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Re-membering Panala‘au: Masculinities, Nation, and Empire in Hawai‘i and the Pacific

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Title: Re-membering Panala‘au: Masculinities, Nation, and Empire in Hawai‘i and the Pacific
Authors: Tengan, Ty P Kawika
Keywords: masculinities
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LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Tengan, T. P. K. 2008. Re-membering Panala‘au: Masculinities, Nation, and Empire in Hawai‘i and the Pacific. Special issue, The Contemporary Pacific 20 (1): 27-53.
Abstract: Between 1935 and 1942, over one hundred thirty young, mostly Native Hawaiian
men (later known as the Hui Panalä‘au) “colonized” five small islands in the
Equatorial Pacifi c as employees of the US Departments of Commerce and Interior.
Students and alumni from the Kamehameha Schools served exclusively in the first
year, and their experiences largely structured the ways that the project was represented
at the time and would be remembered later in a 2002 Bishop Museum
exhibit. In this essay, I examine the ways that the bodies and memories of the
Kamehameha colonists became fertile grounds for re-membering masculinities,
a type of gendered memory work that facilitates the formation of group subjectivities
through the coordination of personal memories, historical narratives,
and bodily experiences and representations. The colonists embodied a Hawaiian-
American masculinity that allowed a wide range of interlocutors and audiences to
make (sometimes divergent) claims to racialized citizenship and gendered belonging.
Their experiences spoke to the predicament of Hawaiian men working in
and against US colonialism, and thus they enabled a collective re-membering of
Hawaiian masculinities that helped counter notions of Hawaiian men’s laziness,
marginality, and absence, both in the political economy of the territory and the
present-day movements for self-determination and decolonization.
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific ], 2008 - Volume 20, Number 1

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