dean i. saranillio on asians, natives and state-building in hawai’i


Dean Itsuji Saranillio, ‘Colliding Histories: Hawai‘i Statehood at the Intersection of Asians “Ineligible to Citizenship” and Hawaiians “Unfit for Self-Government”’, Journal of Asian American Studies 13, 3 (2010)


This essay examines competing narrations of the fiftieth anniversary of Hawai‘i statehood by tracing two mutually constitutive but opposing projects in the post-World War II period—the racial project seeking the liberal inclusion of Asian Americans, particularly Japanese Americans, into a U.S. national polity and a Native Hawaiian project that sought autonomy from the United States. U.S. ambitions for global hegemony during the Cold War found a discursive alliance with selected narrations of Japanese American racial persecution, setting these narratives to public memory through global circulation and publicity, while narrations of Native Hawaiian colonial oppression were designated for historical deletion, through intimidation and containment.


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