Guido Carlo Pigliasco

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Current Research
General Interests
Licenses and Fellowships
Courses Taught


I received my J.D. (1989) at Università degli Studi of Milano, Italy, with a thesis in sociology of law on the legacy of my great great uncle Pietro Ellero, and after practicing for several years international and trademark law I came to the University of Hawai'i for an M.A. (2002) and Ph.D (2007) in cultural anthropology. My dissertation fieldwork was on the island of Beqa, Fiji. I have conducted research also in Samoa, Hawai'i, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Rapa Nui, and Palau on the cultural property, and commodification of intangible expressions of culture.

I have written ten documentary films on contemporary Oceania for Italian television (1992, 1993, 1994), and served as a foreign correspondent for Italian newspapers and magazines. I have recently joined the Italian Program at the Department of Literature and Languages of Europe and the Americas at University of Hawai'i at Manoa to teach Italian language and culture, and I serve on the board of EuroCinema Hawai'i (in association with Hawai'i International Film Festival) as Director of Educational and Cultural Affairs. I also serve as a Foreign Law Consultant with the Supreme court of the State of Hawai'i, and several law firms in Honolulu.

Current Research:

I am currently involved in several projects, some of which are offshoots from my original work on vilavilairevo (Fijian firewalking ceremony), mainly looking into the theorization and application of intangible cultural heritage sui generis policies in Fiji and Oceania combining academic with applied work.

One of them is following the social developments and implications of the A Ituvatuva Ni Vakadidike E Sawau (The Sawau Project), a multimedia I directed in 2005 produced and narrated by the Sawau people of Beqa, supported by a grant from the iTaukei Institute of Fijian Language & Culture.

More recently, I am co-authoring Tweets from the Field: Ethnographic Updates from Asia and the Pacific, a textbook project for University of Hawaii Press on contemporary fieldwork in Asia and the Pacific Islands.

General Interests

inalienable cultural properties and intangible cultural heritage, indigenous cultural media, commodification and tourism, representations of the Pacific in the media, and Italian cultural studies.

Professional Licenses and Fellowships

Italian Bar Association
American Bar Association
Italian Journalist Association
Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i (Foreign Law Consultant)
Explorers Club, New York (Fellow)

Selected Writings:

Forthcoming. “ 'Are They Evil?': Denominational Competition and Cultural Demonization on a Fijian Island.” Submitted to People and Culture in Oceania (official journal of The Japanese Society for Oceanic Studies).

Forthcoming. “The Strange Case of Tikiko: Negotiating Sentiment and Inalienable Possessions on a Fijian Island.” In Tweets from the Field: Ethnographic Updates from Asia and the Pacific, Conran, Young, Pigliasco and Finney eds. Honolulu: Hawai‘i University Press.

In press. “Navigando Oltre Confini Epistemologici: La Protezione del Patrimonio Culturale Intangibile in Figi e in Oceania.” Ricerca Folkloristica.

2011. “Are the Grassroots Growing? Intangible Cultural heritage Lawmaking in Fiji and Oceania.” In Made in Oceania: Social Movements, Cultural Heritage and the State in the Pacific, K. Rio and E. Hviding, eds. Pp. 322-337. Oxford: Sean Kingston.

2010. (Co-written with with Thorolf Lipp) “The Islands Have Memory: Reflections on Two Collaborative Projects in Contemporary Oceania”, The Contemporary Pacific 23(2):371-410.

2010. We Branded Ourselves Long Ago: Intangible Cultural Property and Commodification of Fijian Firewalking.” Oceania (80)2:253-273.

2010. “Na Vilavilairevo: The Fijian Firewalking Ceremony.” Domodomo 23(1-2), Fiji Museum: Suva, Fiji.

2009. “Intangible Cultural Property, Tangible Databases, Visible Debates: The Sawau Project.” International Journal of Cultural Property 16(3): 255-69.

2007. “Visual Anthropology and Jurisprudence: The Sawau Project.” Anthropology News (48)1:65.

2005. “Lost in Translation: from Omiyage to Souvenir, Beyond Aesthetics of the Japanese Office Ladies’ Gaze in Hawai‘i.” Journal of Material Culture 10(2): 177-196.

2000. Paradisi Inquieti. Torino: EDT

Courses Taught

Culture and Humanity
Cultural Anthropology
Pacific Island Cultures
Anthropology of Tourism
Visual Anthropology
Elementary Italian I, II
Intermediate Italian I, II