Ethnic Lit of Hawaii (XL ES 370)

When I was one small kid,
my faddah told me—
anyting you kill you gottah eat.
you shoot da dove wit da B.B. gun,
you gottah eat ‘um
you spear da small manini at da beach
you gottah eat ‘um
you help yo maddah kill da chicken in da back yahd
you gottah eat ‘um
Whoa brah! Tinking back to small kid time
an da small kid games I used to play
aftah I heard dat, no moa I kill flies wit one rubbah band

—Joe Balaz “Gotta Eat ‘Um”
from Electric Laulau

In this course, we will be reading literatures written by a broad range
of writers who focus on the importance of the languages, cultures, and
knowledges that shape and are shaped by Hawai‘i as a place. We will foreground
the colonial history of Hawai‘i and the differences between indigenous peoples
and settler groups. We will first examine the ways that Kanaka Maoli (Native
Hawaiian) writers trace their genealogies to the land and continue to use
specific forms of oral tradition in their written narratives. By contrast, many
other narratives emerged from efforts in the 1970s to define a “local” identity
in community struggles over leased lands slated for commercial development. We
will then map out the changing historical and political contexts in which the
terms “local” and “settler” have emerged, partly out of literary debates over
race, power, and representation. Throughout the course, we will be asking
ourselves questions about the alternative forms of narrative that Hawai‘i
writers use to address their cultural and political concerns. We will be
reading a wide range of genres including chant, poetry, short stories, novels,
plays, essays, song and comedy. We will also examine the relationship between
oral tradition, written literature, and new oral forms of literary expression,
such as spoken word and slam poetry, as well as the relationship among and
between Hawaiian, English, and HCE (Hawai‘i Creole English or “pidgin”) within
literary, social, cultural and political contexts. Multimedia formats,
including audio CDs and video, film, and web media will also be incorporated.

Requirements: informal
writing such as reaction/response papers, formal writing (two essays), a
mid-term exam, a final exam, scheduled quizzes, weekly posting and participation
on Laulima discussion board, individual and group presentations/research
project on topics relevant to the course, attendance.

Readings: Lee Cataluna, Folks you meet at Longs; ʻŌiwi: A Native
Hawaiian Journal,
vol. 4; Lisa Kanae, Islands Linked by Ocean; Matthew Kaopio, Written in the Sky;R. Zamora, Rolling
the Rs;
Chris McKinney, Bolohead Row;Milton Murayama, All I Asking for is My Body;Lee Tonouchi,
ed., Buss Laugh, stand up poetry from
Lois Ann Yamanaka, Heads by
Susan Yim, ed. We Go Eat: A
Mixed Plate from Hawaii’s Food Culture.

A course reader with selected critical essays and
creative work by a number of writers and scholars working in the area of Ethnic
literatures of Hawaii, including
(but not limited to) Rodney Morales, Eric Yamamoto, Darryl Lum, Eric Chock,
ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui, Lee Tonouchi, Haunani Kay Trask, Dennis Kawaharada and