The Ph.D. Program

Ph.D. candidates are given a great deal of freedom to create an individualized program around their own interests and objectives. Doctoral students take at least seven courses in English plus two outside of our Department and related to the individual student’s interests; at least one of the nine courses must have substantial Hawai‘i/Asia/Pacific content. The other three principal formal requirements are constituted by the area exams, oral comprehensive examination/prospectus meeting, and the dissertation. Students admitted to the Creative Writing track in the PhD program complete a creative-writing dissertation that includes a critical introduction. Students will be encouraged to approach these requirements as articulated parts of their training. See the PhD Requirements PDF for full degree requirements.


Recent Dissertations


Spring 2017

Kim Compoc

“Emergent Allies: Decolonizing Hawai’i from a  Filipinx Perspective”

Chair: Fujikane


Steven Holmes

“Exploding Empire: Post Apocalyptic Representation 1979-2016”

Chair: Rieder


Rajiv Mohabir

“Sing Ancestor, Sing Whale”

Chair: Perez


Spring 2016

Keala Dickhens

“Lumaha‘i – A Novel”

Chair: Carroll

Fall 2015

Amanda Christie

“Containers, Currents, and Composition: An Analysis of Place Based Rhetoric and Writing Practices in Relation to the Regions of Yap, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Palau, Chuuk and the Marshall Islands”

Chair: Carroll

Summer 2015

Angela Gili

“Post-Apartheid South African Detective Fiction: Truth and Reconciliation in the White Imagination”

Chair: Lyons, L.


Anna (Aiden) Gleisberg

“Kissing the Ugly Parts:  Violent Productions of Queer Otherness & the Embrace of Unintelligibility”

Chair: Franklin