Category Archives: Uncategorized


We’re thrilled to announce the schedule for Brown Bag Biography, Fall 2022. As with the last few semesters, all of our talks will be presented online via Zoom, meaning that anyone, anywhere, can join!

This semester, however, some of our talks will be in hybrid format, with the option to attend the presentations in person in Biomed B-104 (UH Mānoa). We look forward to seeing some of you at the Center again!

We will also record and post some of the talks. You can find some past presentations on our YouTube channel here.





Fall 2022 SCHEDULE

September 21: “History in Crisis, History in Focus—What History does Hawaiʻi need, and Why does it Matter?”
Shannon Cristobal, Director of Hawaiʻi History Day and K-12 Humanities Programs, Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities
Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua, Professor of Political Science, Indigenous Politics Program
Amy Perruso, Hawaiʻi State House Representative, District 46, DOE Social Studies and Civics Teacher, former secretary-treasurer, HSTA
Moderated by Davianna Pōmaikaʻi McGregor, Professor of Ethnic Studies and Director, Center for Oral History, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition 
NB: Time: 6:00–7:30 pm HST
Zoom registration link:

September 23: “Hawaiian History and Culture K-12 and Beyond—Across the Curriculum, Across the Pae ʻĀina”
Whitney Aragaki, Science Teacher, Waiakea High School, State Teacher of the Year 2022
Patricia Espiritu Halagao, Professor and Chair, Curriculum Studies, College of Education, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Cheryl Kaʻuhane Lupenui, President and CEO, Kohala Center, and Founder, The Leader Project
Christopher Pike, Fifth Grade Teacher, Chiefess Kapiʻolani Elementary School
Lyz Soto, Communications Officer, Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities
Moderated by Jonathan Kay Kamakawiwoʻole Osorio, Dean, Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sponsored by Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī Coalition 
NB: Time: 6:00–7:30 pm HST
Zoom registration link:

September 29: “Peeking Behind the Curtains at Catherine the Great: Celebrity in the Eighteenth Century” 
Ruth Dawson, Prof. Emerita, Dept. of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, UH Mānoa; Honorary Fellow, Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London
Presentation Format: Hybrid (Biomed B-104 and Zoom)
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 981 6019 5964, Password: 651017

October 6: “The Unimagined Journey: Nova Scotia to Hawai‘i”
Dr. Clem Guthro, University Librarian UH Manoa and Interim Director and Publisher, University of Hawai‘i Press
Presentation Format: Hybrid (Biomed B-104 and Zoom)
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 945 3510 0181, Password: 779100

October 13: “The Representation of Space in Edward Said’s Out of Place
Lili Chen, PhD Student in Institute of World Literature, Peking University, specializing in American Immigrant Autobiography
Presentation Format: Hybrid (Biomed B-104 and Zoom)
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 940 7240 5841, Password: 438940

October 20: “Crafting a Life: Writing the Biography of a 20th-Century Woman Artist Born and Raised in Hawai‘i”
Dr. Sharon Weiner, Department of English, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Presentation Format: Hybrid (Biomed B-104 and Zoom)
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 985 4722 1272, Password: 591805

October 27: “From Masking to Masquerade: Autofictional Forms and Effects in Diachronic Perspective”
Dr. Alexandra Effe, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Oslo.
Presentation Format: Hybrid (Biomed B-104 and Zoom) 
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 961 7286 9118, Password: 336906

November 3: Graphic Medicine: Stories Drawn from Illness, Health, and Caregiving”
Suzy Becker, Author/Illustrator and New Yorker Cartoonist
Jared Gardner, Professor of English and Director of Popular Culture Studies, The Ohio State University
Crystal Yin Lie, Assistant Professor of Comparative World Literature, Cal State University, Long Beach
JoAnn Purcell, Faculty and Program Coordinator, Illustration, Seneca College
Susan Squier, Brill Professor Emeritus of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English, Penn State University and Board Member Graphic Medicine Collective  
Julia Watson, Professor Emerita of Comparative Studies, The Ohio State University
Presentation Format: Zoom
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 976 3202 0673, Password: 813967

November 10: “Atoll Depth: The Case of the Funafuti Expedition, 1896–98”
Dr. Carla Manfredi, Assistant Professor, Department of English, The University of Winnipeg 
Presentation Format: Hybrid (Biomed B-104 and Zoom) 
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 977 9339 5796, Password: 921205

November 17: “In Community with Our Shared Place: A Teacher’s Journey”
Whitney Aragaki (she/they), 2022 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year, 2022 National Teacher of the Year Finalist
Presentation Format: Zoom
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 987 6966 5844, Password: 774603

