, and it should be no longer than 500words . The length of your full paper should not exceed 8,000 words.

To submit your abstract, please click on the following link:

Important dates:
Deadline for abstract submission: May 20, 2018
Notification of acceptance: May 31, 2018
Deadline for full paper submission: October 1, 2018

Center for Humanities Innovation and Social Practices, NSYSU, Taiwan
Center for the Humanities, NSYSU, Taiwan
The Humanities for the Environment, Asia-Pacific Observatory
Asian New Humanities Network

創刊號_塔山下 雜誌已上線!

2016/12/12-16 Prof. Perez’s Visit to Taiwan

Craig Santos Perez visited Taiwan from December 12 to 16, 2016. During his visit, we traveled to Shen-shan and Wu-tai tribes in Pingtung to explore Taiwanese aboriginal cultures and try the indigenous foods. Also, we visited the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park in which he met and talked to two Taiwanese indigenous guides. He is surprised by the similarities among their native languages even though Guam is about 2,800 miles from Taiwan, and finally understood why Austronesians call each other cousins. This experience inspired his poem “The Fifth Map.” On 13 Dec, Perez gave a lecture to undergraduate students from National Sun Yat-sen University, titled “Poetry about Guam & the Environment.” In his talk, Perez performed and discussed his poetry related to the culture, history, food, and politics of his home island of Guam, as well as his poetry about Pacific ecologies, environmental justice, and climate change.

Building Canoes, Building Poetry: Cultural Revival in the Voyage of Hōkūleʻa and the Poetry of Craig Santos Perez

Speaker: Dr. Karen M. Poremski (Ohio Wesleyan University)

Time: 2017/09/13 (Wed.) 4:10 pm

Venue: Bayley Room of Beeghly Library

Pacific Literature Publications & Announcements

Hafa Adai & Aloha Friends, I hope this message finds you well. I write to share some new Pacific literature publications, as well as some personal announcements about my own poetry. If you have announcements of your own, I would love to hear from you. Sincerely, Craig

  • Home Islands: New Art & Writing from Guahan & Hawaiʻi (Ala Press, 2017), edited by Brandy Nalani McDougall and Craig Santos Perez. $12 via link.
  • Crosscurrent, my spoken word poetry digital album, is available on Bandcamp. $5 download includes 11 poems, 45 min.
  • My poem, "Praise Song for Oceania", written for World Oceans Day, has been made into a video by Olonā Media.
  • At my blog, I have linked to many past and present editing projects, including a recent issue of "New Pacific Poetry" published in Poetry Magazine.
  • A selection of my newly published poetry can be linked to via my website.

I am very happy to share other good news:

Oceans and The Anthropocene - The Historical Turn of Science

Electricity produced from oceanic currents

A generator is slowly towed out into the ocean off Pingtung County in eastern Taiwan.

Where the blades are gently dropped into the sea from a multi-functional platform where they will capture energy from the Kuroshio Current, which will then be converted into electricity.

Professor Chen Yang-yih, is the Vice- President of National Sun Yat Sen University:“No experiment made over any oceanic current has been successful in the world until now. But we have been successful. And we were able to produce 26.31 kilowatts of power with 1.27 metres per second of ocean current.”

Chen’s generator is capable of producing 50 kw of electricity at maximum capacity. Even in the winter months when the speed of the current falls to 0.45 metres per second the generator is still capable of producing electricity.

Professor Chen continues: “As long as the earth revolves around itself, there will be ocean currents. The speed of these currents is stable. Their directions are also fixed.This is why ocean currents are sustainable resources. The kinetic energy of the currents becomes mechanical power, which is transformed into electric energy. And it continuously produces electricity.”

The professor says his aim is to produce enough electricity through oceanic currents to replace nuclear energy in Taiwan.

Nuclear energy currently amounts to 16 percent of the total energy that Taiwan consumes.

Humanities for the Environment

Humanities for the Environment, or HfE, is an ambitious project that from 2013–2015 was funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project networked universities and researchers internationally through a system of ‘observatories’. This book collects the work of contributors networked through the North American, Asia–Pacific and Australia–Pacific observatories. Humanities for the Environment showcases how humanists are working to ‘integrate knowledges’ from diverse cultures and ontologies and pilot new ‘constellations of practice’ that are moving beyond traditional contemplative or reflective outcomes (the book, the essay) and towards solutions to the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time. The Co-editors Joni Adamson and Michael Davis acknowledged the support and funding from the Center for Humanities Innovation and Social Practices at National Sun Yat-sen University.

