School of Social Sciences


School Staff

Morgan Tuimalealiifano
  • Morgan Tuimalealiifano
    Job Info
    School of Social Sciences
    Position Title:
    Associate Professor
    Contact Info
    Phone #:
    +679 32 32616
    Fax #:
  • Personal Info

    Name: Ato’ese Morgan TUIMALEALI'IFANO

    Nationality/Citizen: Samoan and Fijian

    Email address:

    He is a member of the several village lineages of Sāmoa. He has a Ph.D. from ANU-USP.

    His Ph.D Thesis Title is “Agaifanua ma Aganu'u fa'a Samoa: a history of a tama’aiga title dispute in Samoa.” Published in 2006 and re-printed 2008 as O Tama a ‘Aiga: the Politics of succession to Samoa’s Paramount Titles, Institute of Pacific Studies, USP.

    He is Associate Professor in History and Coordinator of History discipline in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Law, the University of the South Pacific. He is a member of the Pacific History Association having served as its past president and convenor of two conferences in 2002 in Samoa and 2008 in Fiji.

    Teaching Areas

    Pacific history from 19th century to 20th century, Internal rivalry over leadership succession as a factor in loss of autonomy and colonial control, Pan Pacific identity for Pacific Islanders of multiple ethnic ancestry.

    Research Interests

    His teaching and research interests are indigenous and introduced governance systems with special emphasis on the loss of autonomy in the 19th century and the possibility of losing it yet again. His post-graduate course on Pacific Island diasporic communities explores a Pan Pacific identity for the region's citizens in a future united Pacific Islands.

    Administration Responsibilities

    He is the current Head of School of Social Sciences which offers six academic programs; History, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Gender Studies and Pacific Policing. He has served on the University Council from 2007-2009 and is a current member of Senate.

    PhD and Masters Supervision

    1. Sister Alaima Talu of Kiribati – Awarded MA degree in 2010.
      Topic: 'A history of Catholic Education in Kiribati with special focus on the education of girls at Taborio'.
    2. Setoki Qalubau of Fiji – MA candidate.
      Topic: 'From Vatoa to Viro: Lauans Diaspora in Ovalau'.
    3. Telea Kamu Potogi of Samoa – MA candidate and submitting in 2011.
      Topic: 'O Tiafau o le Malae o le Fa'autugatagi a Samoa: The Impact of the Land and Titles Court's on Samoan Society'.
    4. Betty Kamoe Manuofetoa of Rotuma – MA candidate.
      Topic: 'Muakiang ne Hanua e Rotuma: An epistemological Journey into the Mosega es'itu'u System: The case of Juju, 1790-1970 and 2007 – 2011'.
    5. Rev. Sione Veituna of Tonga – PhD candidate.
      Topic: 'The politics of religion in Tonga: The Ecclesiastic Schism in Tongan Methodism'




    (Rep) O Tama a ‘Aiga: Politics of Succession to Samoa’s Paramount Titles, Preface, 8 chapters, appendices, bibliography and index, Institute of Pacific Publication, University of the South Pacific. (135 pp), ISBN 978-982-02-0377-8 RRP $29.95


    Samoans in Fiji: Migration, Identity and Communication. Institute of Pacific Studies, Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa Extension Centres of the University of the South Pacific. (247pp). ISBN 982-02-0019-9-RRP $20.00

    Chapters in Books


    (forthcoming) 'Cultural Groups in Fiji', Unit 1 for History prescription, Fiji School Leaving Certificate, Ministry of Education, Government of the Republic of Fiji.


    “Voreqe Bainimarama: A Biography”. In Brittanica Book of the Year 2008, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Inc. 331 N. Lasalle Street, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


    “The Vanishing Matai in Fiji and the Poverty of Leadership”. In Telesia Lafotanoa and Asofou So’o (eds) Fa’a Matai in the World, Centre of Samoan Studies, National University of Samoa, Apia.


    “Indigenous Titles Disputes: What they Meant for 2006 Election.” In Jon Fraenkel and Stewart Firth (eds) From Election to Coup in Fiji: The 2006 Campaign and its Aftermath, Institute of Pacific Studies Publication, USP and Asia-Pacific Press, ANU.