November 24: Thanksgiving

December 1: “He Aloha No Kaualilinoe: The Nūpepa Writings of a Kanaka from Mānoa”
J. Hauʻoli Lorenzo-Elarco, Instructor of Hawaiian Language, Honolulu Community College; PhD Student, Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Presentation Format: Zoom 
Time: 12:00–1:15 pm HST
Zoom link:
Zoom Meeting ID: 974 6359 3162, Password: 606520

The Value of Hawaiʻi 3: Hulihia, the Turning published online

The Value of Hawaiʻi 3: Hulihia, the Turning, the latest volume in the Biography Monograph series from CBR and the University of Hawaiʻi Press, is now available free online! On ScholarSpace here: & The print version will be published in February 2021. More information here:

“Hulihia” refers to massive upheavals that change the landscape, overturn the normal, reverse the flow, and sweep away the prevailing or assumed. We live in such days. Pandemics. Threats to ʻāina. Political dysfunction, cultural appropriation, and disrespect. But also powerful surges toward sustainability, autonomy, and sovereignty.

The first two volumes of The Value of Hawaiʻi (Knowing the Past, Facing the Future and Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions) ignited public conversations, testimony, advocacy, and art for political and social change. These books argued for the value of connecting across our different expertise and experiences, to talk about who we are and where we are going.

In a world in crisis, what does Hawaiʻi’s experience tell us about how to build a society that sees opportunities in the turning and changing times? As islanders, we continue to grapple with experiences of racism, colonialism, environmental damage, and the costs of modernization, and bring to this our own striking creativity and histories for how to live peacefully and productively together. Steered by the four scholars who edited the previous volumes, The Value of Hawaiʻi 3: Hulihia, the Turning offers multigenerational visions of a Hawaiʻi not defined by the United States. Community leaders, cultural practitioners, artists, educators, and activists share exciting paths forward for the future of Hawaiʻi, on topics such as education, tourism and other economies, elder care, agriculture and food, energy and urban development, the environment, sports, arts and culture, technology, and community life.

These visions ask us to recognize what we truly value about our home, and offer a wealth of starting points for critical and productive conversations together in this time of profound and permanent change.

We’re hiring!

Aloha Friends,

The Center for Biographical Research seeks a managing editor to join our team of editors, and we are hoping you can help spread the word about this exciting opportunity!

The job description for this full-time, permanent position can be found below. 

This position is designed for those who are invested in life writing and editing, and the position comes with travel opportunities and benefits.

The ad for the Editor position (#80851) is posted here.

**The closing date is 06/29/2018 at 11:59 PM.**

Please note that all applicants will have to apply on this site.


The CBR Team

Congratulations to Hawaiʻi History Day youth participants

Hoʻomaikaʻi to all the youth who participated in this year’s Hawai’i History Day State Fair. It is so important for young people to help us analyze, remember, and tell histories.

Some prizes were given by various organizations for projects that use biographical research, oral history, that focus on specific communities and themes. Here is our Craig Howes presenting the Center for Biographical Research prizes. For more information about this annual event, see:

M4BL Gathering

Dear Contributors to our Special Issue on the Movement for Black Lives,
Dear Community Leaders, Community Healers,
Dear Listeners and Writers and Fighters and Gardeners,
and Parents and Friends and Lovers,

Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves with each other and with us.
Thank you for your courage to face death and life.
Thank you for making time for fire and dancing and singing and breathing.
Thank you for saying: “Healing is going for the things that scare us,” (Rhaisa Williams).
Thank you for the resolve with which you meet this gutwrenching moment.
Thank you for taking care of your own bodies.
Thank you for your unapologetic aliveness, in all the colors.
Thank you for traveling far and connecting back.
Thank you for saying hard things to the people you love.
Thank you for the brilliance you embody.
Thank you for the welcoming circles you hold for each other.
Thank you for the boundaries you hold for each other.
Thank you for writing lives and saving lives, and reminding us of that connection.
Thank you for pushing us into intensity, into rigor, into a better world.

It was a blessing to share August 2017 with you.
We can’t wait for all the hard work to be out in print.
–The Center for Biographical Research

–photo of our special issue contributors enjoying the Black August People’s Feast put together by The Pōpolo Project

Release of Biography Issue 40.2

Biography 40.2 is now available on Project Muse.
Here is what you can find in the issue:

Editor’s Note

In Remembrance: Barbara Harlow (1948–2017)
Laura E. Lyons, Barbara Harlow: A Remembrance via Conferences,
Readings, and Questions
S. Shankar, Remembering Barbara Harlow: Resistance and Life Writing


Sam Ferguson, Why Does Life Writing Talk about Science?: Foucault, Rousseau, and the Early Journal Intime
This article examines the reasons why life writing makes use of discourses from the natural sciences. It focuses on the emergence of autobiography and the journal intime in France at the moment of a fundamental shift toward the modern episteme (identified by Foucault), which is both historical and person-centered.

