Pacific Studies

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Mobility and Migration for Samoans in American Football


Dr. Lisa Uperesa
Phone: 093737599 xt 84291


Te Wānanga o Waipapa - Pacific Studies

Project code: ART025

On any given Sunday in the North American fall, network football broadcasts flash names like Marcus Mariota, Manti Teʻo, and Domata Peko on televisions across the United States and around the world.  In line with its rising visibility and local success stories, gridiron football has emerged as a beacon promising socioeconomic mobility for many Pasifika people. Accordingly, American Samoa and U.S.-based Samoan communities have turned to the sport to produce their newest cash crop: sport labour. Drawing on ethnography, media analysis, and qualitative research, this project 1) examines the place of this new migration stream within the larger genealogy of transnational Samoan movement, and 2) analyses emergent paths of sport migration and social mobility as shaped by Samoan sensibilities, global formations of power, legacies of U.S. colonialism and development, media representations, and trajectories of political economy.  This research captures the story of socioeconomic transformation, sport development, and transnational movement that unfolds in late twentieth century Tutuila and linked overseas communities.

Scholar’s Work

The Summer Scholar will be tasked with assisting with preparation of the book manuscript.  This will include final updates for selected research sections, which may entail additional literature review and online research or reviewing selected interviews.  Other duties may include checking and formatting citations according to publisher guidelines, requesting permission for images, providing general editorial assistance, and indexing.  The Summer Scholar’s work will be acknowledged in the published book manuscript.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

Ideal applicants should be independent, self-motivated, with demonstrated initiative and time management skills. They should have excellent written and oral communication skills, learn quickly, have attention to detail, and be open to new training.  Proficiency in Word, and ability to work with different scholarly citation styles required.  Background or familiarity with Pacific Studies or anthropology a plus; Background or familiarity with American football also a plus.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.