In this course, we will be looking at the ways different women writers in Hawai‘i engage, challenge, and transform historical, economic, and political conditions. We will begin by examining the historical problems that attend women’s attempts to write about their gendered experiences before turning to the strategies they use to write through the layers of cultural silences imposed upon their writing. As we foreground gender issues, we will also examine the ways in which constructions of gender are dependent upon constructions of ethnicity/race, class, sexual orientation and other forms of difference within a framework of U.S. occupation. We will be thinking the material conditions each woman speaks to, and we will be asking ourselves questions about the narrative strategies of resistance these women writers use not only to represent but also to bring about changes in those conditions. To map out our own positions as readers, we will also be asking questions about the ways we read these texts: what are our assumptions about literary interpretation, and how do these texts challenge those assumptions?
To help us think about the different strategies we use to write aboutliterature, the course requirements will include four 4-page papers, six informal reaction papers, peer-editing work, a group presentation, a final exam, attendance, and participation.
(available at Revolution Books)
- Juliet Kono, HILO RAINS
- Lois-Ann Yamanaka, WILD MEAT AND THE BULLY BURGERS
- Nora Okja Keller, FOX GIRL
- Lee Cataluna, FOLKS YOU MEET IN LONGS
- Haunani-Kay Trask, LIGHT IN THE CREVICE NEVER SEEN
A required course reader will include works by Donna Tanigawa, Puanani Burgess, ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui, Eiko Kosasa, Peggy Choy, Ida Yoshinaga, Dana Naone Hall, Momiala Kamahele, Ann Inoshita, Darlene Rodrigues, Violet Harada, and others. The reader will be available during the second week of classes.