Abstract: Through analyses of two foundational sites of the Hawaiian Kingdom—Puʻukoholā Heiau and ‘Iolani Palace—this dissertation offers an alternative interpretation of how Hawaiian history has been deployed as both a settler colonial tourist strategy and a means to foster Hawaiian independence and indigeneity. This project investigates how, through specific acts of historical commemoration at each site, the colonial histories of Hawai’i have been (re)presented and revised through the collaboration (and sometimes, conflict) of community organizations and those acting as stewards of the site. These efforts have led to narratives more critically engaged with telling histories of Hawai’i that include the structural impact of settler colonialism and militourism.

Puʻukoholā Heiau is an eighteenth-century heiau (temple or shrine) built by Kamehameha the Great on the Kohala Coast of Hawai’i Island in a successful quest to unify all the islands under his rule in the 1810s. Though condemned by Christian missionaries arriving immediately after his death, generations of Native Hawaiians quietly preserved and protected the site. The National Park Service has been its steward since the 1960s. Built for similar reasons by a later sovereign, ‘Iolani Palace serves as the second case study. Constructed in the 1870s by King Kalākaua, the Palace stands in downtown Honolulu, Oahu, as a symbol of Hawaiian sovereignty. After being occupied for several decades by those who overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom, the Palace was eventually vacated to become a museum and taken over by the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, a non-profit organization working in tandem with the State of Hawai’i to preserve the structure and interpret its history.

Ultimately, this dissertation explores how the historical interpretations at these sites developed and how Native Hawaiian activists, community groups, and other indigenous advocates pushed contemporary stewards towards culturally decolonial micro-interventions that help complicate the settler imaginary that perceives and represents Hawai’i as both American and an American commodity. This dissertation seeks to resituate these sites as spaces of contestation and indigeneity operating within, and sometimes beyond, the limitations of their administering state agencies.


Excerpt: While dystopian fiction has enjoyed popularity across the twentieth and into the twenty- first century, in recent decades public enthusiasm for the genre has skyrocketed as writers and filmmakers have increasingly turned to dystopian and apocalyptic representation to diagnose and warn against a range of social, political, economic, and environmental crises. Western American literature and fi lm have not been immune to the dystopian turn in popular culture, as evidenced by the prevalence of frontier mythology in dystopian and apocalyptic tales (as William Katerburg and Barbara Gurr have both noted) and the frequency with which dystopian and apocalyptic texts choose the US West as their setting or engage tropes of the Western genre in their storytelling. Examples abound but include novels such as Cormac McCarthy’s Th e Road, Octavia Butler’s Parable series, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Three Californias Triptych, and Paolo Bacigalupi’s Th e Water Knife, as well as television series and films such as Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity, George Miller’s Mad Max films, The Walking Dead franchise, and HBO’s Westworld. Despite this, western studies has seen a relative dearth of scholarship taking up the dystopia in a serious way as a relevant and important genre to the field (Katerburg’s 2008 Future West: Utopia and Apocalypse in Frontier Science Fiction is a notable exception). This essay seeks to initiate and participate in a more sustained engagement between western American studies and dystopian and apocalyptic scholarship and cultural production. I am particularly interested in the opportunity western studies offers to bring dystopian scholarship into conversation with settler colonial theory in order to understand how the history and mythology of the US West informs the speculative futurities envisaged in American popular culture, in particular the religious and gendered ideologies that structure these narratives. Such a project, I contend, enables us to put more critical pressure on the political investments of a genre consumed by a wide swath of the American public.





Abstract: Countries with a superdiverse population due to increases in migration have been slow in recognising and addressing social inequalities driven by this situation (Vertovec, 2007). In Aotearoa (New Zealand), there are now more than 200 different ethnic groups and 27.4% of its population was born overseas (Statistics New Zealand, 2019), and there is also an increasing number of students with diverse cultural, linguistic and migration backgrounds enrolled in the country’s early childhood teacher education programmes. The manifestation of superdiversity in Aotearoa is particularly complex and challenging since it occurs within a legislated ‘bicultural’ context (Royal Society of New Zealand, 2013). In light of these concerns, this paper reports findings from a study which utilised a methodology of critical discourse analysis (Gee, 2011; Jørgensen & Phillips, 2002) to examine several key institutional policy documents in order to interrogate the responsibilities of early childhood teacher education in supporting both the country’s commitment to ‘biculturalism’ and its current superdiverse demographics. The theoretical analysis draws on Vertovec’s (2007) superdiversity approach, critical multiculturalism (May, 1999) and critical and Indigenous pedagogies of place (Penetito, 2009; Perumal, 2015). While all the documents make explicit references to ‘bicultural’ commitments, minimal attention is given to migration-related inequality issues. Our analysis highlighted complex inter-relationships and tensions between honouring ‘biculturalism’ and catering for superdiversity. Recognising and addressing this complexity is important in future policy development, and teacher education providers need to ensure that their graduates have the knowledge and skills to work equitably with children, families and communities in order to address inequalities emanating from the history of colonisation in Aotearoa as well as the current superdiversity situation.