ku‘ualoha ho‘omanawanui


Aloha mai nō kāua! I am a Kanaka ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) scholar, poet, artist, and kiaʻi aloha ʻāina. I am a full Professor of Hawaiian literature, specializing in traditional moʻolelo  (including folklore and mythology), Moana Nui (Oceanic, Pasifika) 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 that began in 2015, and Mana Mo'olelo: An Online Annotated Bibliography of Hawaiian Literature with GRA (Graduate Research Assistant) Wyatt Nainoa Souza. I am also affiliate faculty with the Center for Pacific Island Studies (CPIS) and the Indigenous Politics Program, both at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

I co-founded a Hawaiian literature blog with Dr. Marie Alohalani Brown accessible here: http://www.moomomonapress.com/blog


Forthcoming Scholarship:

  • “Our World was Born from Poetry: Ko'ihonua as ʻŌiwi Poetic Praxis.” Native American Poets: Doing Theory, Methodology, Pedagogy. Eds. Inés Hernández-Ávila and Molly McGlennen. Michigan State University Press, forthcoming 2024.
  • He Moana Āiwaiwa, He Moʻolelo Āiwaiwa i Moana Nui (An Ocean of Wonder—The Fantastic in Pasifika Literature.” Ocean of Wonder: The Fantastic in the Pacific. Eds. kuʻualoha hoʻomanawanui, Joyce Pualani Warren, and Cristina Bacchilega. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, forthcoming 2024.

Published Scholarship:


  • Voices of Fire: Reweaving the Literary Lei of the Pele and Hiʻiaka Literature. University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

Articles and Book Chapters

  • He Pūʻao Kai, He Kai Pūʻao: E Hoʻihoʻo Hou (Ocean as Womb, Womb as Ocean: The Return)—Mana Wahine from the Mauna to the Sea, Aloha ʻĀina Activism as Return, Revival, and Remembrance.” Eds. Celia Tagamolila Bardwell-Jones, Stephanie Nohelani Teves, and Joyce Pualani Warren. Amerasia Journal 48.2, special issue onOceanic Feminisms, Fall 2023.
  • “The Art of Moʻolelo: Mana Wahine, Aloha ʻĀina, and Social Justice.” Moʻolelo, the Foundation of Hawaiian Knowledge. Eds. Kaliko and Hailiopua Baker. Hawaiʻinuiākea series, University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2023.
  • “I Kū Mau Mau (Standing Together): Native Hawaiian Literature and Politics.” The Cambridge History of Native American Literature. Ed. Melanie Taylor. Cambridge University Press, 2020.
  • “Moʻolelo Kamahaʻo 2.0: The Art and Politics of the Modern Hawaiian Wonder Tale.” Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations across Cultures. Eds. Mayako Murai and Luciana Cardi. Wayne State University Press, 2020.
  • “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. University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2019.
  • “Indigeneity (E Hoʻokikohoʻe iā Peʻapeʻamakawalu [Digitizing the Eight-eyed Bat]: Indigenous Wonder Tales, Culture, and Media).” The Routledge Companion to Media and Fairy-tale Cultures. Eds. Pauline Greenhill, Jill Terry Rudy, Naomi Hamer, and Lauren Bosc. New York: Routledge, 2018.
  • “He Ahu Moʻolelo: E Hoʻokahua i ka Paepae Moʻolelo Palapala Hawaiʻi (A Cairn of Stories: Establishing a Foundation of Hawaiian Literature.” Palapala I (2017): 51-100. https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/items/b6848d7f-803c-45be-8d2b-eeb9ad7ebc99
  • "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. Eds. Anna Fuerstein and Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo. 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. Eds. Jeff Carroll, Brandy Nālani McDougall, and Georganne Nordstro. University of Hawaiʻi Press, 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. Eds. James Cox and Daniel Heath Justice. Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • "Displacing Place: Translating Pele in Cyberspace." American Indian Culture and Research Journal. Ed. Patrick Wolfe. University of California at Los Angeles Press, 2013.
  • “Ke Haʻa Lā Puna i ka Makani: Pele and Hiʻiaka Moʻolelo and the Possibilities for Hawaiian Literary Analysis.” Hoʻokulaiwi Journal of Hawaiian Education. Eds. Laiana Wong and Margie Maaka, 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. Eds. Camilla Fojas and Rudy Guevarra. University of Nebraska Press, 2012.
  • “Contested Ground: ʻĀina, Identity, and Nationhood in Hawaiʻi.” ‘We the Peoples’, Indigenous Rights in the Age of the Declaration. Ed. Elvira Pulitano. Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • “Mana Wahine: Feminism and Nationalism in Hawaiian Literature.” Anglistica, 14.2 (2010): 27-43. Ed. Donatella Izzo and Cristina Bacchilega. 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. Eds. Penelope Lisi and Francisco Rios.
  • “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, University 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. University of Hawaiʻi Press, 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, vol. 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.

Cowritten Introductions, Articles, and Book Chapters

  • With Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻōpua. "Introduction." American Indian Culture and Research Journal, special issue on Haunani Kay Trask. Ed. David Shorter. University of California at Los Angeles Press, April 2023. 
  • With Georgianne Nordstrom. "He inoa no ke kanaka (In the name of the person): Mele Inoa as Rhetorical Continuity." Sources of Alternative Rhetorical Traditions. Eds. H. Wu and T. S. Graban, Parlor Press. 2022.
  • With Kay Fukuda. “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. Eds. Sheila Gregory, Will Goins and Sandy Kewanhaptewa-Dixon. Lexington Books, 2011.

Areas of Interest

Moʻolelo Hawaiʻi (Native Hawaiian literary traditions) / 'Ōiwi (Native Hawaiian) literary studies / Kanaka ʻŌiwi Intellectual History / Nā moʻolelo o Hawai‘i (Literatures of Hawaiʻi) / Nā moʻolelo o Moana Nui (Oceanic, Pasifika literature) / ʻŌiwi and Indigenous literary nationalism / Indigenous Digital Humanities / Indigenous Rhetorics and Writing / Indigenous and Oceanic feminisms/ Children’s literature / Translation studies / Curriculum development for Hawaiian language immersion and culturally-based charter schools / Place-based literacy / Environmental humanities


  • 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


Fall Semester 2024
  • ENG-371: Literature of the Pacific
  • ENG-383: Children’s Literature

Spring Semester 2024
  • ENG-378: Native Hawaiian Literature in English
  • ENG-385: Fairy Tales & Adaptations

Fall Semester 2023
  • ENG-404: English in Hawai’i
  • ENG-773: Seminar in Hawaiian Literature: Hawaiian Literary Nationalism

Spring Semester 2023
  • ENG-380: Folklore, Wonder Tales, and Oral Traditions
  • ENG-474: Studies in Hawaiian and/or Pacific Literature: Children’s Literature: Oceania