On 17 January, the Pacific Writers’ Connection and UHM Department of English sponsored “Eye of the Albatross: Seminar with Carl Safina.” Dr Carl Safina is author of Eye of the Albatross (2003) and president of the Blue Ocean Institute.
The Department of Ethnic Studies’ Spring Colloquium Series began on 21 January with “Polynesia is Not a Project, Not a Place: Regenerating Indigenous Futures” by Dr Maile Arvin, University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz. Dr Arvin’s presentation examined how settler colonialism is much more complicated than a demand for Indigenous peoples to “go away,” and how we are all in the story of settler colonialism, even if we do not want to be there. She shared an eclectic visual archive of depictions of settlers, natives, and immigrants or “arrivants.” The event was cosponsored by Department of Women’s Studies and CPIS.
The Department of Ethnic Studies Colloquium continued on 22 January with “To Uplift Mana: International Indigenous Research Partnerships in the Pacific” by Everdina Fuli, Dr Vili Nosa, and Dr Jemaima Tiatia-Seath from Te Whare Kura Thematic Research Initiative, University of Auckland. Academic units at UH Mānoa, Massey University, and the University of Auckland have entered into a tripartite indigenous partnership in an effort to uplift the mana and aspirations of indigenous peoples and their communities. Members of the Te Whare Kura Thematic Research Initiative discussed the overall initiative as well as specific examples of research that have arisen from it. The event was cosponsored by the Department of Native Hawaiian Health, John A Burns School of Medicine, and CPIS.
On 23 January, Geoffrey White presented “The Coastwatcher Mythos: The Politics and Poetics of Pacific War Memory” in the Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series. Geoff discussed a recent project to construct a war memorial commemorating indigenous contributions to the war in Solomon Islands, as well as efforts to create World War II tourism in that country, in order to reflect on the problems and potential for decolonizing the history and memory of World War II more than seventy years after that epic struggle. Through the presentation, he argued that war memory—the public commemoration of combat histories—systematically mutes or distorts other histories (and histories of others) caught up in and entangled with histories of war. The event was cosponsored by CPIS. Videos of this presentation and others in the Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series are available at www.anthropology.hawaii.edu/news-events/colloquium/archive/s14.html.
The Department of English’s Creative Writing Program launched its New Oceania Literary Series on 23 January with visiting writer Dan Taulapapa McMullin, who read from his book of poems Coconut Milk (2013), alongside several graduate student poets: D Kealiʻi MacKenzie (CPIS MA student), Tagi Qolouvaki, Noʻukahauʻoli Revilla, and Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio.
On 31 January, the center continued the series of discussions with alumni and students focused on careers using Pacific studies. “Employing Pacific Studies in the Arts” highlighted creative career paths with reflections from CPIS alumni Margo Vitarelli (CPIS MA 1985) and Ann Marie Kirk (CPIS MA 2010) and MA students Jason Mateo and Melvin Won Pat-Borja; the panel was chaired by MA candidate Healoha Johnston.
Jason Mateo, Ann Marie Kirk, Healoha Johnson, Melvin Won Pat-Borja, and Margo Vitarelli.
Photo by Katherine Higgins.
Professor Margaret Jolly (Australian National University) visited the center on 4 February and participated in a roundtable with Albert Refiti (Auckland University of Technology) and UHM students and faculty.
Also on 4 February, poet Karlo Mila read in the New Oceania Literary Series. Alice Te Punga Somerville hosted the event, and local Tongan poets Misa Tupou, Kat Lobendahn, Tagi Qolouvaki, and Lee Kava (CPIS MA student) shared work in response to Karlo’s poems. The event was cosponsored by the Department of English’s Creative Writing Program and CPIS.
The center hosted a talk-story with visiting scholar Edvard Hviding (University of Bergen) on 11 February.
On 13–15 February, the 13th East-West Center International Graduate Student Conference on the Asia-Pacific Region was held at the Imin International Conference Center. Brian Alofaituli (CPIS MA 2011) was the conference chair and Kenneth Gofigan Kuper (CPIS MA 2014) presented “Tulaika i Fino’, Tulaika i Hinasso: Changing Minds Through Language.”