List of figures
List of contributors

1 Introduction: integrating knowledge, forging new constellations of
practice in the environmental humanities


PART I Integrating knowledge, extending the conversation
2 Backbone: holding up our future

3 Country and the gift
4 Introduction: backbone and country

PART II Backbone
5 Twilight islands and environmental crises: re-writing a history
of the Caribbean and Pacific regions through the islands existing
in their shadows

6 Seaweed, soul-ar panels and other entanglements
7 Is it colonial déjà vu? Indigenous peoples and climate injustice
8 Gathering the desert in an urban lab: designing the citizen humanities
9 Environmental rephotography: visually mapping time, change
and experience

10 Integral ecology in the Pope’s environmental encyclical,
implications for environmental humanities


PART III Country
11 Radiation ecologies, resistance, and survivance on Pacific islands:
Albert Wendt’s Black Rainbow and Syaman Rapongan’s Drifting Dreams and the Ocean

12 Walking together into knowledge: Aboriginal/European collaborative
environmental encounters in Australia’s north-east, 1847–1850

13 ‘The lifting of the sky’: outside the Anthropocene
14 Literature, ethics and bushfire in the Anthropocene
15 Placing the nation: curating Landmarks at the National Museum of Australia
16 The oceanic turn: submarine futures of the Anthropocene


Sigtuna HfE Workshop 2016

From September 9-12, 2016, Professor Hsinya Huang attended Sigtuna HfE workshop at Sigtunasteftelsen (The Sigtuna Foundation) in the historic small town of Sigtuna, northwest of Stockholm and south of Uppsala on beaulful Lake Malaren, not far from Stockholm Arlanda Internatonal Airport. The host institution Sigtunasteftelsen is generously covering all direct onsite costs of the workshop as part of its partnership agreement with NIES as the new official home of the network. We greatly appreciate the support of the foundation, with whom NIES has has a productive collaboration for several years now. The workshop was a great success due to the appreciated leadership of NIES, NABO, the Circumpolar Networks program of IHOPE and the new Humanities for the Environment Circumpolar Observatory. In the workshop, Professor Huang presented Asia Pacific Observatory, reported on our current projects, events, programs, and progress. She joined leaders from other HfE observatories to discuss significant issues surrounding the Network including partnership with Future Earth and the International Conference scheduled to be held in Pretoria South Africa in 2017 (see the program and meeting minutes). Professor Huang was invited to submit an application for the seat on the Science Committee of Future Earth. Collectively we agreed to expand our network, work on the global challenges and exercise an impact on IPCC and other major environmental issues and organizations.

Asia Pacific Observatory Presentation Sigtuna HfE Workshop 2016 Program

Craig Santos Perez

I was born on Guam and lived there until I was 15 years old, when my family migrated to California. I lived away from home for 15 years, before the Guam humanities center brought me back as part of their civic engagement through the arts initiative, during which I performed my poetry at many of the public high schools, as well for the general public. The poetry was a pathway towards discussing issues of colonialism and militarism on Guam. It's been 6 years since those events, and I am excited to return home again to be a literary arts delegate for the Festival of Pacific Arts, the largest cultural event in the Pacific. The irony, of course, is that I have to find my US passport in order to return to my home island. I write about my first visit home, as well as my ambivalence about US citizenship in my latest book, [guma']. Here is the flyer from my 2010 trip:


吳瑞斌 中山大學外文所博士班


「上山」的部份,在地木雕藝術家Siki Sufin開著小卡車載著我們一行人搖搖晃晃地爬上都蘭山,參訪都蘭遺址以及具有傳承打獵文化意義的獵寮。過程當中,來自不同國家的原住民農夫看見家鄉也有的植物,開始熱烈地討論起各自是如何利用這些植物。雖然語言不通,只能透過英文加上肢體動作傳達,大家還是相當開心。令人興奮的是,在討論的過程中,台灣原住民和馬來西亞原住民之間常常出現對同一種事物的稱呼發音極相似的情況,連數字(一到十)也是如此,這些現象在在印證了南島語系的發源地很可能是台灣的理論。


(圖片來源:沈太木等 2003 都蘭阿美部落傳統領域調查報告書。未出版。)




With Our Own Hands 書評

林家華 中山大學外文所碩士

With Our Own Hands一書中,作者Frederik Van Oudenhoven以及Jamila Haider以故事、論述、食譜及照片編織與紀錄帕米爾高原上塔吉克族的文化。為了解塔吉克族文化,二位作者長年居住在帕米爾高原與族人相處。With Our Own Hands以阿富汗語、塔吉克族語與英文等三種語言寫成,故本書不僅以國際語言推廣塔吉克文化,更有系統地以當地語言紀錄、保存了此一文化,使族人更深入了解自己的文化,並了解其重要性。

