Mahealani Ahia


Māhealani Ahia is a Los Angeles-born Kanaka ‘Ōiwi artist, scholar, activist, songcatcher and storykeeper with lineal ties to Maui. With a background in theatre arts, writing and performance from U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Irvine, Māhea is committed to creating artistic and academic projects that empower Indigenous feminist decolonial research. Her Master’s Degree in Mythology and Psychology focused on cultural trauma and the power of stories to heal. As a PhD student in English with a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, she teaches Composition, Creative Writing, Island and Indigenous Feminisms, and LGBTQ+ Studies. Her dissertation research “Shapeshifting Biography: Life and Afterlives of Kihawahine” inundates biography’s genre boundaries as it theorizes feminist power and leadership within the reptilian water deity clan. Māhea serves as editor for Hawaiʻi Review and ʻŌiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal, and her pieces have been published within Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Shima Journal, An Ocean of Wonder: The Fantastic in the Pacific, and Feminism and Protest Camps. A founding member of Puʻuhuluhulu University and the caretaker of Hale Mauna Wahine at Mauna Kea, Māhea is co-organizer of the Mauna Kea Syllabus Project. As a LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) trainee, she is developing Indigenous Disabilities projects, and she was also recently awarded a Mānoa Center for the Humanities and Civic Engagement to co-organize a “DeTour” of the colonial history of mental health at Hawaiʻi State Hospital now the site of Windward Community College. 


Summer Semester 2023
  • ENG-273: Introduction to Literature: Creative Writing (Writing for Healing)

Fall Semester 2022
  • ENG-320: Introduction to English Studies