Instructor: Candace Fujikane

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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Upper Divison English, clip 12 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Fujikane, Candace ; Henry, Jim
    Brief excerpt from interview: Where you grow up, the stories of that place, you can relate to the stories of other places. There's this whole issue about kamaʻāina to a place and having the kuleana to write about that place. So why am I, someone from Hokulani, writing about Waiʻanae? My connection I explain this way in my chapter, and that is: I grew up on the slopes of Haleakalā where we grew up with the Maui stories thinking that they were our island stories... When I went to a play about Maui and I found out there was a struggle in Waiʻanae to protect the birthplace of Maui in Lualualei where there's a puʻu called Puʻuheleakalā, I could see the connection. I felt that kind of connectedness through the moʻolelo and that makes sense because Maui is a navigator, and he connects the different places in the Pacific... What I'm also trying to do in my story is foreground the kūpuna story... the work they did to protect this place... to honor their work... not about my research, but what I learned from what they did. Through these stories, through these moʻolelo, we can gain an insight into what's happening in other places. People who live in mountains connect through those experiences... I've heard people from Korea talking about Diamond Mountain and comparing the Diamond mountains to the mountains in Hawaiʻi and feeling that there is a kind of connectedness, not one that's appropriating place for their own purposes, but they can understand what it's like to live on a mountain or to live on an island. At English 100 they do beautiful work. It's really kind of astonishing... I've seen them really kind of engaging in more creative kind of critiques of writing and different kinds of places. [Writing about a childhood experience of place] became the kernel for a different kind of writing for [one pre-med student], one that he was able to explore different dimensions to writing about [place].
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Upper Divison English, clip 11 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Fujikane, Candace ; Henry, Jim
    Brief excerpt from interview: The Kumulipo is this cosmogenic, genealogical chant that celebrates the creation of the universe and traces that creation of the universe, the correspondence of the things that are of the ocean and the things that are of the land and traces that correspondence all the way down to Kalākaua. It is Kalākaua's genealogy. It's this incredible story that shows different creation stories along the way. I would like to teach it, but it's very daunting because it's so layered and there's so much kaona... In terms of composition, the integrating of the different, you know, so the humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa is a pig-snouted fish that is related to the puaʻa, the pig on the land, so you have the pig-snouted fish in the ocean and the pig on the land and sometimes they substitute for each other... The symmetry of it is incredibly beautiful. It opens up the kino lau too, the different bodily forms the different akua [gods] take.
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Upper Divison English, clip 10 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Fujikane, Candace ; Henry, Jim
    Brief excerpt from interview: It's a struggle for [continental U.S.] students, because they have to work harder at the idea of growing aloha ʻāina. [One such student, responding to a cartographic problem, said] 'a lot of the moʻolelo we study in class are faith-based. They're religious, based on a belief system that I cannot ascribe to... so I've been struggling up until this point to understand how to maintain my own belief system, which is I don't believe in religion, and how to reconcile that with these moʻolelo because I want to support Hawaiians. But I don't feel like I can fully support them until I find a way to reconcile this kind of disjuncture between my belief that religion is problematic and the ways that Hawaiian independence is based on these moʻolelo.' [Students] come up with very insightful kinds of questions. She was looking for that spirituality, but felt embarrassed about writing about it. She was saying 'I don't understand how people can say they're born from land,' so that was [her] bottom line. So we had a lot of discussion about that. [A native Hawaiian practitioner explained:] 'How do we learn the formula for pi? How do we learn geometry? We learn it by looking at nature... Nature is our first teacher.' You can have different levels of belief, but in this class, I want us to accept all of them as being true. All of them. Even if they don't agree with your own personal beliefs, we can say these are all true, and we find the composite of all of these stories and where they intersect and where they don't. You have to expand your mind to accept paradoxes.
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Upper Divison English, clip 9 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Fujikane, Candace ; Henry, Jim
    Brief excerpt from interview: The difficulty for anybody is determining what is your kuleana, what is your responsibility, what is your area of expertise of authority to speak on a subject? We're trying to foreground positionality, trying to foreground relations of power and how we locate ourselves in those relations of power. So in writing about land, I ask students to think about it... We all have kuleana, we just have to define what it is, and knowing our position... that positioning is important. The problem happens when people don't recognize the differences between indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples and assume that we're all the same, and they don't understand land issues over ceded lands or seized lands. The big thing right now is the question of how the ceded lands are now called Public Trust lands. So who is the public, and who has a claim to that land? That's where you see the problem emerging, when there's not a distinction between who is indigenous and who is not. Indigeneity we define in terms of genealogy, not about blood quantum or that kind of thing. What are the stakes in all of this? You begin to see so much irony when people point Bishop Estate as being this landowner - this big bad land owner. But when they had a forced lease to fee-conversion law in place, who acquired the land? It was wealthy whites and Asians in Kahala and in the Hawaiʻi Kai area. They're the ones who gained land, so what is the irony there between this trust that's for a patrimony for Native Hawaiian children and who actually got the land? I think that's why positionality is so important, and I struggle with it when writing about land. I think we all struggle with it... how not to make ourselves the center of it... and how to be respectful. How we compare a capitalist economy with an indigenous economy, how one is based on accumulation of capital and how the other one is based on the production of food, how to grow food... We do talk about the impact of globalization on these places. It's kind of creepy, the interconnectedness of it. Obama had a meeting of the APEC leaders here, right? So you have these countries that are trying to engage in this sort of neoliberal version of trade. You lift all the regulations protecting the environment and labor and land use laws. You lift all those protections in order to make that sort of free trade possible... Then Abercrombie comes in with the PLDC, the Public Land and Development Corporation, and those kinds of ideas about developing lands and leasing land to these multinational corporations. So I try to get students to see those kinds of global-local connections. We're also talking about climate change... Waiau is drying up. The lake's drying up... and students sometimes are very depressed about that. I say well, we just do what we can. Protecting these places and learning about them and sharing that knowledge and making it publicly available - that's all part of a process. I think if people can see that there are alternative economies... through mapping, what alternative economies can we decipher? These alternative economies are going to be really important in reenvisioning that kind of industrialization that's leading to that kind of climate change
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    Instructor interview for Place-Based WAC/WID writing instruction in Upper Divison English, clip 8 of 12
    ( 2015) Place-based WAC/WID Hui ; Fujikane, Candace ; Henry, Jim
    Brief excerpt from interview: A lot of times when people talk about being local... they'll name stores and restaurants, shopping malls and theaters, schools, but they don't talk about land. I really asked [students] to pay close attention to land... I think they gained a kind of deeper understanding of a history that is much longer than these kinds of man-made structures on the land... For Hawaiian students it was more of this genealogical connectedness to places and for students who are not Hawaiian, a greater sense of their own kuleana or responsibility... I think engagement goes hand in hand with kuleana. If you feel like you have some kind of commitment or responsibility, the writing comes through in a much more engaged way. I work in Waiʻanae and there's a place where Maui was born in Lualualei... There are these mountains, and they say if you really look at the mountains, they look like thighs. And if you think about the river, it's like a birth canal. In different tours we've done, the land comes alive like that, where you see the moʻolelo being enacted and performed through the landscape. You see the moʻolelo taking place and unfolding as you're traveling geographically. Some of [these moʻolelo] can be read on a metaphorical level, but many of them are very literally about the stories that are unfolding along the landscape, and you have to pay attention to the land to understand those stories and for it to have that kind of special relevance for you. Passion comes into [one student's] writing in the way that she explores the moʻolelo from so many different angles, not just its textual relevance, but its geographical relevance. The land has its own ontology. Its writing its own story.