A conference titled “Asia and the Pacific in German Culture” was held at UHM Center for Korean Studies 14–16 February. The conference explored Germany’s engagement with Asia and the Pacific in travel, colonies, missions, race, politics, philosophy, literature, and art. Sai Bhatawadekar (UHM Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures), Fata Simanu-Klutz (UHM Samoan Language and Literature), and Christina Gerhardt (UHM Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas) convened the conference. CPIS alumni presenters included Monica LaBriola (CPIS MA 2006) “German Copra Traders in the Marshallese Imaginary, 1861-1885;” Lorenz Gonschor (CPIS MA 2007) “Tonga and the Friendship Treaty with the German Empire;” and Fata Simanu-Klutz (CPIS MA 2001) “Sāmoa and the German Presence.”
Also on 14 February, the center participated in an event titled “Roots, Resistance, Romance,” with activities for 1 Billion Rising in support of Women and Climate Justice. The day included native plant give aways, poster making, taro sampling, and a weaving demonstration by CPIS BA student Maria Barcinas. The event was in collaboration with Loli Aniau Makaʻala Aniau (LAMA), Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, CPIS, Pacific RISA, Ka Papa Loʻi o Kānewai, and UHM Sustainability Council.
Micky Huihui, one of the event coordinators, with her poster. Photo by Malia Nobrega-Olivera.
On 18 February, the Creative Writing Program’s New Oceania Literary Series hosted a reading by writer and scholar Sudesh Mishra, University of the South Pacific, along with UHM Department of English students and faculty Rajiv Mohabir, Anjoli Roy, and Subramanian Shankar.
On 19 February, CPIS hosted “Leaving Home, Going ‘Home’: Second Generation Tongan Identity Journeys” by Helen Lee, La Trobe University. Dr Lee discussed the particular experiences of “home” for overseas-born Tongan youth who are sent to attend high school in Tonga in response to concerns about their behavior. For these young people, going “home” to Tonga is often perceived as a form of punishment, and this is reinforced by the highly ambivalent welcome they receive. The seminar was chaired by CPIS student Lee Kava, and a panel of respondents included Patricia Fitita (PhD candidate in UHM Department of Anthropology); Lose JʻNelle ʻUluʻave (graduate of UH Mānoa); and Siufaga Lousiale Kava (BA student at Chaminade University). The Department of Anthropology and Department of Ethnic Studies cosponsored the event.
Panel participants (from left to right) Lee Kava, Siufaga Lousiale Kava, Patricia Fifita, Dr Helen Lee, and JʻNelle ʻUluʻave. Photo by Katherine Higgins.
The Anthropology Colloquium Series presented “A Society that Self-Destructed? Recent Archaeological Research on Rapa Nui” by Mara Mulrooney, Assistant Anthropologist, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, on 22 February. Dr Mulrooney examined theories and narratives around “collapse” on Rapa Nui in her research, which empirically assesses data including spatial and temporal evidence related to a cultural collapse during late prehistory.
On 24 February, Emerson Lopez Odango, PhD student in UHM Department of Linguistics, presented “Austronesian Youth Perspectives on Language Shift, Language Reclamation, and Linguistic Identity” at the East-West Center. Emerson focused on youth perspectives on language shift, language endangerment, the reclamation of ancestral/heritage languages, and late-modern linguistic identity. He highlighted the academic discourses about language endangerment and revitalization, the transmission of language between generations, and the changing late-modern landscapes in which youth linguistic identity emerge.
Tōfā ‘Aumua Mataʻitusi Simanu Papaliʻi’s 93rd birthday was also celebrated on 24 February. In recognition of her many years of teaching Samoan language, Senator Mike Gabbard presented her with this commendation on behalf of the Hawaiʻi State Senate. Senator Gabbard also spent time speaking with students and staff. This was organized by Dr Tina Tauasosi-Posiulai and staff at the Office of Multicultural Student Services and the Samoan Language program.
Tōfā ‘Aumua Mataʻitusi Simanu Papaliʻi and Senator Gabbard. Photo by Monica Afalava.
