Kuualoha Hoomanawanui


Aloha mai nō kāua! I am a Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) scholar, poet, artist, and mālama ‘āina advocate. I am a full Professor of Hawaiian literature, specializing in traditional Hawaiian literature (including folklore and mythology), Oceanic (Pacific) literature, and indigenous perspectives on literacy. My research interests focus on place-based literature, literacy and learning. I am also developing Native Hawaiian Literature Digital Humanities projects. I am a founding and current Chief Editor of ‘Ōiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal. I have published critical essays and creative writing in Hawai‘i and abroad (the U.S., the Pacific, and Europe). I am a former Ford Foundation Fellow (2001-2005) and Mellon Hawai'i Post-Doctoral Fellow (2009-2010). My first book, Voices of Fire--Reweaving the Lei of Pele and Hi‘iaka Literature was published by the University of Minnesota Press in May 2014, and received an Honorable Mention in MLA's award for best in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages. I am currently Director of Ka Ipu o Lono, a Native Hawaiian Digital Humanities project in conjunction with UH's DAHI (Digital Arts and Humanities Initiative) that began in 2015. I co-founded a Hawaiian literature blog with Dr. Marie Alohalani Brown accessible here: https://www.hawaiianliterature.org/


  • Voices of Fire: Reweaving the Literary Lei of the Pele and Hiʻiaka Literature. U of Minnesota P, 2014.
  • “E Ho‘i i ka Piko (Returning to the Center): Mo‘okū‘auhau as Methodology in a Literary Context.” The Path Before Us: Genealogies and Methodologies in Hawaiian Studies. Ed. Nālani Wilson Hokuwhitu. U of Hawaiʻi P, 2019.
  • "Moamahi ā Puaʻa Moe Poli: Nā Keiki a nā Hānaiāhuhu i ka Moʻomeheu Hawaiʻi (Cherished Chickens to Chest-cuddled Pigs: Children and Pets in Hawaiian Culture). Childhood and Pethood in Literature and Culture, Anna Fuerstein and Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo, eds. Routledge, 2017.
  • "Ka Liʻu o ka Paʻakai (Well Seasoned with Salt): Recognizing Literary Devices, Rhetorical Strategies, and Cultural Aesthetics in Kanaka Maoli Literature." Huihui, Pacific Rhetorics and Aesthetics, Jeff Carroll, Brandy Nālani McDougall, and Georganne Nordstrom, eds. U of Hawaiʻi P, 2015.
  • "Afterword: I ka ‘Ōlelo ke Ola, In Words is Life—Imagining the Future of Indigenous Literatures." The Oxford Companion of Literature of the Indigenous Americas, James Cox and Daniel Heath Justice, eds. Oxford UP, 2014.
  • "Displacing Place: Translating Pele in Cyberspace." American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Patrick Wolfe, ed. U of California at Los Angeles P, 2013.
  • “Ke Haʻa Lā Puna i ka Makani: Pele and Hiʻiaka Moʻolelo and the Possibilities for Hawaiian Literary Analysis.” Hoʻokulaiwi Journal of Hawaiian Education, Laiana Wong and Margie Maaka, eds., 2013.
  • “Hanohano Wailuanuiahoʻāno: Remembering, Recovering, and Writing Place.”  Hūlili, Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-being,vol. 8 (2012): 187-243. http://www.ksbe.edu/_assets/spi/hulili/hulili_vol_8/8_Hulili_2012_Vol8_hoomanawanui.pdf
  • “From Captain Cook to Captain Kirk (or, From Colonial Exploration to Indigenous Exploitation): Issues of Hawaiian Land, Identity, and Nationhood in a ‘Post-ethnic’ World.”  Transnational Crossroads: Remapping the Americas and the Pacific, Camilla Fojas and Rudy Guevarra, eds. U of Nebraska P, 2012.
  • “Contested Ground: ʻĀina, Identity, and Nationhood in Hawaiʻi.” ‘We the Peoples’, Indigenous Rights in the Age of the Declaration, Elvira Pulitano, ed. Cambridge UP, 2012.
  • “Mana Wahine: Feminism and Nationalism in Hawaiian Literature.” Anglistica, 14.2 (2010): 27-43. Donatella Izzo and Cristina Bacchilega, eds. http://www.anglistica.unior.it/sites/anglistica/files/07 Hoomanawanui-article.pdf
  • “Mana Wahine, Education and Nation-building: Lessons for Kanaka Maoli Today in Nā Moʻolelo o Pele a me Hiʻiakaikapoliopele.” Multicultural Perspectives12 (4) 2010: 206-212. Issue on indigenous perspectives on literacy, Penelope Lisi and Francisco Rios, eds.
  • “ʻIke ʻĀina: Native Hawaiian Culturally-based Indigenous Literacy.” Hūlili, Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-being,vol. 5 (2009): 203-244. http://www.ksbe.edu/spi/Hulili/Hulili_vol_5/Culturally_based_indigenous_literacy.pdf
  • “Mo'olelo as Social and Political Action: Responding to Jack Zipes (De-Disneyfying Disney) and Waziyatawin (From the Clay We Rise).” Eds. Cristina Bacchilega, Vilsoni Hereniko, Noenoe Silva, and kuʻualoha hoʻomanawanui. Folktales and Fairy Tales: Translation, Colonialism, and Cinema, ScholarSpace, U of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 2009.http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/16458
  • “This Land is Your Land, This Land was Our Land: Representations of ʻĀina in Contemporary Literature of Hawaiʻi.” Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawaiʻi. Eds. Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Okamura. U of Hawaiʻi P, 2008.
  • “From Ocean to O-shen: Rap and Reggae in ‘Jawaiian’ Music.” Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds, The African Diaspora in Indian Country. Eds. Sharon Holland and Tiya Miles. Duke UP, 2006.
  • “He Lei Hoʻoheno no Nā Kau a Kau: Language, Performance and Form in Hawaiian Poetry.” The Contemporary Pacific. Volume 17.1 (Spring 2005): 29-81. http://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10125/13836
  • “Native Hawaiian Literature.” The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. Ed. Emmanuel Nelson. Greenwood Publishing, 2005.
  • “Hā, Mana, Leo (Breath, Spirit, Voice): Kanaka Maoli Empowerment through Literature.” American Indian Quarterly,volume 28, Winter/Spring 2004, nos. 1 & 2 (2004): 86-91.http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/american_indian_quarterly/v028/28.1hoomanawanui.html
  • “Nā Mele a Nīʻau: An Annotated Bibliography of Sources for an Early 19th Century Poet of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi.” Pacific 2000: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Easter Island and the Pacific.Ed. Christopher M. Stevenson, Georgia Lee, and F. J. Morin. Easter Island Foundation and Bearsville Press, 2001: 398-403.
  • “Ka Ola Hou ʻAna o ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi i ka Haʻi ʻAna o ka Moʻolelo i kēia Au Hou: The Revival of the Hawaiian Language in Contemporary [Hawaiian] Storytelling.”  Traditional Storytelling Today, An International Sourcebook, Ed. Margaret Read MacDonald. Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1999.
  • With Kay Fukuda, co-author. “ʻOluʻolu i ka Pā a ke Kaiāulu: Community and Place as a Textbook for Learning.”  Voices of Native American Indian Educators: Integrating History, Culture and Language to Improve Learning Outcomes for Native American Indian Students, Sheila Gregory, Will Goins and Sandy Kewanhaptewa-Dixon eds.  Co-author Kay Fukuda. Lexington Books, 2011.