    “Matai Titles and Modern Corruption in Samoa: Costs, Expectations and Consequences for Families and Society.” In Stewart Firth (ed) Globalization and Governance in the Pacific Islands, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program Studies in State and Society in the Pacific, No. 1, ANU E Press.

    Articles in Refereed Journals


    “Who Will Be the Next Malietoa? 19th Century History and 21st Century Politics over a Tama’aiga Title of Samoa.” The Journal of Pacific History, [In Press]


    “Challenges of Writing and Publishing History in Samoa”, The Journal of Samoan Studies, Vol. 1. pp. 51-62.


    Aia Tatau  ma Afioga Tutasi: ‘Aiga versus Tama a Aiga: manipulation of old and new practices, an MP for Falelatai and Samatau in Samoa’s 2001 Elections: Human Rights versus Village lineage, Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 36, No. 3, OUP, Melbourne, pp. 317-325.


    Veiqati Vakaviti and Fiji Islands 1999 General Elections, Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 35, No. 3, OUP, Melbourne, pp. 253-267.


    `Titular disputes and national leadership in Samoa', Journal of Pacific History, Vol. 33, No. 1, OUP, Melbourne, pp. 96-103.

    Conference Papers

    In 2010, he presented three papers at international conferences in USA, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands.

    1. 19th World History Association Conference on the Theme, Pacific History in World History, 24-27 June 2010, Marriot Mission Valley, San Diego, California, USA.
      Title: Teaching Pacific History in World History - What is USP doing in Pacific history?, How can we do it better?, What do we need? The case of the Pacific islands, and some examples from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.
    2. A Festschrift for Ron Crocombe, A conference to celebrate the life and achievemens of Ron Crocombe, the University of the South Pacific, Rarotonga, 12-13 August 2010
      Title: Regional co-operation and integration and regional identity: Pan Pacific and Pacific Islander.
    3. 19th Biennial Pacific History Association Conference, Theme – Pacific at the Crossroads, Reflecting the Past, Adjusting the Present and Directing the Future', The University of Goroka, Goroka, Papua New Guinea, 12-16 September 2010.
      Title: Teaching of Pacific History in the Secondary School Curriculum. - 'Disconnecting and Reconnecting: Decolonizing and recolonising the Secondary School History Curriculum, the Case of Fiji's Form 5 and 6 History prescription'.

    Professional Affiliations

    • Member of the University Council 2006-2010.
    • Member of Senate.
    • Chair of the School of Social Sciences Board of Studies.

    Community Engagement

    Tribal and Clan Affiliation in Sāmoa


    1. Sā Lilomaiavā of Palauli district, Sā Malietoā of Sapapali'i village, Sā Luamanuvaē and Sā Muagututi'ā of Salelologa village and Sā Tofilaū of Iva village, all of Fa'asaleleaga.


    1. Sā Tagaloā, Sā Tupuā and Sā Tuimaleali'ifanō of Falelatai, Sā So'oa'emalelagī and Sā Va'ā of Leulumoega, A'ana District.

    Professional Associations



    Trustee, Pacific Association of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (PATVET)


    Principal Convenor of the 18th Biennial Pacific History Association Conference, Laucala Bay Campus.


    Co-Convenor of the Fifteenth Biennial Pacific History Association Conference held at the National University of Samoa, Papaigalagala campus, Apia, Samoa 9-13 December 2002.


    Member of the International Council for the Study of the Pacific Islands on behalf of USP


    Co-Convenor of the Church History Conference to commemorate Pacific Theological College's 40th Anniversary.


    Member of the Executive Committee of the Pacific History Association


    President of the Pacific History Association and Chair of Executive Committee


    Member of the Tongan History Association


    Member of the Pacific History Association


    Member of Pacific Islands Political Science Association.



    Chair, Senate Sub Committee on University Debates


    Elected Member Representing Non-Professorial Academic and Comparable Staff on the USP Council


    Elected Member of Staff Policy Committee


    Elected Member of Non-Professorial and Academic and Comparable Staff on the USP Senate

    Service to the Pacific Community


    President, Association of USP Staff


    Vice President, Association of USP Staff and Chair of Grievance Committee


    Executive Member of the USP Staff Association

    Publications in USP Electronic Research Repository
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School of Social Sciences
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