On 27 February, the Brownbag Biography Series hosted “Securing Paradise/The Seeds We Planted” by Vernadette Gonzalez (UHM Department of American Studies) and Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua (UHM Indigenous Politics in the Department of Political Science). Vernadette and Noelani discussed experiences related their community projects. The seminar was cosponsored by CPIS.
The world premiere of the film Moana: The Rising of the Sea by Vilsoni Hereniko was held at the William S Richardson School of Law on 28 February. The screening and discussion panel was sponsored by the Jon Van Dyke Institute of International Law and Justice and Environmental Law Program (see publications section for additional information).
Also on 28 February, CPIS continued our focus on careers for graduates with “Employing Pacific Studies: PhD Pathways.” The discussion among alumni and current students included the reasons to pursue doctoral studies, the differences between US and Commonwealth-style programs, and how to stay motivated and focused throughout a doctoral program. Panelists included CPIS alumni Marata Tamaira (2009), Brian Alofaituli (2011), Alexander Mawyer (1997), and Katherine Higgins (2007) and was chaired by Kenneth Gofigan Kuper (2014).
Panelists Brian Alofaituli, Marata Tamaira, Alexander Mawyer, and Kenneth Gofigan Kuper.
David Akin (University of Michigan) presented “A Historical Take on Solomon Islander Identity” on 3 March at the Department of History. Dr Akin’s presentation explored how the Solomon Islands state has found it hard to instill a strong sense of national belonging among many of its citizens. By tracing broader political groups and allegiances that Solomon Islanders have formed since the late nineteenth century, he challenged the view that weak identifications with the state can be attributed largely to an enduring, fragmented nature of Melanesian populations and their cultures. The talk was cosponsored by the Department of History and CPIS.
On 4 March, the Oceanic Connections Symposium bought together community members, educators, and students to develop strategies for empowerment through engagement and sharing. Rather than focus on the divisions that separate our Pacific communities, the participants focused on connections. Many CPIS students, faculty, and affiliate faculty members participated in the day’s events, which included discussion panels, activities, and an evening of kava bowl discussion, dinner, and an open-mic session. The symposium was cosponsored by UHM Department of Ethnic Studies, CPIS, College of Social Sciences, SEED, and EWC.
On 13 March, His Excellency Anote Tong, president of Kiribati, gave a special public lecture, “The Impacts of Climate Change on Kiribati and the Pacific Islands Region: Risk and Resilience,” at the East-West Center. President Tong is the leading international voice on the issue of climate change and is a strong advocate for action to address issues associated with the effects of rising sea levels. He discussed some of the ways that the low-lying island nation of Kiribati is preparing for rising sea levels.
Father Francis Hezel, SJ, visited in March and was based at the Pacific Islands Development Program, where he presented “Was In Micronesia Passiert? Rethinking the German Colonial Period” on 14 March. Later that same day he presented “Making Sense of Micronesia: Cultural Changes Facing Migrant Communities” at the Department of Ethnic Studies. The presentations highlighted Father Hezel’s recent research and publications.
Also on 14 March, events were hosted by student organizations to discuss protecting sacred spaces, places, and people in Oceania in observance of the 60th anniversary of the Bravo Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands. Oceania Rising held “Sacred Places & Sacred Spaces” at Hālau ʻo Haumea at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, and the Pan Pacific Association, Hui Poly, and the East-West Center Participants Association continued the evening at Hale Halewai with “Talk Story Pasifika.”
On 2 April, an event titled “Environmental Issues of the Mariana Islands” was held at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory. Organized by Austin Shelton, coordinator of the Humåtak Project, the event included Dr Michael Lujan Bevacqua (Chamorro Studies Program at the University of Guam) and Dr Michael Hadfield (UH Kewalo Marine Laboratory). The speakers discussed environmental issues surrounding Pågat, Guam, and community efforts to protect it from being taken over by military build-up plans in the Marianas. CPIS MA students Dietrex Ulukoa Duhaylonsod, Kenneth Gofigan Kuper, and Melvin Won Pat-Borja, and CPIS alum Jesi Lujan Bennett (2013) participated in the program proceedings. Sponsors of the event included the Humåtak Project, University of Guam Chamorro Studies Program, UMH Marianas Club, ‘Ilima SACNAS Chapter, Kewalo Marine Laboratory, CPIS, and Creative Writing Program.
