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Unsustainable Empire: Alternative Histories of Hawai‘i Statehood

Co-presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and NYU Native Studies Forum.

In his new book Unsustainable Empire: Alternative Histories of Hawai‘i Statehood (Duke University Press, 2018), Dean Itsuji Saranillio (NYU Department of Social & Cultural Analysis) offers a bold challenge to the narrative that the 1959 admission of Hawai‘i, a largely non-white territory, as a US state was a civil rights victory. Rather, Saranillio argues that the expansion of US empire into the Pacific was imperative to the sustainability of the American economy, and foregrounds the long history of Native Hawaiian opposition to statehood. Saranillio marshals a variety of unexpected genres and archives including political cartoons, propaganda films, water struggles, and stories of hauntings to maintain that, today, Native Hawaiian place-based alternatives to US empire are urgently needed. Jaskiran Dhillon (The New School), J. Kēhaulani Kauanui (Wesleyan University), Nikhil Pal Singh (NYU Department of Social & Cultural Analysis), and Simón Trujillo (NYU Department of English) offer comments, and a presentation from Saranillio follows.


This venue is on the first floor and is accessible for wheelchair users. Single-stall all gender restrooms are available on the fourth and fifth floors of the building, and are accessible via elevator. For other accommodations, please contact apa.rsvp@nyu.edu.



Photo by Jonathan Shisido.

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: NYU Steinhardt Pless Hall Lounge
82 Washington Square East (entrance on Washington Place), First floor
New York, NY 10003
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Add to Calendar 12/05/2018 06:00 PM 12/05/2018 08:00 PM America/New_York Unsustainable Empire: Alternative Histories of Hawai‘i Statehood More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/unsustainable-empire-alternative-histories-of-hawaii-statehood/ NYU Steinhardt Pless Hall Lounge, New York, NY, 10003