本書作者Frederik Van Oudenhoven數度來訪台灣,推廣本書背後的概念:食物與文化息息相關,且密不可分。亦即,作者相信食物是文化很重要的一環。並且,作者也曾經分享為何會以廚房作為這次研究的背景:作者初到帕米爾高原與塔吉克族人接觸時,由於白人面孔及語言隔閡等原因,想要採訪族人、想要了解當地文化,總是不得其門而入。一次因緣際會下,作者進入了廚房跟當地婦女學習做飯,竟意外融入了正在下廚的婦女們!從此作者常常進入廚房,學習烹煮當地食物,聆聽婦女們講的故事。

作者Frederik Van Oudenhoven來台時亦分享他觀察之地理環境與文化的關係。例如,在作者居住的地區有一個很大的洞穴,而該洞穴因著族人的傳說而被賦予文化上的意義。相傳當地塔吉克族人的祖先就是由那個洞穴中出來的,因此族人視該洞穴為聖地。作者相信,必須透過長時間與當地族人相處,並且融入當地生活,方能得知此類故事,並非經由短期參訪即可。本書可貴之處即在於作者長期定居與族人互動,深入了解之後以多種文字記錄的當地的文化,使得此文化得以被保存、推廣。

Neqou Soqluman’s Poetry Tanˋa Sakin Ludun Malalastapang Released in December 2015

“I returned to my home
but can only look at my homeland from my house.
Homeland is locked in the black mountains over there
Becoming a mysterious and distant legend”

Neqou Soqluman, the Bunun writer, sings the songs of the Taiwanese lands through his poetry. His yearning for his home and family has been expanded to affections for the earth. Soqluman’s poetry weaves social issues with the hemlock spruce, clouded leopards, leopard cats, moon bears and the mountains, showing his reflections on and expectations for the life……

Let us listen to the indigenous voices from the land and the mountains!

ISBN: 9789573909729
Publisher: VISTA Publishing
Language: Chinese

Book cover
The East Peak of Xueshan, Taichung City
Quake lake, Alishan
Wangxiang village, Nantou
Gukeng, Yunlin County
International Walking Workshop: Agriculture and Social Practice

Time: 28-29 November 2015
Venue: Laiji, Mt. Ali, Chiayi, Taiwan

In this walking workshop sponsored by the Center for the Humanities Innovation and Social Pratices, NSYSU, all the participants walked with people from the Cou tribe to learn the ecosystem of this area as well as the history of migration, traditions and religious belief of the tribe. Some tribal members also shared their experiences of developing their own industry of handcrafts, which helps the tribe to recover from the disaster and trauma brought by Typhoon Morakot. Moreover, Frederik van Oudenhoven, author of With Our Own Hands: A Celebration of Food and Life in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, joined us to ponder on and discuss the reactions of the mountain tribes to natural disasters and the resettlement of the tribe after the disasters. Our aim is to explore the humanities of nature via our participation and discussion in this workshop; this way, our “walking into the tribe” becomes significant in producing stories to share. Participants from urban cities are able to share with tribal people the memory of Laiji, which brings forth a new understanding of the nature, land, and community.

Frederik van Oudenhoven’s talk on food as a method in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan and Tajistan
Tribal people explain how to shell the coffee beans
Tribal people show how to pick the coffee beans
The tribal elder shows the tribe’s route of migration
Tribal people introduce the old names and communities of the Cou tribe
Discussion and reflection
Tribal people introduce the resettlement of the tribe after Typhoon Morakot
The resettlement house for the Laiji people
The works of the indigenous artist
The Pacific Writers’ Connection, Native Voices, and Nā Mea Hawai’i/Native Books
Invite you to the Hawaiʻi book launch of

Mātini: A Story of the Impacts of Climate Change and Cyclone Martin
on Manihiki Atoll, Cook Islands

When: 3 pm, Friday, November 6, 2015
Where: UH English Department, Kuykendall Hall, Room 410

Meet Rachel Teana Reeves, author of Mātini, a unique book that tells the story of Cyclone Martin through the eyes of the people who were there, who watched as waves as tall as the coconut trees, broke over Manihiki atoll — a remote, sea-level atoll in the northern Cook Islands. On 1 November, 1997, Martin generated a sea surge that flattened two villages and stole 19 lives.

The cyclone remains the Cook Islands’ most tragic weather event in recorded history, but the story of what happened that night has never been told before. Rachel interviewed 150 survivors to capture and preserve the incredible stories of survival, resilience, and courage. These experiences can provide lessons learned to improve disaster management, response, and recovery in the Cook Islands and the wider Pacific as we struggle to cope with climate change and sea level rise.

Asia-Pacific Science, Technology & Society Network Biennial Conference 2015
Disasters, Controversies and Public Engagement
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, October 1st~4th, 2015

The Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network (APSTSN) was formed in 2008. It offers a new regional identity for STS scholars to complement their local, national and sub-regional STS networks. In 2015, the APSTSN biennial conference will be held in Taiwan for the first time.