Kathryn Sederberg, Writing through Crisis: Time, History, Futurity in German Diaries of the Second World War
This article considers how diary writing mediates temporal consciousness, especially during periods of crisis. Through examples of German civilian diaries written at the end of the Second World War, I show how diaries reflect changing notions of history and futurity, producing radically presentist modes of self-representation.

Meliz Ergin, Derrida’s Otobiographies
This essay approaches autobiography studies through a philosophical perspective and explores Derrida’s notion of “otobiography” to elaborate on the twin problem of identity and writing. After examining the autobiographical thread in Derrida’s work and raising questions pertaining to genre and autonomy, the essay focuses on Monolingualism of the Other; or, the Prosthesis of Origin to show how Derrida’s theories of selfhood, language, and writing work themselves out in practice.


The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an Ethiopian Woman, by Galawdewos, translated and edited by Wendy Laura Belcher and Michael Kleiner   Reviewed by Andrew Crislip

Speaking of the Self: Gender, Performance, and Autobiography in South Asia, edited by Anshu Malhotra and Siobhan Lambert-Hurley
Reviewed by Monika Browarczyk

Women Write Iran: Nostalgia and Human Rights from the Diaspora,
by Nima Naghibi
Reviewed by Sanaz Fotouhi

Navigating Loss in Women’s Contemporary Memoir,
by Amy-Katerini Prodromou
Reviewed by Marta Bladek

The Comics of Joe Sacco: Journalism in a Visual World, edited by Daniel Worden
Reviewed by Mihaela Precup

After Identity: Mennonite Writing in North America, by Robert Zacharias
Reviewed by Jesse Hutchison

The Rise of the Memoir, by Alex Zwerdling
Reviewed by Marianne Hirsch

Fall 2017 Biography Brown Bag Series

We are pleased to announce our Thursday Brown Bag series lineup for Fall 2017. Bring your lunch, bring a friend, and join us every week. Our speakers share about their fascinating and heartfelt projects that deepen and stretch the field of life writing.

THURSDAYS, 12:00 NOON–1:15 P.M.
Center for Biographical Research • BioMed B106 • 1960 East-West Road
956-3774 •
Unless otherwise noted, all events will be held in our new Brown Bag gathering space: Kuykendall 409A


Sept 14 “ʻElua Maka Kila: How Joseph Kānepuʻu and Joseph Poepoe Contributed to the Life of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi”
Noenoe Silva, Indigenous Politics, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa
Co-sponsored by the Indigenous Politics Program
*Please Note: This session will be held in Kuykendall 410
Book Launch event! Books for sale by the UH Bookstore.

Sept 21 “Hanohano ka laulima ma ka hakumele : honoring the community through hakumele
Daven Chang, Hawaiʻinuiākea and Dept of Anthropology, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

***Friday Sept 22, 2017, 3 pm, Tokioka Room (Moore 309) “Women’s Voices, Women Speak: Okinawa, Hawai‘i, and Demilitarization,” a presentation by Ellen-Rae Cachola, Kim Compoc, Kasha Ho, and Aiko Yamashiro. An event of the Center for Okinawan Studies, co-sponsored by the Center for Biographical Research

Sept 28 “Mehameha wale nō ʻo Puʻuloa, i ka hele a Kaʻahupāhau: Lonely was Puʻuloa when Kaʻahupāhau went away”
Kyle Kajihiro, Dept. of Geography, Dept of Ethnic Studies, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa
Co-sponsored by the Dept. of Ethnic Studies

Oct 5 “Pinay: Culture Bearers of the Filipino Diaspora”
Virgie Chattergy, College of Education, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

Oct 12 “Little House in the Bush: Afterlives of Vailima”
Carla Manfredi, Dept of English, University of Winnipeg

Oct 19 “Destiny: The Secret Operations of the Yodogō Exiles”
Patricia Steinhoff, Dept of Sociology, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

Oct 26 “Pacific Ghost Stories: John Kneubuhl and Oral History”
Otto Heim, School of English, University of Hong Kong

***Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 6:30 pm, public lecture by Steven Salaita, author of Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine. An event of the UH Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine, co-sponsored by the Center for Biographical Research.

Nov 2 “Ida May Pope, Partnered with the Queen to become a Pioneer for Hawai‘i’s Daughters”
Sandra Bonura, School of Education, Azusa Pacific University

***Friday, November 3, 2017, 2:30 pm, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, roundtable discussion with Palestinian and Kānaka Maoli scholar/organizers, more details TBA. An event of the UH Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine, co-sponsored by the Center for Biographical Research.

