An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

A ʻAtenisi picture

ʻOtuhaka (2009)


Phys. 100 • Physics 1 • Prerequisites: none, but following Calculus 1 at the same time is highly recommended

The course initially covers the classical and elementary concepts of physics: the laws of Newton, linear kinematics, rotational kinematics, dynamics, forces, energy, gravity. Calculus (goniometrics, vectors, functions, differentiations, integrations) will be introduced where needed for exposition. Measurements, units, measurement accuracy will be addressed as well, including an analysis of accidental measurements errors and how to negotiate them, with relevant practical examples. Advanced topics may also be pursued, such as optics, fluid dynamics, and gas theory. Linear kinematics; Mathematical tools; General kinematics, rotations, reference frames; Measurements, units; Measurement error analysis; Newton’s laws, inertia, momentum; Forces, work, energy; Gravity; Dynamics of rotation, vibrations; Elective advanced topics

Math. 110 • Calculus 1

The calculus of one variable. The focus of this course is on building mathematics on theorems, which are proven from more elementary theorems proven before, and so forth, down to the axioms. Only then the theorems will be illustrated by practical examples. Functions and graphs; Inverse functions (log, exp, arcsin, etc.); Limits (epsilon, delta); Differentation and its applications; Integration and its applications

Bio. 100 • Biology & environmental science

An introduction to the basic biological principles. The cell; The gene; The history of life; Animal; Ecology; Environmental science

Bio. 200 • Advanced biology & environmental science • Prerequisites: biology 1

Focus on genetics, also as continuation of biology 1. The excretory system; Sensory system; The chemistry of life; The evolutionary history of biological diversity; Mechanisms of evolution; Ecology


Soc. 100 • Introduction to social thought and process

Soc. 300 • Social thought and process: advanced • Prerequisites: (see instructor)

The course surveys the evolution of sociological theory from its origin in the mid-19th century to the present. It initially examines the origin of systematic theory in the wake of the French Revolution (i.e., the "social physics" of Auguste Comte) and then proceeds to analyse the key contributions of Émile Durkheim, Marcel Maas, and (the young) Karl Marx in France, Max Weber and Georg Simmel in Germany, Thorstein Veblen, Charles Cooley, and George Herbert Mead in the U.S. ... as well as more recent work in the U.S. by Talcott Parsons and Erving Goffman. The course concludes with consideration of the “radical” sociology of the Frankfurt School and C. Wright Mills in Germany and the U.S. Particular attention is paid to constructs of alienation and social fragmentation (Marx, Durkheim), the interaction between spiritual culture and enterprise (Weber), routinisation of bureaucratic and corporate life (Weber), and the mystification of hegemony (Veblen, Mills).

Pol.St. 111 • International relations - theory and practice

Pol.St. 311 • International relations - theory and practice • Prerequisites: (see instructor)

The study of international relations attempts to answer the question, "Why do states behave the way they do in the international system?" To address the question, the course will follow the guideline proposed by Prof. Stephen Walt in Foreign Policy in 1998 - i.e., "The study of international affairs is best understood as a protracted competition between the realist, liberal, and radical traditions." Students will assess these main traditions, testing theory against evidence of state practice.


Phil. 100 • Introduction to philosophy

Phil. 200 • Philosophy: intermediate • Prerequisites: (see instructor)

Phil. 300 • Philosophy: advanced • Prerequisites: (see instructor)

The course regards classical philosophy as the theoretical prototype for ensuing progress in modern social science, as well as classical and modern natural science. Deploying that perspective, it surveys 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 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) is variously considered as an individualist riposte to institutional theology, empiricism, German idealism, and social democracy.

E.L. 100 • English composition

English composition is the first year English language course combining oral, visual and written information to enable students to construct written essays, formal and informal. Students also develop writing skills for academic purpose.

E.L. 210 • British drama • Prerequisites: English 1

Level 2 British drama is a second year English literature course with a focus on the genre of drama (British plays and playwrights). Students learn to investigate the forms and purposes of drama in different historical or contemporary settings.

E.L. 310 • British drama • Prerequisites: English 2

Level 3 British drama is a third year English literature course with a focus on the genre of drama (British plays and playwrights). Students learn to research, analyse and critically evaluate ideas in specific dramatic forms.

Sp.L. 100 • Elementary Spanish language

Introduction to Spanish as a foreign language – pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Development of communicative skills through the practice of communicative functions, including reading, writing, and dialogue.

Hist. 100 • Introduction to global history

Hist. 200 • Global history: intermediate • Prerequisites: (see instructor)

Hist. 300 • Global history: advanced • Prerequisites: (see instructor)

Global history initially endeavours to not only trace 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 closely studied 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 comprehensively detailed whilst the challenges of Spain, France and Germany – and later Russia, Italy and Japan – are as well analysed, with particular attention paid to Luther, Calvin, the Inquisition, the French Revolution, National Socialism, Leninism, and Islamism. The course concludes with a contemporary survey of rising economic power in China, India, and Brazil.


Mus. 100 • Music theory

Introduction to the fundamentals of music, focusing on identifying tones and pitches (as well as their rhythm and duration) bass and treble clefs, scales, intervals, key signatures, and harmonic analysis. Using these musical building blocks, students will develop practical skills in keyboard, ear and sight training, voice leading, and harmony construction.