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Making Peace with Ghosts: War, Food, and Memory in Korea and Hawaiʻi


Curated by Mariko Whitenack.
Presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Co-sponsored by the NYU Native Studies Forum.

This interdisciplinary panel explores collective modes of recovery and repair to living in ongoing histories of war and US military occupation, specifically focusing on Korea and Hawaiʻi. Although histories of the Korean War and foodways in Hawaiʻi may not seem like an obvious pairing, the US has long viewed Hawaiʻi as a crucial site of strategic military importance, bringing these histories together perhaps most clearly in the false missile alert in Hawaiʻi in 2018. How do histories of violence haunt the present? Under conditions of ongoing US militarism in Korea and Hawaiʻi, what forms of relationality are denied or made possible? Writers, scholars, and researchers Mary Tuti Baker (Western Washington University), Joseph Han (Nuclear Family), Hiʻilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart (Yale University), and Ju-Hyun Park (Nodutdol) discuss their work across distinct but related sites and histories of war to explore the possibilities for repair, relationality, and responsibility that emerge through land.

COVID-19 & NYU campus access guidelines: This is an in-person event, open to the public. Registration is required. All attendees must be able to present proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and boosted with an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed vaccine. Non-NYU guests may be asked to present a government-issued photo ID.

Accessibility note: This venue is on the first floor and is accessible for wheelchair users. If you have any access needs, please contact apa.rsvp@nyu.edu.


Mary Tuti Baker (Kanaka Maoli) is an Assistant Professor in comparative Indigenous studies at Western Washington University on the lands of the Lhaq’temish and Nootsack peoples. She earned her PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with specializations in Indigenous Politics and Futures Studies. Her work examines the relationship between Kanaka Maoli values and practice and the politics of decolonization. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled “The Land Is in Us: Embodied Aloha ‘Āina Enacting Indigenous Futures” which is a critical examination of aloha ʻāina as an Indigenous ideology. Her most recent publication is A Garden of Political Transformation: Indigenism, Anarchism and Feminism Embodied”, which examines the diverse practices that coalesce around the ideological principles of aloha ʻāina and anarcha-indigenism, a world-view grounded in indigenous land-based practice and knowledge systems and anarchist principles of fluid leadership and horizontal power structures.

Joseph Han is the author of Nuclear Family, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, named a best book of the year by NPR and Time Magazine. His book was longlisted for the 2023 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel and received the 2023 Asian/Pacific American Literature Award Adult Fiction Honor. He was selected as a 2022 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and received a Kundiman fellowship in fiction. His work has appeared in the New York Times MagazineLit Hub, and Catapult. He is an editor for the West region of Joyland Magazine and an Affiliate Faculty in Fiction at the Antioch University Los Angeles low-residency MFA program. Currently, he serves as the Distinguished Writer-in-Residence in the English Department at the University of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa.

Hiʻilei Julia Kawehipuaakahaopulani Hobart (Kanaka Maoli) is Assistant Professor of Native and Indigenous Studies at Yale University. An interdisciplinary scholar, she researches and teaches on issues of settler colonialism, environment, and Indigenous sovereignty. Her first book, Cooling the Tropics: Ice, Indigeneity, and Hawaiian Refreshment (Duke University Press, 2022) is a recipient of the press’s Scholars of Color First Book Award. Her articles have appeared in refereed journals such as NAIS, Media+Environment, Food, Culture, and Society, and The Journal of Transnational American Studies, among others. She is the co-editor of the special issue “Radical Care” for Social Text (2020), and the editor of Foodways of Hawaiʻi (Routledge, 2018). She is currently working on a project about cultural memory, commemoration, and hauntings in Hawaii State Parks.

Ju-Hyun Park is a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development. They are currently the Engagement Editor at The Real News, an independent media organization. 

Image designed by Aaliya Luthra. Inspired by photographs by Gangjeong Peace Wave and Laulani Teale.



Venue: NYU Kimball Hall Lounge
246 Greene Street
New York , NY 10003 United States
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Add to Calendar 03/22/2023 06:30 PM 03/22/2023 08:30 PM America/New_York Making Peace with Ghosts: War, Food, and Memory in Korea and Hawaiʻi More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/making-peace-with-ghosts-war-food-and-memory-in-korea-and-hawai%ca%bbi/ NYU Kimball Hall Lounge, New York , NY, 10003