Nov 9 “Hawaiian Ancestry: Positioning Indigeneity in the Naʻi Aupuni Biographies”
Lauren Nishimura, Dept of English, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

Nov 16 “American Tutelage Gone Awry: Antonio Taguba, Filipino Americanism, and the Critique of Torture”
Kim Compoc, Dept of English and Dept of Ethnic Studies, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa
Co-sponsored by the Dept. of Ethnic Studies

Nov 30 “The Animal That Therefore I Am Not: The Politics of Animal (Auto)Biography from Black Beauty to Cat Internet Videos.”
Anna Feuerstein, Dept of English, University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

Goodbye Henke Hall

Sixteen years ago, the Center for Biographical Research moved to Henke Hall when our previous home, a cottage on the grounds of the East-West Center, was demonished. Last week, Henke Hall suffered the same fate (see video link).

Henke was always about to be taken down, so we came to believe that it would last forever. To our surprise, It did not.

We are now housed in the Biomedical Building, a gigantic, poured concrete building with central air conditioning that probably wouldn’t come down if they tried.

So we’re happy in our new home—photos to come!—but we still bid farewell to the rickety, beaten-up clutch of rooms that made so much of the Center’s work possible.

–Craig Howes, Center for Biographical Research

Biography 40.1 Caste and Life Narratives

Our latest special issue, on Caste and Life Narratives, guest edited by S. Shankar and Charu Gupta, is an unprecedented conversation between life writing, and Dalit Studies and Critical Caste Studies.

This special issue is dedicated to Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar who committed suicide in January 2016, and whose suicide letter is reprinted in the introduction to this issue. As Shankar and Gupta write: “how does one not read such a life narrative? Wasnʻt Vemula precisely trying to get us to attend seriously to the issues that brought him to his difficult decision? Not reading seems equally a dishonoring of Vemula’s life, activist spirit, and anquished cry from the heart” (13).

Mahalo nui to all our authors and editors for their dedication to bring this issue to us, and reminding us of the ongoing struggle to care for lives that are seen as unworthy, invisible, less valuable than the rest.

Available online at Project Muse ( or hard copies through UH Press: (

Volume 40, Number 1, Winter 2017

Editors’ Introduction
“‘My Birth is My Fatal Accident’: Introduction to Caste and Life Narratives,” pp. 1-15
S. Shankar, Charu Gupta

“Speaking Self, Writing Caste: Recovering the Life of Santram BA,” pp. 16-43
Charu Gupta
“The Dalit Personal Narrative in Hindi: Reflections on a Long Literary Lineage,” pp. 44-63
Tapan Basu
“Tamil Dalit Literature: Aesthetics, Politics, and Life Narratives,” pp. 64-76
Parthasarathi Muthukkaruppan
“Bending Biography: The Creative Intrusions of ‘Real Lives’ in Dalit Fiction,” pp. 77-92
Laura Brueck

“Periyar as a Biopic: Star Persona, Historical Events, and Politics,” pp. 93-115
Swarnavel Eswaran
“Affective Returns: Biopics as Life Narratives,” pp. 116-139
Bindu Menon
“Caste Life Narratives, Visual Representation, And Protected Ignorance,” pp. 140-169
Y. S. Alone
“Mangala Bansode and the Social Life of Tamasha: Caste, Sexuality, and Discrimination in Modern Maharashtra,” pp. 170-198
Shailaja Paik

“Brahmanical Activism As Eco-Casteism: Reading The Life Narratives Of Bindeshwar Pathak, Sulabh International, And ‘Liberated’ Dalits,” pp. 199-221
Mukul Sharma
“Invisibility of ‘Other’ Dalits and Silence in the Law,” pp. 222-243
Sumit Baudh

“Stories Of Dalit Diaspora: Migration, Life Narratives, And Caste in the Us,” pp. 244-264
Shweta Majumdar and Anjana Narayan
“Caste in Japan: The Burakumin,” pp. 265-287
June A. Gordon

Select Bibliography, pp. 289-292

Biography at IABA Europe 2017!

We are so excited to announce that all three co-editors of Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly will be presenting at IABA Europe 2017: Life Writing, Europe, and New Media! If you’ll be at the conference, don’t forget to check them out!

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out this panel for a preview of what’s to come in the next special issue of Biography, which will be on Caste & Life Narrative! One of the guest editors, S. Shankar, will be joined by three of the special issue contributors: Laura Brueck, Swarnavel Eswaran, and Francesca Orsini! Special thanks to J. Nandakumar for allowing us to use his terrific painting both on the cover of and within the special issue!

You can see the full program of the conference here:…/ce…/lifewriting/IABA-Europe-2017.aspx