- Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
- Address: New York, NY United States
UPDATE: We are sorry to share that this program “New Books in Native & Indigenous Studies” has been postponed to a later date. Further updates will be shared here, in our newsletter, and on social (@APAInstitute).
Co-presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and NYU Native Studies Forum.
We’re honored to host in conversation about their new books three brilliant scholars in the fields of Native and Indigenous Studies.
Julian Aguon’s (University of Guam) The Properties of Perpetual Light (University of Guam Press, 2021) seamlessly blends vivid poetic language with sharp observations on activism in an era defined by climate change and militarization, and was described by Pulitzer Prize-winner Alice Walker as a book that “warms the heart and moves the spirit.”
In Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawaiʻi and Oceania (Duke University Press, 2019), Maile Arvin (University of Utah) explores how white settlers’ insistence that Indigenous Pacific Islanders were “almost white” fueled the fiction that the land, resources, and bodies of Native people belonged to their colonizers.
In Remembering Our Intimacies: Moʻolelo, Aloha ʻĀina, and Ea (University of Minnesota Press, 2021), lauded as “the moʻolelo that queer Natives have been waiting for,” Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa) embarks on an eye-opening excavation of the term aloha ʻaina, salvaging it from colonial historiography and presenting it as an idea rooted in intimacy, heritage, and freedom.
This discussion is moderated by professor of history Kealani Cook (University of Hawaii at West Oʻahu).
Accessibility note: This event will be hosted virtually on Zoom. A Zoom account, internet access, and a smartphone or computer is required. Closed captioning will be provided for all audio. If you have any access needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Julian Aguon is an Indigenous human rights lawyer and writer from Guam. He is the founder of Blue Ocean Law, a progressive firm that works at the intersection of indigenous rights and environmental justice. He is brilliant, soulful, and deeply engaged in the struggles of peoples across Oceania to liberate themselves from colonial rule, defend their sacred sites, and obtain justice for a range of harms inflicted upon them by outside forces—from nuclear weapons testing and nonconsensual medical experimentation to extractive industries and climate change. He serves on the Global Advisory Council of Progressive International—a global collective that launched in May 2020 with the mission of mobilizing progressive forces around the world behind a shared vision of social justice.
Maile Arvin is an assistant professor of History and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. She is a Native Hawaiian feminist scholar who works on issues of race, gender, science and colonialism in Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific. At the University of Utah, she is part of the leadership of the Pacific Islands Studies Initiative, which was awarded a Mellon Foundation grant to support ongoing efforts to develop Pacific Islands Studies curriculum, programming and student recruitment and support. Arvin’s first book, Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawaiʻi and Oceania, was published with Duke University Press in 2019.
Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a Kanaka Maoli wahine artist / activist / scholar / storyteller born and raised in Pālolo Valley to parents Jonathan and Mary Osorio. Heoli earned her PhD in English (Hawaiian literature) in 2018 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Currently, Heoli is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian Politics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Heoli is a three-time national poetry champion, poetry mentor and a published author. In 2020 her poetry and activism were the subject of an award-winning film, This is the Way we Rise (directed by Ciara Lacey), which was featured in Vogue.com and at Sundance Film Festival. She is a proud past Kaiāpuni student, Ford fellow, and a graduate of Kamehameha, Stanford University (BA) and New York University (MA). Her book Remembering our Intimacies: Moʻolelo, Aloha ʻĀina, and Ea was published in 2021 by The University of Minnesota Press.
Originally from Waimea, Hawaiʻi Island, Kealani Cook is a historian specializing in Pacific and Hawaiian History. His book, Return to Kahiki: Native Hawaiians in Oceania, was published in 2018 and looks at Native Hawaiian efforts to build relationships with other parts of Oceania. He is an associate professor at the University of Hawaiʻi, West Oʻahu.
Artwork by Aaliya Luthra.