Intro to Lit: Literary History (Lit of Hawaii)

of Hawai‘i

In this course we will be thinking
and talking about a wide range of examples of “Literature of Hawai‘i.” We will
be tracing different literary genealogies and trajectories and exploring our
own definitions of this living and growing genre of creative expression. Instead
of thinking of literature as something static to be studied or contained on the
page, we will always be paying close attention to literature in
socio-political-historical context, and grounding ourselves in specific historical
examples to see how literature responds to and works upon the world. For
example, what active roles does literature play in the contexts of building
Hawaiian sovereignty, in describing local identity, in validating Pidgin and
plantation stories, in education and in defiance of education, in talking back
to tourism and the military? Throughout, we will be discussing complex and
important themes like identity, language(s), (de/anti) colonialism, aloha ‘āina,
humor, resistance, nationalism, indigeneity, race, class, gender, and
sexuality. And we will be honoring the richness of this genre by stretching the
boundaries of “literature” to include performance, visual, oral, and musical

Course Requirements

  • Attendance
    and lively class discussion
  • Four 4-page
  • Informal
    writing assignments
  • Final exam

Required Texts (tentative—please
wait until first day of class before purchasing) (available at Revolution Books, 2626
King Street)

  • R. Zamora
    Linmark, Rolling the R’s
  • Haunani-Kay
    Trask, Light in the Crevice Never Seen
  • Eds. Kihleng, Oishi, Yamashiro, Routes Vol. 1

Selections from Ka
Mo‘olelo o Hi‘iakaikapoliopele,
, ‘Ōiwi, and Tinfish, Lee Tonouchi, Wayne Westlake, Ho‘i Ho‘i Hou, Folks You Meet at Longs, mele (i.e., “Kaulana Nā Pua, “Manuela
Boy”), spoken word from Youth Speaks Hawai‘i, oral histories, performances by
Rap Reiplinger, and others TBA.