Kapena Shim was born in Honolulu and raised in Southern California. After high school, Kapena returned to Hawaiʻi to study at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where he began a journey of connecting with the stories of his ancestors. These stories are a grounding source of inspiration and transformation for his work as a librarian. He believes libraries are lifelines for our communities because the rich cultural repositories of ʻike (knowledge) can empower Hawaiʻi’s youth and families. In 2010, he completed concurrent bachelor’s degrees in Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language and a Master’s of Science degree in library and information science in 2013.
The Hawaiʻi Specialist Librarian position became vacant in January 2012 with the retirement of longtime Hawaiian Collection curator Joan Hori. Kapena will join librarians Dore Minatodani and Jodie Mattos in the Hawaiian Collection, where his job duties will include collection development and management, library instruction, and reference. CPIS MA candidate Kealiʻi MacKenzie also continues to work in the Hawaiian and Pacific Collections as a reference librarian.
In collaboration with blackmail press in Auckland, the Center for Pacific Islands Studies recently published Baninnur: A Basket of Food, a special issue of the online poetry journal. The collection of creative works was guest edited by recent CPIS MA graduate Kathy Jetnil-Kijner and copyedited by CPIS GA Candi Steiner, this project was instigated and coordinated by CPIS Outreach Director Katherine Higgins. The special issue is available at http://www.blackmailpress.com/Index36.html.
Making Micronesia: A Political Biography of Tosiwo Nakayama, by CPIS affiliate faculty member David Hanlon (chair of the UHM History Department), is a biography of Tosiwo Nakayama, the first president of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Nakayama was born to a Japanese father and an Chuukese woman in 1931 on Piserach, part of an atoll northwest of the main Chuuk Lagoon group. He grew up during Japan’s colonial administration of Micronesia and the US-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Nakayama studied at the University of Hawai‘i and in 1958 returned to Chuuk, where he quickly advanced through a series of administrative positions before winning election to the House of Delegates (later Senate) of the Congress of Micronesia. He served as its president from 1965 to1967 and again from 1973 to 1978. Nakayama was in the center of complex negotiations for FSM from local engagements wtih the US colonial presence to the creation of a nation-state against a fornidable array of local and external forces. Throughout the political story, Hanlon shares the remarkable story of the physical, political, and cultural distances that Nakayama negotiated. See Publications for more information.
Ancestral Places: Understanding Kanaka Geographies, by CPIS affiliate faculty member Kapāʻanaokalāokeola Oliviera (Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language), provides examples of how Kānaka utilize cartographic performances to map ancestral places and retain moʻolelo (historical accounts). In this book, Kapa offers a new framework in Kanaka epistemology and explores connections between Kānaka with their environment, tracing how moʻolelo and ʻāina inform a Kanaka sense of place. See Publications for more information.
Leilani Tamu, the 9th Fulbright-Creative New Zealand Pacific Writer in Residence, recently published The Art of Excavation, which was one of her writing projects during her 2013 residency at the center. This book of poems uses the creative metaphor of excavation for reframing and retelling Pacific stories from her perspective. Leilani draws from her experiences as a mother, historian, former New Zealand diplomat, and columnist to delve into the complexities of the Pacific region. For more infomation, see Publications.
In June, UHM Chancellor Tom Apple visited the Australian National University (ANU) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ANU and UHM. The MOU enables programs for student exchanges and opens the way for research collaboration between the two universities, with potential collaboration between their respective libraries. The MOU was initiated by ANU faculty Dr Katerina Teaiwa (who is the Pacific Studies Convenor and a CPIS alum), Professor Margaret Jolly, and Nicholas Mortimer, with support from the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and the School of Pacific and Asian Studies.
Dr Teaiwa said, “This formalization of cooperation between two internationally renowned centers of Pacific research will help inspire students to imagine a future dedicated to engaging Oceania.
In November 2014, Dr Teaiwa will bring fifteen undergraduate and three graduate students to UH Mānoa for a Pacific Islands field school. The students will collaborate with students and staff at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies in areas of arts, heritage, and social issues.
A special issue of The Contemporary Pacific (26:2), titled Global Sport in the Pacific, is forthcoming this semester. It is guest edited by CPIS affiliate faculty member Faʻanofo (Lisa) Uperesa (UHM Ethnic Studies and Sociology) and Tom Mountjoy (University of Bergen). This issue features a series of photographs by Greg Semu. Articles include: