Intro to Lit: Lit & Culture (Women Writers in Hawai‘i)

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?


  • four
    4-page papers
  • six informal
    reaction papers
  • peer-editing
  • a
    group presentation
  • a
    final exam
  • attendance,
    and participation.

Required Texts (available at Revolution Books): Queen
Lili‘uokalani, Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s
; Juliet Kono, Hilo Rains;
Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Wild Meat and the
Bully Burgers
; Nora Okja Keller, Fox
; Gizelle Gajelonia, Thirteen
Ways of Looking at TheBus
; Haunani-Kay Trask, Light in the Crevice Never Seen. 
A required course reader will include works by Donna Tanigawa, Kapulani
Landgraf,  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.