“Polynesian Pipelines” Upcoming Talk

Coming up this next week:
“Polynesian Pipelines: Culture, Community, and Sport”
On Monday, April 11
6:30-7:30pm in the MPR
“As Samoans and other Pacific Islanders have continued their entry into the high profile world of American football, many within and outside of these communities have commented on what they see as Polynesian dominance in the sport.  In this process, sport has become a new site for community recognition, and a focal point for resilient cultural practice.  Drawing on her research on the development of American football in Samoa, as well as her years living and teaching in Hawai’i, Dr.Uperesa will discuss how sport has served as a focal point for community agendas, desires, and connection across the Pacific even as the stakes and pressures involved continue to rise. 
Lisa Uperesa is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies and Sociology at the University of Hawai’i-Mānoa, where she teaches courses on race and ethnicity, migration, sport, and the Pacific.  She co-edited the special issue of The Contemporary Pacific on ‘Global Sport in the Pacific’ and is completing a manuscript on Samoan migration and mobility in American football, tentatively titled Fabled Futures and Gridiron Dreams.”
– Jessica Hardin
Assistant Professor
Pacific University
We here at Momentum got the chance earlier this week to speak to Dr. Uperesa about her talk that will be happening first thing next week. During our talk, we briefly spoke about her article, “Fabled Futures: Migration and Mobility for Samoans in American Football” from which she stated that she will be pulling pieces from for the talk. Dr. Uperesa detailed during our interview what the lives of many of these players look like, from familial and community connections to injury rates to what they hope to gain from playing this rigorous and challenging sport.
When asked what she felt like the target audience was for her presentation, Dr. Uperesa detailed that it not only welcomes sports players but also those interested in cultural studies, sociology, and anthropology. Anyone and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend, as she noted that there is a little bit of something for everyone to take away.
It was incredible to get the chance to speak to her one on two and pick her brain about this issue. If you want a sneak peak at what Dr. Uperesa will be discussing at her talk on Monday, you can find the audio recording here (we hope that you’ll give it a listen!).

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