The 2014 School of Pacific and Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference “Pushing Boundaries, Shifting Perspectives: Remapping Asia and the Pacific through a Transnational Interdisciplinary Lens” took place from 3–6 April at the Center for Korean Studies. Presentations by CPIS MA students included Karin Hermes’s “The Struggle for Papua Merdeka: How the Indonesian Government Shaped Melanesian Nationalism and Identity in West Papua” and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner’s “What Remains to Be Seen: The Visual Roots of Marshallese Literature.”
On 3 April, CPIS affiliate faculty member Paul Lyons presented “Non-accidental Forms of Kindred Thought”: Reflections on African (American) and Pacific Literatures (1970–1990)” in the Department of English Colloquium Series.
On 10 April, Alexander Mawyer presented “Eco Semantics and the Nature of Pacific Anthropology” in the Department of Anthropology Colloquium Series (see Faculty and Staff Updates page 10). The event was cosponsored by CPIS.
On 14 April, the Chamorro Studies Program at UHM hosted Keith L Camacho’s talk “The Sacred Man of War: Samuel T Shinohara, the Treason Charge, and the US Rule of Law in Guam.” Dr Camacho (Asian American Studies Department at University of California, Los Angeles) shared research on the prosecution of more than 100 individuals accused of war crimes in Micronesia by the US Navy’s War Crimes Tribunals Program, highlighting the case of Samuel Takehuna Shinohara, a Japanese citizen and resident of Guam. The event was sponsored by SEED, the Department of Ethnic Studies, and the Marianas Club.
On 23 April, Student Parents at Manoa (SPAM) and CPIS cosponsored “Addressing Bullying.” Earlier this year, the State of Hawaiʻi began the anti-bullying campaign to work toward eliminating bullying within our schools and communities. CPIS MA candidate Mechelins Iechad helped organize this event because bullying isn’t just a problem in school, and so family members, friends, and the entire community at large should address this issue together.
In recognition of ANZAC Day on 24 April, the center hosted a special screening of Born of Conflict: Children of War and a discussion with Jacqueline Leckie, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Otago. Dr Leckie discussed the documentary and research initiative about US servicemen based in the Pacific during World War II and their social impact, including fathering thousands of children.
Terence Wesley-Smith, Tara Kabutaulaka, Jacqueline Leckie, and Geoff White. Photo by Katherine Higgins.
On 27 April, CPIS cosponsored a film screening of The Targeted Village. This award-winning documentary traces the deceptive introduction of the Osprey military helicopter onto a military base in Okinawa and the protests by the local community.
On 5 May, Daren Kamali, the 9th Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence, returned to UH Mānoa to launch the collection of poems that he worked on during the residency, titled Squid Out of Water: An Evolution (2014) (Other Publications page 16). The book was published by Ala Press cofounded by Craig Santos Perez (UHM Department of English) and Brandy Nālani McDougall (UHM Department of American Studies. Professor Jonathan Osorio (UHM Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies) welcomed everyone to the hālau with an oli and a song. Vula Vakarau was MC for the evening of readings and performances by Daren and Hawaiʻi-based poets William Giles, Tui Scanlan, Bridget Gray, and Tarcisius Kabutaulaka (CPIS) at the Hālau ʻo Haumea at Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.
Jonathan Osorio and Daren Kamali. Photo by Kat Lobendahn.
The final event for the semester was “Diasporic Voices: Poet Voices on Climate Change” on 15 May. The evening included response to art works by Joy Enomoto by poets including Lyz Soto, Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio, Noʻukahauʻoli Revilla, Donovan Kūhiō Colleps, Rajiv Mohabir, Serena Ngaio Simmons, Kat Lobendahn, and CPIS students D Kealiʻi MacKenzie (David Kealiʻi), Lee Kava, and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner. The reading was cosponsored by the UHM Department of Art & Art History, Hawaiʻi Review, Creative Writing Program, and CPIS.