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Alumni Travel Reading: South Pacific Islands


Matira Beach, Bora Bora, French Polynesia. Courtesy of


Small boat with three people in shadow on ocean

Bora Bora. Courtesy of Jim G.

History & Culture


Beach with mountain

Ofu, American Samoa. Courtesy of

Film: An Angel at My Table, a Trilogy

An Angel at My Table: a Trilogy. Criterion Collection, 2005 (originally released in 1989). 

Jane Campion directed the film version of Janet Frame’s autobiographies.

Watch the trailer below.

South Pacific Islands

Beach with palm trees

Titikaveka, Rarotonga, Cook Islands. Courtesy of

The South Pacific Islands are home to some of the earliest human settlements, are prominent in the European history of exploration and colonization, are the homes of prominent writers, and continue to be places with rich cultures, literary histories, and diversity. Below is sampling of recent writings about the different Islands, the history of exploration, and significant films and fiction. 


Selected and Annotated By:

Rebecca Stuhr
Coordinator for Humanities Collections
Librarian for History and Classical Studies

For more information about this and other excursions, please visit the Penn Alumni Travel webpage.


Stream in cavern with waterfall

Sigatoka River in Viti Levu, Fiji. Courtesy of

Travel & Exploration: a Combination of Historical and Contemporary Accounts

Film: Once Were Warriors

Film adaptation of Duff's Once Were Warriors directed by Lee Tamahori and it is available through New Line Home Entertainment, 2002.

Watch the trailer below.


Purple and pink sunrise over beach

Sunrise in Nauru, South Pacific. Courtesy of Hadi Zaher.



Mountain next to ocean

Bora Bora. Courtesy of Jim G.

Film: Whale Rider

Film adaptation of Ihimaera's Whale Rider directed by Niki Caro and available from Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (2003).

Watch the trailer below.

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