Areas of Interest

Moʻolelo Hawaiʻi (Native Hawaiian literary traditions) / Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) literary studies / Kanaka Maoli Intellectual History / Nā moʻolelo ʻokoʻa o Hawai‘i (Literatures of Hawaiʻi) / Nā Moʻolelo o Moana Nui (Oceanic [Pacific] literature) / Indigenous literary nationalism / Indigenous Digital Humanities / Indigenous Rhetorics and Writing / Children’s literature / Translation studies / Curriculum development, nā Kula Kaiāpuni Hawaiian language immersion, and culturally-based charter schools / Place-based literacy.


  • Honorable Mention, MLA (Modern Language Association) best in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages for Voices of Fire, Reweaving the Literary Lei of Pele and Hi'iaka, 2016
  • Frances Davis Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2012
  • Mellon Hawai'i Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2010


    • PhD - English, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
    • MA   - Polynesian Religion, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
    • BA   - Hawaiian Studies, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa


Spring Semester 2021
  • ENG-385: Fairy Tales & Adaptations
  • ENG-480: Studies: Literature & Folklore (Children’s Lit. in Oceania)

Fall Semester 2020
  • ENG-383: Children’s Literature
  • ENG-773: Seminar in Hawaiian Literature

Spring Semester 2020
  • ENG-272: Intro to Lit: Culture & Lit
  • ENG-378: Native Hawaiian Lit in English

Spring Semester 2019
  • ENG-378: Native Hawaiian Lit in English
  • ENG-385: Fairy Tales & Adaptations

Fall Semester 2019
  • ENG-480: Studies: Literature & Folklore
  • ENG-773: Seminar in Hawaiian Literature