Alexander Mawyer


Associate Professor,
School of Pacific and Asian Studies

Professor Alexander Mawyer of the Center for Pacific Island Studies (CPIS) is known by colleagues as an extraordinarily gifted scholar and teacher with an international reputation for academic excellence. His publication, Islands of French Speaking Oceania (2019), brings together academics across French-speaking Pacific to create a student-centered digital text to be downloaded freely anywhere Pacific Island Studies are taught. Dr. Mawyer prioritizes students, seeing himself as an educator first and foremost. His work with large numbers of graduate students in nine departments campus-wide also extends globally. He is described as having a sweeping, intellectual grasp on Biocultural Diversity that melds science, history, anthropology, and linguistics. At the heart of his pedagogy is the belief that learning is generated in conversation with others—through essaying, charting, comparing, and critiquing—to cultivate a conversational, productive pedagogy in contrast to an adversarial, consumer one. A student writes, “Professor Mawyer’s teaching ethos and praxis is radical trust, empathy, and transparency. He builds vivacious learning communities, fosters bold and ethical research, and empowers students to become self-actualized versions of themselves.”

School of Pacific and Asian Studies