Three keynote speeches will be delivered:
I.   “National Energy Policy After Fukushima and the Aftermath: Did Deliberative Opinion Poll Work Well?
Tadashi Kobayashi (小林傳司), Osaka University, Japan
II.  “Indigenous Governance and Modern Nation State Governance. What Can Thinking Through STS Contribute?”
Helen Verran, Charles Darwin University, Australia; University of the Arctic, Norway
III. “Cosmopolitan Approach of Trans-boundary Risk Governance in East Asia”
Kuei-Tien Chou, (周桂田), National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Other invited speakers include:
Hsin-Hsing Chen, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan
David Mercer, The University of Wollongong, Australia
Kuang-Chi Hung, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Tetsuji Iseda, Kyoto University, Japan
Kohta Juraku, Tokyo Denki University, Japan
Hyomin Kim, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
Eun-Sung Kim, Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Tadashi Kobayashi, Mie University, Japan
Wen-Hua Kuo, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Yi-Ping Lin, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan
Aaron Moore, Arizona State University, USA
Izumi Nakayama, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Sigrid Schmalzer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
Togo Tsukahara, Kobe University, Japan
Zuoyue Wang, California State Polytechnic University, USA

For more details, please click the following link:

New Oceania Poetry Interviews:
Craig Santos Perez's Interviews with Three Contemporary Pacific Poets

Craig Santos Perez converses with Audrey Brown-Pereira, Lehua Taipano, and Dan Taulapapa McMullin to explore the Pacific poetry.

From Craig Santos Perez's Introduction:
"During the last 50 years, there has been an eruption of anthologies, chapbooks and single-author collections of Pacific poetry published throughout the Pacific and the United States. These works have circulated in classrooms, bookstores and online; additionally, Pacific poets have themselves circulated their works via live performances in local and international venues.

The major themes of Pacific poetry include culture, identity, kinship, colonialism, tourism, religion, sexuality, gender, migration, militarism, urbanism, nature, environmental justice, politics, language, mixed-race heritage and more. Cutting across these themes are a range of diverse poetic styles, from free verse to sonnets, from the confessional to the documentary, from the postmodern to the lyric."

Read more by clicking the following link.

Syaman Rapongan’s latest novel The Death of Anromien Released in August 2015

Nu yabu o pongso yam, ala abu ku u [Without this island, I am of no existence].”
“Ocean, where is your face? ......”

As a unique marine literature of the Tao people , Syaman Rapongan’s The Death of Anromien pays homage to the spirits of the Orchid Island that have for a long time resisted the evil spirits.

This novel tells about the story of Anromien, who being the descendant of a marine family, feels the ocean flow in his Tao blood and inscribes in his mind and soul the ancient myth and wisdom. He is gifted to live with the ocean, while considered out of place on the land and alienated by his people. There is only one boy, Dakaán, to whom Anromien can pass on his story. One day will come when Anromien can tell Dakaán everything about the ocean, about the traditions, the waves and the fishes……

ISBN: 9789863870487
Publisher: INK Publishing
Language: Chinese

Celebrating American Book Award for Professor Craig Santos Perez

Craig Santos Perez, associate professor of English at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, will receive the prestigious American Book Award for his book of poems titled from unincorporated territory [guma’]. Perez teaches creative writing and Pacific literature in the Department of English, and also serves as an affiliate faculty member in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies and the Department of Political Science.

The American Book Awards, administered by the Before Columbus Foundation, were created to recognize outstanding literary achievement and excellence without any restrictions from America’s diverse literary community. They are bestowed upon writers by writers. Recipients range from well-known and established writers to under-recognized authors.

Perez joins an exclusive group of winners, which includes writers such as Toni Morrison, and is one of only 14 chosen to receive the award in 2015. Perez and his fellow writers will be honored on October 25 at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

Book description

Craig Santos Perez, a native Chamoru born and raised on the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam), migrated with his family to California in 1995, and did not return home until 15 years later. from unincorporated territory [guma’] emerges from the tension between arrival and departure to map the emotional and geographic cartographies of migration.

Featuring a variety of poetic forms (including lyric, narrative, documentary and conceptual poems, dramatic monologues and prose essays), the poet highlights the everyday struggles of staying connected to native origins and customs, while adjusting to new American cultures and terrains.

This collection draws attention to, and protests, the violent currents of colonialism and militarism currently threatening Guåhan, a U.S. territory since 1898 and a “strategic” location of U.S. geopolitical power in the Asia Pacific region. Drawing from history and politics, culture and family, from unincorporated territory [guma’] memorializes what the Chamoru people have lost through military occupation and out-migration, and insists that we must raise our voices to protect and defend what we have left of the places we call home.